The Best Hotels to Book Near Mount Rushmore

Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City makes a great base for exploring nearby Mount Rushmore
Hotel Alex Johnson in Rapid City makes a great base for exploring nearby Mount Rushmore | Courtesy of Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection / Expedia.com
Lilly Graves

The most popular attraction in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore attracts millions of visitors each year to its huge, carved granite sculptures of four former US presidents. Here’s where to stay nearby, all bookable with Culture Trip.

Mount Rushmore may well be what brings you to this area of South Dakota. One of the most famous attractions in the US, the huge monument pays tribute to four former presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. Their faces are carved into the mountain’s granite rock face in 60ft (18m)-high sculptures, near a former gold-mining boomtown. But the surrounding natural attractions such as the Black Hills, Custer State Park, the Badlands and Devil’s Tower will keep you here for a longer stay. Our recommended properties include family-friendly cabins, luxury glamping and historic rooms that once housed two American presidents.

1. Powder House Lodge

Hotel

Powder House Lodge
Courtesy of Powder House Lodge / Expedia.com

This clean and friendly property in the Black Hills, a short drive to Mount Rushmore, was once a facility for blasting powder – a form of gunpowder, hence the name – and bootleg liquor. Today, updated lodge-style rooms and cabins come in a range of sizes, from double rooms with mini-fridges and microwaves, to larger cabins that have private hot tubs and fireplaces. The Homestead Cabin is the largest, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a full kitchen. There’s an outdoor heated pool and the on-site restaurant offers hearty breakfast, lunch and dinner menus of game-heavy dishes, like elk medallions and stuffed quail.

2. Battle Creek Lodge

Lodge, Hotel

Battle Creek Lodge
Courtesy of Battle Creek Lodge / Booking.com

This charming lodge, owned by a local couple who live on-site, is a short walk to Keystone’s historic district with shops and dining, and only a few miles from Mount Rushmore. Simple rooms are clean and comfortable, while several sitting areas located around the lodge provide peace and relaxation. There isn’t a restaurant yet, but a bistro is in the works. Until then, guests can order in-room breakfasts, to-go lunches and charcuterie boards, as well as wine and beer. A fire pit and s’mores are also available and if you ask us, a compulsory part of the experience.

4. Roosevelt Inn

Hotel

Roosevelt Inn
Courtesy of Roosevelt Inn / Expedia.com

The Roosevelt Inn – named after Teddy – is a nice family-friendly option with 40 units, and just a short drive from Mount Rushmore. Guests get free continental breakfast, free parking and access to a games room and indoor pool. Rooms in several categories all come with mini-fridges and microwaves, while others come with private balconies. The largest family-friendly unit is the Loft Suite, with two queen beds and two twin beds. This inn is in Keystone, within walking distance to dining and shops.

5. Under Canvas Mount Rushmore

Glamping

Under Canvas Mount Rushmore
Courtesy of Under Canvas Mount Rushmore / Expedia

Hipsters rejoice. Tucked in the pines, a short drive from Mount Rushmore, is this seasonal glamping experience – available May through September. It’s part of a growing brand bringing luxury canvas tents to some of the best national parks in the country, like Zion, Yosemite and Yellowstone. Stylish tents can accommodate couples and large families, with plush beds, private bathrooms and wood-burning stoves – firewood is provided. On-site dining includes locally sourced items, ranging from fresh fish to charcuterie boards. Snacks can be purchased from the lobby marketplace. Keep an eye out for free yoga classes and social gatherings for finding extra zen.

6. Resort & Lodge at Palmer Gulch

Resort, Lodge

Resort & Lodge at Palmer Gulch
Courtesy of Resort and Lodge at Palmer Gulch / Expedia.com

Once a country club in the 1920s, this resort offers guest rooms, mountain cabins, RV sites and a campground, all a 15-minute drive from Mount Rushmore. Hotel rooms are accessed from the main lodge and come with mini-fridges and microwaves, while some have fireplaces, kitchenettes, and private balconies. Activities include movie nights, a dog park, horseback riding and UTV rentals that can seat up to six people. All-day dining starts in the morning with all-you-can-eat pancakes, and rounds off with evenings in the tap room, where guests slosh down affordable cocktails and growlers of local craft beer.

7. State Game Lodge at Custer State Park Resort

Resort, Cabin

State Game Lodge at Custer State Park Resort
Courtesy of State Game Lodge at Custer State Park Resort / Expedia.com

This picturesque lodge, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is steps from Custer State Park. In keeping with the presidential theme of Mount Rushmore, this property served as the Summer White House for President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 and was visited by President Dwight D Eisenhower in 1953. Historic rooms are available for those seeking old-school charm, or you can opt for a contemporary room if you can’t do without a mini-fridge and microwave. The on-site restaurant offers casual but elegant dining. They offer a popular Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour, and Mount Rushmore is a 40-minute drive away.

8. The Foothills Inn

Inn

Foothills Inn
Courtesy of Foothills Inn / Booking.com

A half-hour drive from Mount Rushmore, Rapid City is the regional hub for travelers who prefer a closer location to the airport and urban conveniences. Clean and comfortable rooms come with mini-fridges, microwaves and patios, while an upgraded option includes a jacuzzi. Relax at the seasonal outdoor pool or head to the nearby malls and mini-golf course. Free breakfast starts at 6am, and for everything else there’s a 24-hour restaurant and bakery next door – think buttermilk pancakes, sandwiches and specialty pies. Bear in mind that quiet hours start at 10pm each night.

9. Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City, Curio Collection

Hotel

Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City
Courtesy of Hotel Alex Johnson Rapid City / Booking.com

This 143-room hotel in downtown Rapid City dates back to the 1920s, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been partially renovated, though common spaces remain untouched to provide a glimpse of the past, featuring Native American decor and Germanic Tudor architecture. Bring your EMF sensor, as this is one of the most popular haunted hotels around – it was featured on Ghost Hunters. A rooftop restaurant appeals to younger types who enjoy panoramic views, craft cocktails and a menu of flatbreads, burgers and seafood pastas – often to the sound of local DJs.

10. Big Sky Lodge

Lodge

Big Sky Lodge
Courtesy of Big Sky Lodge / Expedia.com

This single-story, mom-and-pop motel just outside of Rapid City is a simple, easy stay for those who need convenience and good value. Rooms are clean and quiet, with mini-fridges and microwaves. The best of the lot is the Skyline Suite, which has a separate king bedroom, queen bedroom, pull-out couch and full kitchen. All guests have access to the outdoor hot tub, picnic tables and pet area. It’s a short drive to dining and shopping, as well as 150 acres of scenic hiking trails at the Skyline Drive Wilderness Area.

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