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“Awesome KOA”

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Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch
Reviewed July 28, 2012

This is the best KOA we've stayed in !! We camped in a Motorhome. Campground has alot to offer - car rentals, ATV rentals, restaurant, fun zone for kids, clean showers !! I would highly recommend renting an ATV - it was terriffic, and don't be afraid to get muddy !! My only negative is it can be noisy with ATV's and motorcycles on weekends, but well worth it. I would definitely stay here again !!

  • Stayed: July 2012
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Thank Bounding4fun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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307 - 313 of 373 reviews

Reviewed July 26, 2012

This trip was amazing. For years I have seen Mt. Rushmore on tv, and never thought I would actually go there. The scenic drilve there was unbelievable. Its something you have to see for yourself. We saw the faces from the road, but when we entered the park, we were just in awe. If you ever get a chance to go, make sure you travel to Hill City. Very quaint little town with a lot of history.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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Thank fortwaynetraveler711
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2012

We were camping in tents and it started to rain next thing i knew a wall of water came down we got so much rain in a little about of time it flooded over our knees in water some other campers pulled put tents and such out of about 5 sites after about an hour and a half and when everyone was safe we went up and talked to the mangers not one of them showed care they said they have a emergency plan in place but don't know how to act it out. I understand crap happened and can't control weather but the fact they didn't check not do they know how to act on there emergency plan doesn't settle well with me

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank wscalise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 24, 2012

We stayed in an RV site for 3 nights. It was our first KOA and RV experience. Normally we are tent campers that prefer state parks and rustic camp grounds, but this was our first major road trip with two young kids, so we opted to rent an RV and spend half our trip at what I would call the Disney of camping. We knew from reviews and the KOA site map that they pack you in like sardines. This was spot on. We had zero privacy or shade and no trees nearby. We paid an extra $10 (actually a good deal) to hand pick our site over the phone with KOA. Having not been there, it was hard to understand how the grounds are set out, but the KOA rep assured me the site she helped me pick was secluded, shaded and quiet. It was quiet, but that's about it. Our expectations for the actual RV site were minimal and realistic and we weren't let down. Having said that, the site itself had easy and accessible hookups and as novice RVers we didn't have a hose to refill the water tank (the RV rental company said this would be available to us at the KOA). Some KOA staffers on a golf cart came by and were more than happy to bring their hose and top us off. That was much appreciated.

The bathrooms/showers were in poor condition with little to no ventilation. One shower stall was out of order with no sign. I went in, got all ready to shower and no water. I had to redress, get my stuff and get out and then wait in line for a new stall. That was a real disapointment. On day 3 that same stall wasn't working and they did not have an out of order sign on it. I spent as little time as possible in the shower and did not use their bathroom/vanity area.

What made this KOA worth staying at with kids were the amenities. The jumping pillow, splash pad and the pools were great and our kids, ages 7 and 3, loved them. The pools were cold and could use a warm up and a make over. The single slide was okay. Nothing special, but my 7 year old enjoyed it a few times. Everything was close and central, making it very easy to get to from our site and keep an eye on the kids if they went from one activity to another. They also had 2-3 jumping inflatibles. Those are brand new and they were a great addition. The kids' store also was nice with some cute souveniers that didn't blow the budget. The all you can eat pancake breakfast was a great bargain and we all loved it.

The location of this KOA was terrific. Near all the attractions and had all the amenities we needed for 3 nights. We rented a car one day on-site and it was very convenient so that we could do the Needles Highway. The cost was about $75, a bit steep, but considering we didn't have to drive to get the car and we had it until 10pm, it was worth it. We took advantage of the car to get supplies, etc., in Hills City and do all the things we wanted to avoid in the RV.

The best part of the KOA stay was the Palmer Gulch Chuckwagon dinner. We did this one evening and it was great! Admittedly, it's pricy, but it was well worth it and the meal wasn't just a meal, it was a really great steak dinner. The music and comedy entertainment was great for all ages and the scenery and chuckwagon ride for the kids was fun. This was a highlight of the kids' trip.

All in all, the KOA met our expectations, but it's not a place we would stay in a tent or without kids. This place does not have the abience or authenticity that Custer State Park has and where we stayed the remainder of our vacation. The RV sites are resort fees per person are high. We paid at least twice as mch per night here than at Custer State Park. However, it was the perfect balance for us and the kids.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Julie D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

My family and I have been coming here every year for the past six years. Always just befor bike week, to avoid some of the crowds.

Without a doubt this is the least friendliest staff they have gotten for a summer crew.

(Pauline from Arizona) if you "do not like the long hours". You may wish to consider a different job.

Trash throughout the KOA camp, weeds in flower beds, hot tube a lovely shade of lime green. These are a few of the issues that NEVER use to exist here and frankly could easily be fixed.

I have no idea what the general manager is doing, but it is not keeping an eye on the camp.

Next year we will stay at a different RV resort

  • Stayed: July 2012
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1  Thank BobAndrews66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 2012

pros: Location -proximity to Mount Rushmore


cons: Dirty bathrooms - graffiti in shower house
no designated tent camping - just plopped in the middle of 2 RVs.

Instead of staying close to Mt. Rushmore I would travel to our families next day attraction and stay near there.

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank timetraveling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 10, 2012


This was a huge RV park, spread out across a large area. The park had lots of facilities/activities for families and also had a restaurant and a takeout pizza bar. We didn’t try the restaurant, but we can recommend the pizza bar. The park is in an excellent location for Hill City, Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park and there are lots of activities in the vicinity. The park was well maintained and the staff were friendly. There were separate toilets for men and women and the showers were unisex, accommodated in the same block as the toilets. We stayed in RV site 567 and found the wireless signal to be intermittent.

Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank AnnaNickB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Mount Rushmore KOA at Palmer Gulch

Address: 12620 Highway 244, Hill City, SD 57745-8902 (Formerly Mount Rushmore / Hill City KOA)
Location: United States > South Dakota > Hill City
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 13 Specialty Lodging in Hill City
Number of rooms: 66
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
From the convenience of KOA kamping kabins and deluxe, big-rig friendly RV campsites to secluded tent sites along a creek, the Mount Rushmore / Hill City KOA campground offers campers an exiting outdoor experience complete with picturesque granite mountain views and Ponderosa pine panoramas. Choose from:+ Kamping kabins+ RV campsites+ Tent sites ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Mount Rushmore / Hill City Koa Hotel Hill City

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