Saturday, June 29, 2013

Where We Camped: South Dakota

We camped in Hill City, South Dakota in May 2012.

After leaving Utah we stopped in Denver for the night before driving straight through to South Dakota. The Rocky Mountains are amazing! I have never driven through something so beautiful. Luckily we were in our 4-wheel drive Suburban because it began to snow when we were getting near the top of the mountain on our way down into Denver.
rocky mountains
Base of the Rocky Mountains
I drove
Proof that I drove!!

We drove through a huge chunk of Wyoming on our way to South Dakota. Wyoming is a gorgeous state too, I'd love to have a huge ranch in that state but really I could never do that. I'm pretty lazy so I couldn't really be a rancher, too much work!!

welcome to Wyoming
It took us FOREVER to get to Hill City but when we finally got there we were so excited! We stayed at the Mount Rushmore KOA. We stayed for three days. The KOA was great, there's a huge playground for the kiddos with basketball courts, jumper things (I'm sure they have a real name but I don't know it) and a giant chess board. Our tent site was near a separate smaller play area. The girls loved it because it was like having their own private playground. Our campsite also had a small creek running behind it.

KOA Mount Rushmore
Shops at the KOA

our campsite
Our campsite

creek behind our campsite
When we stayed the KOA had just opened for the season so the campgrounds were fairly empty. Since it was early in the season most of the little shops the KOA had on site were still closed. The pool was open, though and we did swim one day. The Mount Rushmore KOA has a ton of fun things to do so we'd love to go back when all the activities are available. They do chuck-wagon dinners, ATV rentals and there's a restaurant on-site.
the small playground next to our campsite

The KOA is only about a 10 minute drive to Mount Rushmore. We went to Mount Rushmore several times during our stay. We drove by the first night we were there to make sure we knew how to get to it. We then went the next day and again that night for the lighting ceremony. I'd love to be there for Fourth of July, I bet it is awesome!

mt rushmore entrance mt rushmore

mount rushmore

george washington profile
on the way from the campground to Mount Rushmore there is a turnout where you can see George Washington's profile
Mt Rushmore at night

We spent time exploring Rapid City while we were there as well. There is a Presidential Walk downtown with statues of all of our presidents. We ate at a Sonic for the first time while in Rapid City. Chili Cheese Tater Tots are awesome!!
Rapid city presidential walk
I took tons of pictures of the president statues but this is the only one I could find

I really loved South Dakota. It was such a beautiful state. We saw white-tailed deer for the first time outside Custer State Park. We had seen deer at home in California but the deer there are not white-tailed, it was pretty cool to watch the deer's little tails flip up when the deer bounced away. We also saw a ground squirrel for the first time while at the campground. There were two that liked to hang out right by our tent. Oh, can't forget seeing buffalo (or bison, not sure what they are supposed to be called)! We kept our eyes peeled all through Wyoming and South Dakota trying to spot buffalo and we finally saw some when we were leaving South Dakota.
ground squirrel
I had to ask my best friend, Google, what this was. Ground squirrels are cute!

Buffalo/Bison whatever it is, it's awesome!

We have been so many places and I have loved them all so much! I definitely hope we can someday go back to South Dakota and explore more of the state!


  1. I have always wanted to go to Mt. Rushmore, but I haven't made it yet! Your photos were so fantastic I felt like I was there. Thanks for sharing. I am going to follow you!

    1. Thanks so much for following. I'm glad you liked the post!

  2. I am glad I found your blog. It's nice! Followed you with Bloglovin.

  3. I love South Dakota, the hubby and went there in 2009 and we want to take the kids back with us!


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