If you shudder at the thought of camping, but still enjoy the outdoors, there is finally a more readily available solution that satisfies your desire to be out in nature while combining the luxuries of a fine hotel. Mount Rushmore is on most people’s bucket lists, but what most people don’t know, is there isn’t a lot nearby. When searching for a Mount Rushmore hotel on Booking.com, only a handful came up. The summer months are quite busy, so it may be difficult to find a room at a Keystone SD hotel without booking well in advance. You won’t find any luxury hotels near Mt. Rushmore, except if you’re interested in glamping in South Dakota, then you’re in luck as Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore opened its tents for business in the summer of 2018. We spent two nights at Under Canvas Mount Rushmore during our trip through the midwest, so keep reading for our full review.
Glamping is glamorous camping. Taking all of the luxuries of a fine hotel, like a king-sized bed, shower, and toilet and putting it inside a spacious safari tent, camper or treehouse. You’ll tend to find glamping more common in places that have a lot of outdoor activities that don’t have a lot of traditional hotels. When searching for Mount Rushmore hotels, you’ll find that of the 19 listings, 9 are motels, 4 are Keystone SD hotels, and the rest are cabins or campsites. There is no doubt in my mind that Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore is the best option for hotels near Mount Rushmore.
With the rise of Instagram truly influencing how people around the world travel, more and more people are looking for the type of experience that glamping provides over a traditional hotel. This is in fact how I discovered Under Canvas – I found them on Instagram while doing research for writing another post about glamping. Their beautifully curated feed combined with the exciting locations their camps are located drew me in, and I knew I had to stay at one of their glampsites. I’ve now also stayed at their Zion National Park location and it was amazing!
Now obviously, glamping isn’t an option in every location, but you’d be surprised by how close to some major cities you may be able to find a glamping experience. One of the most popular Airbnb lisitings is a treehouse in Atlanta. We stayed at Bolt Farms Treehouse which is less than two hours north of Atlanta in rural South Carolina. The Bolt Family also recently opened two more treehouses just outside of Charleston, South Carolina. The main reason to choose glamping over a traditional hotel is when you are visiting a location that is known for its nature, or somewhere you would typically camp, like a national park. But if you look on Airbnb you can find some very unique accommodations in or very near major cities. I would choose glamping over a hotel because you typically get more privacy, it allows you to enjoy the nature aspect of camping, but also have a real bed to sleep in so you’re well rested for those early morning sunrise missions!
As glamping becomes more and more popular, you’ll see additional companies and brands pop up. As of writing this, the two big players in the glamping game are Under Canvas and Collective Retreats, but there are many more single location sites all over the US and Canada. You’ll find some great spots on Airbnb, but a lot of the time you have to book months in advance. You’ll find Under Canvas properties on booking.com and you can definitely book directly with the company, but the absolute best resource for finding and booking glamping experiences is Glamping Hub. On Glamping hub you’ll find everything from cabins to campervans, so whatever your style may be you’ll find something that suits you. Another great resource for glamping is Outdoorsy. Outdoorsy lets you rent campers, RVs, and luxury travel trailers like Airstreams all over the United States.
Under Canvas has sites in some of the most popular national parks like Zion in Utah, Yellowstone in Wyoming, and at the Grand Canyon in Arizona and they are adding new parks every year. Whether you’re on a road trip across the country like we were, or just visiting one specific park, you should definitely look into glamping options!
We stayed at an Airbnb in Rapid City, South Dakota after a long day of driving from Minneapolis across North and South Dakota. Under Canvas Mount Rushmore is located about 30 minutes away in the little town of Keystone. Keystone is an old gold mining town with plenty of history and charm. At the end of a rough winding road, we finally saw what looked like a little village of white tents and we knew we were “home” for the next couple of days. Something I gathered while talking to one of the employees at Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore, is that they take their locations very seriously. The property has to be just right to set up an Under Canvas site, so when we got to our tent and saw we had a great view of Mt. Rushmore itself, we knew immediately why they chose this plot of land.
Glamping in South Dakota at Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore and all of the other Under Canvas properties have several different styles of tents. The properties have safari tents that share communal bathrooms and showers, and deluxe rooms and suites that have ensuite bathrooms and showers. We opted for the deluxe tent. It was great to not only have a king sized bed, and queen-sized pullout, but also a hot shower to come back to after a long day hiking in the black hills and Badlands National Park. I’m sure compared to the other Keystone SD hotels, Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore gives you just as much (if not more) space, and you won’t get a Mount Rushmore Hotel with a better view.
Keeping true to the camping part of glamping, the food at Under Canvas all has a deliciously smoky flavor profile. Even the beer they offer is smokey, spicy and satisfying! The food and beer are locally sourced and you won’t find a single thing wasted. Under Canvas takes its sustainability very seriously. The food is served like you see above with recyclable utensils, the bath products are in refillable bottles, and they’ve partnered with boxed water so there is no plastic bottle waste on property. Many of their camps generate their own power from solar panels too!
Every single thing we had to eat at Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore was so delicious, I never left the main tent with an empty stomach! They serve breakfast and dinner in the main tent, and if you want lunch you can order picnic baskets the night before.
I have to say our two nights glamping in South Dakota at Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore were by far my favorite two nights of our road trip across the Midwest. The staff at Under Canvas Mt. Rushmore were responsive, friendly, and very helpful. Even before we checked in we had recommendations on activities in the Black Hills for our time in South Dakota. Our tent was spacious and very instagrammable! The bed was more comfortable than most hotel beds I’ve slept in, and the food was delicious! Each Under Canvas property has different seasons based on the local weather, but I know that while we are living out in Las Vegas for a few months another Under Canvas glamping trip is on my to-do list.