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Old 08-10-2019, 04:30 PM   #1
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South Dakota's Black Hills

We are planning an (eventual) trip way up (from the Deep South) to South Dakota's Black Hills, to see Mount Rushmore.

We know we will visit the Badlands, too.

Is there anything else to see or do in the Black Hills?

Not familiar with that region, and after driving all those miles don't want to miss something great, entertaining or interesting.
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:02 PM   #2
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Devils Tower is close. We will be going through there in September
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:29 PM   #3
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Greetings neighbor,

Custer State Park is very nice. We spent a week up that way at the end of a very extended travel and I'm sorry to say we didn't explore the area more as we used it primarily to unwind. The Badlands were very interesting.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:00 PM   #4
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Concur with Custer State Park. 1400, or thereabouts, bison passed inches from our Yukon while we were driving through the park. We are looking forward to returning.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:07 PM   #5
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Badlands looks desolate but is worth a stay as it is interesting. When it rains the colors in the landscape come out. Mule deer and some large bighorn sheep are around.

Custer SP is scenic with pronghorn antelope roaming around. There are a couple of caves around too.

The drives around the black hills are pretty with some interesting small tunnels and views of Rushmore. Rushmore after dark is great too. The KOA nearby is nice and convenient too.

While this close I would swing by Devils Tower too. The KOA right by the entrance is nice with s scenic river and red cliffs. Deer and turkey around mornings and evenings.

Mount Moriah Cemetery on Mount Moriah in Deadwood is where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried so some history in the area. It is interesting and scenic, on a hill overlooking the city and hills.

On the way, there is a decent zoo and Air Force museum in Omaha.
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:13 PM   #6
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Old 08-10-2019, 06:34 PM   #7
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Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument. You can get underground guided tours at both. I believe Wind Cave has a campground and a bison herd.

If you come or go via a southern route, Fort Robinson State Park is in a nice area. They have amateur rodeo shows on Thursday evenings in the summer, and they have summer stock theater. The Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron NE is quite interesting.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:17 AM   #8
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Wall Drug may not be a bucket list place, but people will ask if you went there. If you want to see bears up close and personal, try Bear Country USA.

Hope you have a great trip!
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:22 AM   #9
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Great place to stay is Rafter J Bar ranch in Hill City. Close to all attractions in the Hills.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:25 AM   #10
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Custer SP

Many CGs in Custer SP but they fill quickly, mostly with locals. Make reservations early, it is beautiful!
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:39 AM   #11
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Black Hills

All the above are excellent suggestions. Would add driving the Needles Highway (just take your TV) to your list and also take Hwy 16 west out of Custer past Custer St Park. A lot of deer, mt goats and sheep can be seen. Definitely do Custer St Park for the bison and wild burros. There are a lot of old gold mines in the Hills but most of the structures have been torn down. Its fun to find them though - get a forest service map. If you fish there are a lot of creeks and reservoirs with good trout fishing.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:46 AM   #12
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Rafter J Bar is the place to stay

We discovered Rafter J Bar last Summer and loved it! Great location, near Custer St. Park (a must!), Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Mickelson Trail for long walks or biking is awesome. The Wild Horse Sanctuary is a great experience. Check that out
There are a couple of hookups there too if you wanted to overnight. If you love horses, you won't want to miss this place. Black Hills are a treasure! Have fun!
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:49 AM   #13
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Wall Drug not a great stop

Originally Posted by RickyNelson View Post
Wall Drug may not be a bucket list place, but people will ask if you went there. If you want to see bears up close and personal, try Bear Country USA.

Hope you have a great trip!
We stayed at a Campground next to Wall Drug and couldn't wait to leave the next day...I wouldn't overnight. Packed with tourists as there are hundreds of miles of billboard signs promoting the place, but it's nothing special at all in our opinion. So many other great places in the area.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:07 AM   #14
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We stayed at Rafter J as well and would highly recommend it. Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Custer SP are close by. We went to the visitor center at Wind Caves NP and it was interesting. Badlands NP is very different from any park we've been to. I think Wall Drug is a must after you have driven all that way. We still have the plastic cup from the "free ice water" in our Airstream. Breakfast was pretty good. Missile silo tour was interesting. I'm sure there is much more to do and anyone could stay there a week and not be bored.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:16 AM   #15
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Sturgis is a great visit. Nice restaurants for lunch. Nice campground there too. Concrete pads. Full hook ups. Nice campgrounds in Deadwood. Stayed there two years ago.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:26 AM   #16
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Rafter J Bar Ranch

Concur Rafter J Bar Ranch is a great location to stay...
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:41 AM   #17
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If you were tourist enough to stop at the Wal Drug then the Mitchel Corn Palace is right up on the list.

That thing has been there a long time. I first visited it in 1959. The corn designs on the outside have been changed many times since. Look at the web cam for an idea of current designs.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:09 AM   #18
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Consider buying a Lonely Planet travel Guide (or Moon) for this area of country. I dont leave home without them.
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Old 08-11-2019, 11:34 AM   #19
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You may never go back to Tallahassee......just kidding.
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Old 08-11-2019, 01:58 PM   #20
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Don't miss Spearfish canyon with the waterfalls. It's a beautiful day well spent. We stayed at Custer's Gulch RV outside Custer, SD and loved it. Quiet. Close to everything. Don't miss Badlands and take the Sage Creek road out to the campground there just for the drive. It's beautiful. Mount Rushmore is undeniably magnetic. I hear the nighttime show is lovely; we didn't make it. I would do it if we go back. Devil's Tower is a native American holy site and you can feel it there. There is an easy beautiful hike that takes you around the base of the tower which is a must-do. Also, the campground there is lovely, with views of the Tower from all around. No hookups. First come-first served. Still there were empty spots in July. Enjoy!
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