Keystone, South Dakota
An Old West town at the very foot of Mount Rushmore, Keystone, South Dakota is a Black Hills experience like no other.
Historic places, wildlife in abundance, spectacular scenery, and an array of outdoor activities are all within easy reach in Keystone. The nearest town to the famous Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Keystone, SD is a place where the spirit of the Old West lives on. From Western storefronts to gold mines, to a connection to classic American literature, Keystone is friendly town at the heart of Black Hills country.
Keystone and Mount Rushmore
The faces of four Presidents gaze out across the hills from their place, carved 500 feet above the ground into the face of Mount Rushmore. This monument to America’s best-loved Presidents rises right outside the town of Keystone, making it the perfect location for those visiting the memorial to stay.
It is possible to walk from Keystone to Mount Rushmore, although the road is steep; parking is available at the memorial itself for a small fee. In town, the Presidential Wax Museum can be explored, featuring famous Presidents and their stories.
Historic Places: Gold Rush and Beyond
Keystone is one of the few places where you can actually visit an underground gold mine. Big Thunder Gold Mine offers tours and allows visitors to try their own hand at panning for gold.
Learn more about the history of this Gold Rush town with a free self-guided walking tour around Keystone. Or, you can climb on board the 1880s Train for a ride through the Black Hills; the railroad was a vital part of progress here, and today the rails take you on a two-hour tour through to Hill City and back.
Visit the Keystone Historical Museum to learn more about the past as well as about one of the town’s famous residents. Carrie Ingalls, sister of Laura Ingalls Wilder and featured in the “Little House on the Prairie” books, lived and died here.
Nature’s Beauty in the Black Hills
Keystone lets you see all sides of the Black Hills. Step inside Rushmore caves to experience the world beneath the hills. Zipline down the mountainside or take to the air in a helicopter to view the carvings up close.
Get away from the world and explore the bounty of the Black Hills; hiking trails are plentiful and wildlife sightings common in this area. Miles of wilderness are open for adventurers to discover, just outside of Keystone.
Staying in Keystone
Keystone welcomes visitors with lodging to meet every need. Hotel chains and independent inns, rental cabins and campgrounds are all available. For a little luxury, try the Executive Lodges, or set up camp at Kemp’s Camp.
Keystone comes to life in the evening, with bright lights glowing as visitors head up the hill to watch Mount Rushmore’s lighting ceremony. Dining is plentiful, as is a lively nightlife.
Getting to Keystone
This Old West town lies an easy 20-minute drive into the hills from Rapid City, SD. Highway 16 takes visitors to Keystone from Interstate 40. Rapid City offers the nearest airport, with ground transportation into Keystone the best way to arrive.
However you arrive, Keystone will take you on a true journey into the history of the Black Hills.