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Old 05-17-2019, 08:52 AM   #1
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Itinerary For A Week In Black Hills Area

Next month we will be spending a week in the Rapid City area. We are towing. What are the must see sights and points of interest within a reasonable driving distance?

Should we stay longer?

Where to next on our way to Mountain Home, Idaho?

We have plenty of time and no set schedule.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:53 AM   #2
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Mt Rushmore
Sitting Bull
Deadwood
Custer park
Train ride from Hill city to Keystone
Dinosaur museums in Rapid City and Hill City
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Old 05-17-2019, 10:22 AM   #3
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Scenic drives: Iron Mountain Rd (16A) - drive south to north for fantastic views of Mt. Rushmore through the tunnels, Needles Highway, Wildlife Loop in Custer SP, Spearfish Canyon scenic drive. Attend lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore, cave tour at Wind Cave NP. Numerous hiking trails if you like to hike.
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Old 05-17-2019, 01:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonLC View Post
Next month we will be spending a week in the Rapid City area. We are towing. What are the must see sights and points of interest within a reasonable driving distance?

Should we stay longer?

Where to next on our way to Mountain Home, Idaho?

We have plenty of time and no set schedule.
First I'd recommend staying in Custer, we have enjoyed Custer's Gulch CG - Home - but there are many in the area and they are all Pretty Good.

A recent post might also help - AL to Badlands/Mt. Rushmore - lot's of good info - Jewel Cave - Needles - Custer State Park - Sylvan Lake - ....................

IMHO, Mt Rushmore is best at Late Afternoon to Dark - Great Ceremony, the Hikes and drives will surely take a week - Beautiful area.

Enjoy,
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:26 PM   #5
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mammoth dig in hot springs
needles highway
wild animal loop road in custer state park
jewel cave

yes, plan to stay longer and i echo the advice to stay elsewhere other than rapid city.

from where are you coming?
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Old 05-17-2019, 11:29 PM   #6
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Badlands

Stay at Rafter J Bar Ranch at Hill City. Very nice cg and convenient to Badlands, Custer State Park, Rushmore, old missile launch site with tours, and several scenic small towns, Iron Mtn Road. A week would not be too long.
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Old 05-18-2019, 09:33 AM   #7
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As an addendum to my post above. I second Tooth Doc's recommendation. Make sure you ask for a pull through especially if you have satellite TV. They have many RV parking spots within their groves of tree's and I doubt you'd get a clear view of the southern sky.

Right across highway 16 from the campground is one of the access roads leading to Mt. Rushmore.

Someone mentioned going to Mt. Rushmore when they illuminate the monument. If you're a veteran they will call you up to the stage at the open amphitheater. They had us stand on the stage in a huge semi-circle and took down the American Flag and it was folded by vets closest to the flag pole. The Ranger then handed each vet the flag and had him/her tell something about themselves including who they served with and when. The Ranger then handed the flag to the next vet and so on and so on until each vet. had a chance to speak.

When I went to the night time event, my wife wasn't feeling well and stayed behind and when I told her about the ceremony, she was very upset that she missed it.
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Old 05-18-2019, 03:06 PM   #8
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Lived in Rapid and have been back many times. Lots of things in that area to keep you busy for more than week. On your way might stop at the Corn Palace, Wall Drug both tourist stops but unique and then the Badlands some only drive through others hike and explore for days, and a missile launch control center tour. The AFB has a display worth a visit. Then hose already mentioned Crazy Horse, Deadwood -kind of ruined by the casinos but worth a visit, There is also a cave tour. The Park itself has lots of animals and displays. Further on Sturgis home of the bike rallies and devils tower are not far.
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Old 05-19-2019, 02:13 PM   #9
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I won't repeat what others have said, everything mentioned is well worth seeing. To add to this, (if you are into museums) there is an EXCELLENT museum in Rapid City, called The Journey. It covers the creation of the Black Hills (geography), early exploration and settlement of the area, later history. Lots of good displays, I highly recommend it as a starting place to learn about the region.

I stayed in Spearfish at the City Campground, and missed the High Plains Western Heritage Center. I saw but didn't have time for either the SD Railroad museum at Hill City, or the Civilian Conservation Corps museum also at Hill City.

Plan your drives carefully, The wildlife loop in Custer SP is best done in the evening when the wildlife are out. The Iron Mountain Highway is best done in the morning so you get the most lighting effect on the faces of Rushmore as you pass thru the last tunnel.

I didn't spend near enough time in the area, and intend to return for a week or so.

Here is what little I can tell you about my trip................

My Black Hills, Badlands and Solar Eclipse trip in August 2017

Other recent threads about travel in the area.

Chicago to SD Badlands

Black Hills SD and Yellowstone

Charles
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