Where to stay near Mount Rushmore, SD

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  • Post last modified:February 28, 2024
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Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a popular place to visit in South Dakota. The faces of the prominent USA presidents make millions of visitors come to the Black Hills area each year. But where to stay near Mount Rushmore for the best experience?

Keystone is the place to stay closest to Mount Rushmore. In addition, other options for where to stay when visiting Mt Rushmore are Hill City, Custer and Rapid City.

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From Keystone, it’s just 3 miles (5 km) by car to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. No other option for where to stay near Mount Rushmore is as convenient. This effortless access gets even more important if you plan to catch the popular nightly lighting ceremony, a cherished summer tradition in the Black Hills.

In Keystone, brimming with Wild West vibes, you also find all the hotels and restaurants that you need for a great visit. When hunger calls, try Boss’ Pizza and Chicken for a casual meal.

Add to that a quirky lineup of side attractions (Mount Rushmore, the spotlight is on you). Fun attractions in Keystone include Rushmore Tramway Adventures, Rush Mountain Adventure Park, National Presidential Wax Museum and the 1880 Train.

  • Distance: 3 mi / 5 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 10 min
  • Pick Keystone for: Best access.
A cloudy day at the Mount Rushmore sculpture, best reached from Mount Rushmore hotels in Keystone
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota.

Best hotels in Keystone

Roosevelt Inn Mount Rushmore

The closer the better? This classic Mt Rushmore hotel sits on the southern end of Keystone, minimizing the driving time to the memorial.

Comfort Inn & Suites Keystone

Bed down in the cute downtown area of Keystone, with restaurants and shops on your doorstep. Bonus feature: The inviting swimming pool and hot tub.

Entrance to Mount Rushmore Memorial in Keystone
Mt Rushmore National Memorial, SD.

Hill City

Welcome to the second closest town to Mount Rushmore. Only beaten by Keystone in terms of access, Hill City lies an easy 12-mile (19 km) drive from the Black Hills’ iconic presidential faces. Embrace a destination with a cool Wild West ambience and an array of places to eat, drink and sleep.

A bonus with staying in Hill City is that the historic 1880 Train is based here. This means that the morning train on the legendary 1880 line between Hill City and Keystone departs from Hill City, allowing you to effortlessly begin your day with a historic train ride.

Other popular attractions and reasons to pick Hill City are the State Railroad Museum, @The Black Hills Institute and the Civilian Conservation Corps Museum. These authentic things to do makes Hill City a popular town to stay in near Mount Rushmore for those who look for a sophisticated experience.

  • Distance: 12 mi / 19 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 20 min
  • Pick Hill City for: Second closest.

Best hotels in Hill City

Comfort Inn & Suites Hill City

At Comfort Inn, you have all you need for a comfortable time in the Black Hills. Within walking are Hill City attractions and places to grab a bite. Still, it’s off the main road, making it a peaceful place to stay — with top facilities including an indoor pool and jacuzzi.

Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills
Mt Rushmore, SD.


Of all the options for where to stay near Mount Rushmore, Custer is located furthest south. The city is a great town to hang your hat and unwind in when exploring a larger portion of the Black Hills area.

On the road from Custer to Mount Rushmore, you pass another famous Black Hills monument, the Crazy Horse Memorial. No other city gives you better access to Crazy Horse than Custer.

Another of the area’s big attractions is Custer State Park. From Custer, you have great access to the beautiful nature — including large herds of bison — in the South Dakota state park.

  • Distance: 20 mi / 32 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 30 min
  • Pick Custer for: Black Hills base.
Grazing bison in Custer — one of the best places to stay near Mount Rushmore
Custer State Park, SD.

Rapid City

Sure, a 23-mile (37 km) drive to get to Mt Rushmore seems unattractive compared to the other options. However, Rapid City is by far the biggest city in the region, boasting more accommodation options and things to do.

A highlight for the whole family in Rapid City is Bear Country USA. If you drive through the wildlife park, you get to see wolves, elk, buffalo and, of course, lots of black bears from the comfort of your car.

Rapid City also offers relatively good access to the highlights in Badlands National Park. You can get from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore in roughly an hour by car.

  • Distance: 23 mi / 37 km
  • Driving time: ≈ 30 min
  • Pick Rapid City for: A bigger city.
Find lodging near Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota
Mt Rushmore in the Black Hills.

Where to stay near Mount Rushmore FAQ

Where should I stay when visiting Mount Rushmore?

If you want to stay as close as possible when visiting Mount Rushmore, the best options are Keystone and Hill City. No other city gives you as great access to Mt Rushmore Memorial. But for more Black Hills attractions, Custer and Rapid City are also great alternatives.

How many days do you need to see Mount Rushmore?

You can visit Mount Rushmore Memorial in just a few hours. But if you visit during the warmer months of the year, it’s also fun to go to the monument after dark to see the nightly lighting ceremony. And the Black Hills region has much more to offer than just Mount Rushmore. Therefore, we recommend allowing at least three days for the Black Hills area.

What town is closest to Mt Rushmore?

Keystone is the town closest to Mt Rushmore. The 3 miles (5 km) from Keystone to Mount Rushmore National Memorial take around 10 minutes to drive.

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