There are no accommodations at Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave, or Jewel Cave national parks, but inns, hotels, motels, lodges, and bed-and-breakfasts are plentiful in nearby Black Hills communities and parks. Custer State Park has four popular lodges; reservations are strongly recommended, especially in summer. For popular destinations such as Custer State Park, it's best to reserve 6 months to a year in advance of your visit. In addition to the properties listed in Rapid City, Nemo, and Deadwood, you'll find accommodations in Keystone and Hill City (convenient to Mount Rushmore), as well as in Custer and Hot Springs (more convenient to Jewel Cave and Wind Cave, respectively). If you're continuing west, you might also consider lodging in Newcastle, Wyoming, 25 miles west of Jewel Cave National Monument.
For information on accommodations in the Black Hills, contact either the South Dakota Office of Tourism or the Black Hills & Badlands Association.
Although there are no campgrounds within the boundaries of Mount Rushmore National Memorial or Jewel Cave National Monument, there are several in Custer State Park and another in Wind Cave National Park, plus those in the Black Hills National Forest and privately operated campgrounds. Many commercial campgrounds offer free shuttle services, nightly entertainment, pools, convenience stores, and horseback riding. Reservations are recommended. Choice spots are often filled by midmorning, so arriving at popular campgrounds early in the day is advised.
For more information on camping opportunities, contact South Dakota Tourism. For information on National Forest Service campgrounds, contact the Forest Supervisor, Black Hills National Forest, 1019 N. 5th St., Custer, SD 57730 (tel. 605/673-9200; www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills), or contact Forest Recreation Management, Inc., 12620 Hwy. 244, Hill City, SD 57745 (tel. 605/574-2525).
You can make National Forest camping reservations by calling tel. 877/444-6777 or online at www.reserveusa.com. Below are just two of 19 campgrounds in the Black Hills National Forest of South Dakota and Wyoming.
Horsethief Lake Campground, a mile west of Mount Rushmore, offers scenic sites adjacent to picturesque Horsethief Lake. At a 5,000-foot elevation, the campground has 30 sites for travel trailers and RVs; 10 sites are for tents only. Sites not reserved (50% can be reserved) fill quickly, so you need to claim yours early in the day.
Roubaix Lake Campground, off U.S. 385 on FDR 255, is nestled in a ponderosa pine forest next to scenic Roubaix Lake, which offers great fishing and swimming at a 5,500-foot elevation. Spaces fill fast; some can be reserved.
A variety of private campgrounds provide all the usual RV hookups and other services.
American Presidents Resort, 1 mile east of Custer on Hwy. 16A, P.O. Box 446, Custer, SD 57730 (tel. 605/673-3373; www.presidentsresort.com), is a perfect base for touring the southern Black Hills. The campground's 40-by-60-foot heated pool and Jacuzzi are popular, as are its miniature golf and horseshoes. The campground, with 70 sites, has a store and fishing nearby. A 10% discount is offered on reservations made before May 15. Also available are 45 full-service cabins, with rates from $99, some with kitchens, that sleep from two to eight people and a 15-unit motel (call for rates).
Big Pine Campground, 12084 Big Pine Road, Custer, SD 57730 (tel. 800/235-3981 for reservations, or 605/673-4054; www.bigpinecampground.com), secluded from traffic noises, offers level, naturally shaded sites plus fireplaces and wood, a store, game room, playground, hiking, and horseshoes.
Sleep Land RV Park, P.O. Box 157, Keystone, SD 57751 (tel. 605/666-4638, in the heart of the former mining town of Keystone, is close to numerous attractions and only a stone's throw from Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The campground and its adjacent 43-unit motel offer cool shade and a gurgling brook, as well as a store, gas, ice, gifts, restaurant, heated pool, and hot tub. Take a fun walk down Keystone's Main Street while you're here.
Mount Rushmore KOA, P.O. Box 295, Hill City, SD 57745 (tel. 800/562-8503 or 605/574-2525; www.mtrushmorekoa.com), part of the Palmer Gulch Resort, is among the best campgrounds in the region. With 500 sites and 55 Kamping Kabins, two pools and spas, a water slide, live entertainment, movies, miniature golf, fishing, hayrides, a restaurant, tours, and car rentals, this is what many commercial campgrounds want to be when they grow up.
Rapid City KOA, P.O. Box 2592, Rapid City, SD 57709 (tel. 800/KOA-8504 [562-8504] or 605/348-2111; www.rapidcitykoa.com), is on Rapid City's eastern flank. This large KOA offers a free pancake breakfast and a grand pool and spa. Bus tours and car rentals are available, and shopping, sightseeing, and Rushmore Plaza Civic Center are nearby.
Whistler Gulch Campground, 235 Cliff St., Hwy. 85 S., Deadwood, SD 57732 (tel. 800/704-7139 or 605/578-2092; www.whistlergulch.com), is in one of Deadwood's famous mining gulches. The campground offers 100 full-service RV sites and secluded tent sites. Facilities include a heated swimming pool, a sport court, and a small store. The town trolley takes visitors to Deadwood's casinos and historic sites.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.