About Us

A brief look at our history

1925
A mining engineer dreamed of developing a Black Hills country club — a club that would quickly become reality. Additional investors were secured to join in and purchase land along Palmer Creek at the base of Harney Peak, just five miles west of Mt. Rushmore. For guest lodging accommodations, construction began on four private summer cabins and five rental cabins. Camping grounds would come much later...
1929
The country club was sold in the wake of the Great Depression. Members of the club could no longer contribute — therefore, the doors were closed. A new owner took charge of the club in that same year, and quickly golf, horse riding, picnicking, and touring the Black Hills became the staple activities.
1962
Over thirty years later, the country club was once again sold. As first order of business, the new owners transformed the club into a dude ranch called the "Palmer Gulch Lodge," opening up the clientele to travelers in search of country-style Midwest vacations. To revisit the dude ranch atmosphere, the golf course was returned to its natural state: meadows and valleys. Horse riding, socializing with other guests, and touring the Black Hills, once again, became the lodge's major activities of the day.
1972
After a decade, the property was sold to its present day owners with the intent of developing an area for camping grounds complete with rental cabins.
1973
The Palmer Gulch's newly established camping grounds with rental cabins opened its doors as a franchisee of Holiday Inn (Holiday Inn Travel Park).
1976
The Palmer Gulch camping grounds with rental cabins joined the world-renowned KOA franchise under the present day name of "Mt. Rushmore Hill City KOA." Along with the "Lodge at Palmer Gulch," this property is known as The Resort at Palmer Gulch. To date, we're proud of our affiliation with the time-honored and family-approved KOA.
Today
The Resort at Palmer Gulch caters to the thousands of travelers to the Black Hills each year and to the local residents looking for a vacation getaway, providing them with a Black Hills vacation experience that is full of the adventure that makes the area so exciting and beautiful.
Palmer Gulch Lodge

Our Facility

The lodge, campground, and cabins of the Mt. Rushmore KOA and Palmer Gulch Lodge are surrounded by the beauty of the Black Hills and is located at the foot of Harney Peak.

This pristine location is home to thousands of travelers' vacations each year. We offer a wide variety of family-friendly activities and accommodations for our guests. Our rich history of service dates back to 1925.