15 Best Things To Do in Keystone, South Dakota

The quaint town of Keystone offers some picturesque sightseeing spots, ample scope for outdooractivities andd some grand historical monuments. So here are the 15 best things to do here.  

Keystone, South DakotaImage Source: wikimedia.org

Let's explore Keystone points of interest and 15 best things to do in Keystone:

1. Marvel at Mount Rushmore National Memorial & Presidential Trail

This is perhaps one American monument unique to the continent and one of its kind in the world. Really something to marvel at. A gigantic mountain sculpture of the faces of US presidents Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved on the black hills of Mt. Rushmore. Truly a sight to behold. Surrounded by a wonderfully picturesque national park offering a variety of outdoor activities, a museum and gift shops. Stroll along the majestic Presidential Trail to have a closer look at this national monument and get mesmerized by its intricate detailing. You can even go fishing, horseback riding, geocaching, mountain biking and camping. One of Keystone’s most prominent landmarks, this place is visited by thousands of tourists annually. 

2. Learn about Gutzon Borglum at the Borglum Story, Keystone

One of Keystone’s most fascinating museums, this showcases works by Gutzon Borglum, the world-renowned sculptor who created the mountain sculpture of the faces of US presidents at Mount Rushmore. His extraordinary talent is amply showcased by way of his works that are displayed. Take a peek at his personal life from his memorabilia. You’ll be guided by audio as you take in the marvelous carvings, notable among which is the full-sized eye sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, the legendary American President. Reachable by public transport, car or taxi.

3. Get the Presidential experience at the National Presidential Wax Museum, Keystone

Keystone’s charm is enhanced by its National Presidential Wax Museum, which showcases the works of Katherine Stubergh, the world renowned wax artist. All figures displayed here are made of wax and are figures of some of America’s greatest sons who played critical roles in shaping its history and democracy. You will get to see over one hundred life-sized sculptures, which almost seem real. It’ll truly be a dramatic experience, particularly for the children. With Mount Rushmore as its backdrop, this museum is truly a most scenic location and also comes with a gift shop. Reachable on foot from Keystone Station or by car or taxi. 

4. Hit the slopes of the Keystone Ski Area

Keystone Ski Area - ImageImage Source: wikipedia.org

A great place for skiing and other snow sports enthusiasts. This sprawling terrain spreads over three mountains,  offering multiple trails to all categories of skiers. You can also enjoy its snowshoeing, ice skating, tubing and snowboarding facilities.

5. Stop by the Loveland Pass

One of Keystone’s most scenic spots on Highway 6, Loveland Pass offers a great opportunity for hiking and taking in the gorgeous view of the great continental divide. As you drive on the winding highway, you will be simply charmed by the roadside view. Wear warm clothing as it’s usually cold and fairly windy. Ideal for snowboarders and backcountry skiers during the winter. However, drive carefully as the road to Loveland Pass is narrow with a precipitous drop on the side and no guardrails!

6. Get a taste of history at the Keystone Museum

This was once an old school building and has now been converted into a museum in 1988. The Keystone Historical Museum showcases all that there is to know of Keystone culture and history. Its elegant Victorian architecture, collection of rocks and minerals, art and photographs as also the display of Carrie Ingalls’ memorabilia are something worth seeing. The museum’s school-like furniture and internal setting would certainly charm the children. Accessible from Keystone Station. 

7. Skate on Keystone Lake

Keystone Lake - ImageImage Source: wikipedia.org

For those who love ice skating at night, this is the spot! Skates are available on hire as are trainers and assistants called walkers to help the young and the elderly to spin around on the ice. Its huge Christmas tree during winter is a sight to behold also. Pay $15 as skate rental and an additional $15 for two hours of skating. Also has some great summer activities like water skiing, paddle boating and canoeing. Its Edgewater Café also offers some lip-smacking food. The children would love feeding the fish, geese and ducks. The lake is also famous for its large-sized trout. 

8. Race down the ski slopes of Arapahoe Basin

This is one of Keystone’s most affordable and laid back ski areas with cheap full-day lift tickets, food and drinks. Free parking is available also. An additional advantage is that it doesn’t get too crowded and remains open till late May. The terrain however, is slightly more challenging but great for experienced skiers. Enjoy the live band and beer tents on Saturday nights. Lift tickets are cheaper online than at the ticket counters.

9. Get charmed by Main Street, Keystone

Keystone’s Main Street is studded with historic buildings and allows you to take a historic walk. Enjoy its pleasant  restaurants, fun shops and occasional festivals with live bands with livelier crowds. However, the traffic is heavy and parking is a problem. Try to lodge at the Mountain Village while taking the gondola ride to and from Telluride. You are sure to enjoy it. 

10. Bike away at the Keystone Bike Park

A perfectly maintained and picturesque park with some picturesque hiking and biking trails. However, carry your own water as the trails are very long and can induce tiredness and dehydration. The green trails are smooth enough for first time bikers and the surrounding forests are a haven of peace and quiet. Certain patches may be bumpy though and starting your ride early is advisable before it gets too hot. Great for downhill biking enthusiasts. 

11. Have a different skiing experience at Keystone Nordic Centre

Here’s a great chance to enjoy some downhill skiing with a difference in the typical Nordic style. The instructors are extremely cooperative and will help you learn the technique fast. Spend the afternoon snow-shoeing center’s perimeter loop and enjoy the great views from the top. You also get lessons in cross country skiing or can opt for self exploration of the area using a train map. Also known for some great soups and food which the center’s restaurant serves. 

12. Rest for a while at the Dillon Reservoir

It’s sweeping views make it worth driving by! A huge lake, Dillon Reservoir hosts outdoor concerts at its amphitheater during summers. You can also visit Summit County close by or simply hike by the lake at your own leisure. Great place for landscape photography enthusiasts, too. Enjoy a packed lunch by the lakeside and feel the area’s tranquility calm your city-shot senses. 

13. Have fun at the Rush Mountain Adventure Park

This is one place that offers fun at all levels! Home to the famous Rushmore Cave, Rush Mountain Adventure Park is all about some magnificent stalactite-filled caverns where taking an educational cave tour could be really thrilling. Enjoying the amusement rides on offer such as the Soaring Eagle Zipline Ride that soars through the sky or the Gunslinger 7-D Interactive Ride. Speed down the hill on the Rushmore Mountain Coaster. The kids would simply love it. Open daily from May to October and on  weekends in March and April. 

14. Indulge in adventure with Rushmore Tramway Adventures

A haven for adventure lovers, Rushmore Tramway Adventures offers everything from action-packed adventure facilities to the breath-taking views of Black Hills and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. A terrific spot for family entertainment, particularly during summer. 

15. Go gold hunting at the Big Thunder Gold Mine

This mine was opened in 1892 and offers a 55-minute tour. This tells you the history of the American Gold Rush in 1876. You’ll be amazed at the largest display of Black Hill’s mining equipment and get an actual taste of panning on site to locate some gold. There are also 4-hour panning trips of forest property at a creek close to the mine. A great opportunity to strike gold!

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Must see places in Keystone ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Keystone and point of interests to visit.

  1. # 1 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 1199 times in trip plans
    Mount Rushmore National Memorial & Presidential Trail

    Tags: Museum, Mountain, Trail, Tour

    Address: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Timings: 05:00 am - 11:30 pm Details

    Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a large sculpture of the faces of U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln carved into Mt. Rushmore of black hill...Read more

  2. # 2 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 799 times in trip plans
    Big Thunder Gold Mine

    Tags: Mine

    Address: 604 Blair St, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Big Thunder Gold Mine is a replica of the Tykoon Gold Mill from 1895. Containing some of the largest equipment from gold mining in the black mill, Big Thunder Gold Mine is an interesting place to visi...Read more

  3. # 3 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 421 times in trip plans
    Rushmore Tramway Adventures

    Tags: Adventure

    Address: 203 Cemetery Rd, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Rushmore Tramway Adventures is an adventure park in Keystone that is a must visit for thrill seekers and nature lovers. Bring back the child in you by indulging in a thrilling but fun alpine slide. Ta...Read more

  4. # 4 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 479 times in trip plans
    Rushmore Cave And Rush Mountain Adventure Park

    Tags: Cave, Park, Adventure

    Address: 13622 SD-40, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Measuring a length of 3,652 feet, Rushmore Cave is the ninth longest cave in South Dakota. Go on a fun and an educational cave tour inside the Rushmore Cave that takes you through the spectacular stal...Read more

  5. # 5 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 214 times in trip plans
    Borglum Story

    Tags: Museum

    Address: 342 Winter St, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Timings: 08:30 am - 03:30 pm Details

    Borglum Story is a fascinating museum in Keystone that will take you the story of the renowned sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Known for the carved faces on the Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum was one of the ...Read more

  6. # 6 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 277 times in trip plans
    1880 Train Black Hills Central Railroad

    Tags: Landmark, Train Ride

    Address: 103 Winter St, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Black Hills of South Dakota always offer breath-taking views. But, do you know what will make these views unforgettable? Ride in the vintage steam train, which will take you slowly and beautifully thr...Read more

  7. # 7 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 14 times in trip plans
    Brookside Motel

    Address: 603 Reed St, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    The seasonal Brookside Motel is equipped with cozy rooms that have exterior entrance doors and sliding glass doors that open to the brook that passes by the motel. All the rooms are spacious and featu...Read more

  8. # 8 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 12 times in trip plans
    Mount Rushmore

    Tags: Sculpture

    Address: 13000 SD-244, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Majestic sculptures carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone await visitors in South Dakota. Featuring 60-foot sculptures of the heads of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theod...Read more

  9. # 9 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 2 times in trip plans
    Holiday Inn Express & Suites Keystone Image
    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    Overview of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Keystone Welcome to the page of Holiday Inn Express & Suites Keystone. This is a place of interest in the city of Keystone in United States. Although l...Read more

  10. # 10 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 1 time in trip plans
    Ruby House Restaurant Image
    Timings: 11:00 am - 09:00 pm Details
    Google Reviews
    Mike Hardesty

    Best steak I've had in a long time! Very good food and outstanding service. Made our trip to Mount Rushmore that much more enjoyable.

    Read more
  11. # 11 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 1 time in trip plans
    Mount Rushmore History Association Image
    Timings: 09:00 am - 06:00 pm Details
    Google Reviews
    Paul Walaszek

    A good way to support our National Treasure.

    Read more
  12. # 12 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 5 times in trip plans
    Kemp's Kamp Image

    Tags: Park, Camp

    Address: 1022 Old Hill City Rd

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details
    Google Reviews
    Tamie Baker

    First time in SD and we choose to stay here last weekend. Great location and compared to other camps their prices were so much better! Cabin was updated, clean and the surroundings were beautiful. We ...

    Read more
  13. # 13 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 5 times in trip plans
    Holy Smoke Resort Image

    Address: 24105 Hwy 16A, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Google Reviews
    J S

    Really nice people. Close to Mt Rushmore. Sits nicely on the side of a mountain. Nice cabins and clean but a bit dark inside. They allow dogs which is a big plus. Good restaurant 2 mins down the r...

    Read more
  14. # 14 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 250 times in trip plans
    National Presidential Wax Museum

    Tags: Museum, Specialty Museum

    Address: 609 Hwy 16a, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The National Presidential Wax Museum in the charming town of Keystone features the works of the world famous wax artist Katherine Stubergh. Take a step into history as you witness the iconic wax figur...Read more

  15. # 15 of 46 Things To Do in Keystone | Added 323 times in trip plans
    Holy Terror Mini Golf

    Tags: Golf Course

    Address: 609 Highway 16A, Keystone, SD 57751, USA

    Timings: 09:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Nestled on the side of a slope filled with pines in Keystone is the Holy Terror Mini Golf that has been named after Keystone’s last active gold mine. The challenging yet fun course would have yo...Read more

  • Crazy Horse Memorial

    24813 Village Ave

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Harney Peak Hotel

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Dinosaur Park

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Milwaukee Road Freight House

    306 7th St

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Badger Hole

    Historic and Protected Sites
  • Way Park Museum

    4TH St

    Historic and Protected Sites
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  • Horse Thief Lake

  • Lakota Lake

  • Stockade Lake

  • Horsethief Lake

  • Pactola Lake

View On Map
  • National Presidential Wax Museum

    609 Highway 16A

  • Borglum Historical Center

    342 Winter St

  • Rushmore Borglum Story

    342 Winter St

  • Keystone Area Historical Society

    410 3rd St

  • The Journey Museum and Learning Center

    222 New York St

  • Wades Gold Mill

    12401 Deerfield Rd

View On Map
  • Mirror Maze

    221 Swanzey St

    Amusement Parks
  • Old Mac Donald's Farm

    23691 Busted Five Ct

    Amusement Parks
  • Flags & Wheels Indoor Racing

    405 12th St

    Amusement Parks
  • Black Hills Maze

    6400 S Highway 16

    Amusement Parks
  • Bear Country USA

    13820 S Highway 16

    Amusement Parks
  • Cosmos Mystery Area

    24040 Cosmos Rd

    Amusement Parks
View On Map
  • Red Garter Saloon

    124 Winter St

    Bars Burgers Seafood
  • Native Grill & Wings

    1756 Eglin St

    Bars American Burgers
  • Bitter Esters Brewhouse

    607 Mount Rushmore Rd

    Restaurants Breweries Bars
  • Chili's Grill & Bar

    2125 Haines Ave

    American Bars
  • Oasis Lounge

    711 Main St

    Bars Restaurants
  • Slate Creek Grille

    158 Museum Dr

    American Barbecue Bars
View On Map
  • Rushmore Casino

    1808 Mount Rushmore Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Jokers Casino South

    1320 Mount Rushmore Rd

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Haines Ave Casino

    1735 Haines Ave

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Uncle Sam's West Main

    2730 W Main St

    Casinos and Gaming
  • Valley Square Casino

    3064 Covington St

    Casinos and Gaming Bars Restaurants
  • Toby's Casino

    720 E North St

    Casinos and Gaming
View On Map
  • Wind Cave National Park

    Natural Parks
  • Custer State Park

    13329 US Hwy

    Natural Parks
  • Black Hills National Forest

    Natural Parks
  • Wild Life Loop, Custard National Park

    Natural Parks
View On Map
  • Bob Ingersoll Mine

  • The Outdoor Campus-West

    4130 Adventure Trl

  • Cathedral Spires Hiking Trail

View On Map
  • Dakota Angler & Outfitter

    513 7th St

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Black Hills National Forest

    25041 N US Highway 16

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Dakota Yote Varmint Calls

    2526 Oak Dr

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Ghost Canyon Ranch Bed & Breakfast

    Hunting and Fishing
  • BLACK Hills Forestry Department

    25041 N US Highway 16

    Hunting and Fishing
  • Carter

    Hunting and Fishing
View On Map
  • Rhino Sports of the Black Hills

    810 Quincy St

    Stadiums and Arenas Music and Show Venues
View On Map
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