Year round, millions of history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts travel to South Dakota to visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial and the Black Hills region.
As visitors trek through the area, they explore nearby caves at Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument, visit Custer State Park, see rock formations that are among the oldest in the western part of the United States, and stop at the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center at Crazy Horse Memorial. Along the way, they may encounter mule deer, yellow-bellied marmot, chipmunks, squirrels, elk and non-indigenous rocky mountain goats.
Under Canvas Mount Rushmore was created to serve affluent travelers desiring sensational views of these presidential faces from the luxury of a well-appointed tent community. These deluxe accommodations are part of the Under Canvas brand that was launched in 2009 by Sarah and Jacob Duskek. The Duseks modeled their all-inclusive glamping adventures after an African safari experience.
Their glamping sites are located near Zion National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Glacier National Park, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and Moab, Utah. In May, Under Canvas started a new facility near Mount Rushmore. While the 2018 season ended on Oct. 1, it’s not too early to start planning for the 2019 season that runs from May 9 to Sept. 29, 2019.
Under Canvas provides “a bridge to the outdoors for people who quite frankly really don’t want to rough it.”
It’s a hassle-free way to camp outside and simultaneously be close to a popular destination. Guests can comfortably sleep in well appointed tents surrounded by Mother Nature without having to do any of the work associated with transporting equipment, assembling tents, building a campfire, and cooking food over an open flame.
Vacation properties that are located in key places add value to the overall travel experience. Being close to main attractions and having spectacular views are two top priorities.
Daily activities are arranged by Under Canvas’ skilled coordinators to meet the individual needs of its guests. To avoid disappointment, it’s advisable to book several weeks in advance of arrival.
Activity options include Black Hills private tours, kayak and SUP tours, guided hikes, a visit to the nearby Aerial Adventure Park, rock climbing at Custer State Park, back country biking, gold panning and a gold mine tour, and an off-road jeep adventure searching for bison, elk, bighorn sheep and mountain goats.
The stars are more vibrant because the pathways are only lit by solar energy. The common areas — the reception area and the shared bathrooms — have lighting. However, guests should be aware that the tents are not wired for electrical outlets or WiFi. The use of small appliances and the internet will not be possible. If you’re ready to unplug, this is great place to consider.
Breakfast and dinner are labeled as “fast casual dining.” Some opt for a leisurely breakfast while others take breakfast on the go. Lunch sacks can be ordered from a menu by 10 p.m. for pickup the next day. Dinner is shared with other guests around the community campfire.
The food is not included in the nightly room rate. While the menu is small, it does include a few vegetarian and children friendly options. Food can also be purchased at restaurants and grocery stores in Keystone, a mile away.
Dogs are welcome so long as they are kept on a leash and are not left unattended in the tent.Guests are asked to clean up after their animals. An extra fee of $25 is charged per pet.
Be Prepared — Your Gear
With a limited amount of space, it’s always best to pack light. To be adequately prepared for the conditions, check the upcoming weather report. The region is known for extremes in temperature and plentiful summertime rain.
Make sure to pack comfortable hiking shoes, backpacks, layers of clothing, a waterproof raincoat, healthy non-perishable snack foods in individual packages for day treks, and appropriate containers for water.