Check out all of our fun activities to do while camping or lodging at Palmer Gulch!

Whether you are staying in the Lodge, at one of our cabins, or on the KOA campground, you will have complete access to a variety of resort activities. Day or night, there's plenty to see and do while staying with us. Don't forget to schedule a shuttle to the nearby Mt. Rushmore Monument for their lighting ceremony.

Our Resort Fee Program

We specialize in outdoor vacations for kids and adult alike, and your choice of entertainment and fun is entirely up to you! As part of your stay, a $10 nightly fee allows everyone registered in your party to enjoy the following activities to do while camping or lodging at Palmer Gulch:

Climbing Wall

We are taking the fun to new heights...literally...with our NEW CLIMBING WALL. Soar 26 feet in the air over 300 square feet of climbing area and four distinct climbing routes; you won't want to miss the adventure, so watch for it on the Palmer Gulch activity schedule.

Foam Family Fun

"Wet and wild" describes the fun you'll have in the NEW FOAM POOL as you dip and slip during your stay! We will be scheduling this pool activity throughout the summer, so check the Palmer Gulch activity schedule for days and times.

KOA Splash Pad

With water cannons, ground geysers, and cylinder sprays, young and old will enjoy their time cooling off from the summer heat. It will quickly become one of your favorite activities to do while camping at the KOA!

KOA Jumping Pillow

Kids who love jumping on the bed will love this huge, inflatable, pillow-shaped jumping structure. The jumping pillow is one of the newest and hottest recreational amenities around, creating fun outdoor vacations for kids with extra energy in store.

Hill City Slickers

These local entertainers play a variety of cowboy, bluegrass, folk songs, oldies, and fun originals. Guest participation is always a must - singing along and howling at the moon are just a few of the things the Hill City Slickers incorporate into their performance. Website

Miniature Golf

Nine holes of putting fun can be found at the Kowboy Kountry Klub, a course built around an Old West theme.


Our waterslide provides fun for the entire family: wild outdoor vacations for kids, and the best way to stay cool and refreshed for adults. It's perfect after a Harney Peak hike or a bike ride on the Mickelson Trail.

Nightly Movies

Check with the resort concierge for titles and show times for the evening movies.


You will recognize the SummerShiners at Palmer Gulch by their tie-dyed shirts and the smiles on their faces. These Christian college students come from all over the nation to Palmer Gulch for the summer to live, work, play, and share the love of Christ!

SummerShiners are here to rent bikes and supervise bike rides; they also man the jumping pillow, mini-golf, waterside, and more. When they are off-the-clock, they are providing various family-friendly activities, including campfire activities, skits, casual worship services, and much more.

Resort Activities

Also included in

your stay

  • Wi-Fi HotSpots
  • 2 Heated Swimming Pools
  • 2 Hot Tubs
  • Sauna
  • Giant Chess and Checkers
  • Children's Activities
  • FREE Admission to National Presidential Wax Museum
  • Hayrides
  • Horseshoes
  • Sand Volleyball Court
  • Basketball Court
  • Fishing Pond
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Playing Fields
  • Hiking Trails
  • Biking Trails
  • 2 Playgrounds
  • Variety Shows
  • Summershiner Worship Services

Most Activities are Seasonal Memorial Day to Labor Day

Additional Services

Not included with resort fee, but available for an additional fee.

Mt. Rushmore Lighting Ceremony

Mt. Rushmore Lighting Ceremony

Shuttle Service

Take the shuttle to the Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony, enjoy their multimedia program and view of this mountain at night.

Service available Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Horseback riding through the hills

Palmer Gulch Stables

Experience the Black Hills on horseback! Several different trail rides are available for riders of all skill levels.

Scenic rides are available through the Black Elk Wilderness Area in the Black Hills National Forest.

Chuck Wagon Dinner Ride

Chuck Wagon Dinner Ride

Chuck Wagon Dinner Ride offers the most authentic chuck wagon supper show in the Black Hills. Guests are even picked up on horse-drawn wagons!

Enjoy a taste of the cowboy life with a steak dinner, campfire, and a country music show!

On-Site Massage

On-Site Massage

On-Site Massage

Come enjoy a relaxing massage in a rustic yet luxurious environment with a highly qualified and nationally certified Massage Therapist. With a variety of services to choose from, we're sure you'll find the massage to fit your needs.

Gold Panning

Gold Panning

The Black Hills Gold Rush of 1874 started with a man, a pan and a plan to strike it rich! Now everyone can experience the rush of excitement when they pan for gold at Palmer Gulch. Buy a pan from one of the resort stores and dig right in or participate in a gold-panning instructional activity offered several times a week. Check the weekly activity schedule for times.

Tie Dye

Tie Dye

Peace, Love and Rock and Roll! You don't have to remember the 70's to have fun with this retro activity. Join in this fun and creative activity offered daily at Palmer Gulch. Be amazed as a white cotton t-shirt is transformed into a great souvenir with your imagination and a little help from your friends!

Camp Buddy

Build A Camp Buddy

Make a new friend with our Stuffin' Party machine. Make a wish upon a star to place inside and then cradle your new buddy in his own bed. Whether you choose a bear, raccoon or a puppy, there are lots of clothes and accessories to fit. Check out the weekly activity schedule for times.

Bike and Paddle Boat Rentals

Bike Rentals

With a variety of biking trails to choose from you will want to take advantage of the bike rentals, available for your enjoyment.

Car Rental

Car Rental

The Black Hills offers several beautiful drives with breathtaking scenery and ample wildlife. You will want to leave your RV parked and get a car rental for your tour of these scenic drives:

  • Needles Highway
  • Iron Mountain Road
  • Wildlife Loop Road
  • Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway
  • Spearfish Canyon National Scenic Byway
  • Custer State Park

A variety of vehicle sizes are available. An entrance pass to Custer State Park is included.

ATV Rentals

ATV Rentals

You know you want to do it! This is the perfect time to grab the family and head for the store for the whole package including safety gear and maps. Book early in your stay as there is limited availability.

Golf Cart Rentals

Golf Cart Rentals

With lots of space to roam and plenty of things to do, the easiest and quickest way to get around the resort is with one of our golf carts. Pick up the key at the KOA concierge desk when you rent a cart for the full or half day.

Paddle Boat Rentals

Paddle Boat Rentals

We listened when you told us to bring back the paddle boats! Whether you're out for a leisurely spin in the water or out to challenge your family to a race, you're going to have a good time with this new activity at Palmer Gulch.

Black Hills Tours

Black Hills Tours

Everyone, especially the white-knuckled driver of your group, will enjoy the personalized, narrated and affordable tours offered by Golden Circle Tours. You will be picked up at Palmer Gulch in a comfortable, air-conditioned van for the day-long tour. Plenty of stops are made along the way for snapshots, meals and short excursions.