Our most recommended things to do in Rapid City

Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

1. Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a day of sightseeing on this all-inclusive private tour of the main sights of Black Hills. After a convenient pickup from your hotel, travel to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Monument, where you will spend some time hiking. Learn about how the monument came into existence. Next, travel to Crazy Horse Memorial, where you will learn about one of the most important historical figures in the history of South Dakota. Finally, explore the beautiful Custer State Park. See wildlife at incredibly close proximity and enjoy the local flora.

From Rapid City: Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike

2. From Rapid City: Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike

Discover the diversity of South Dakota's natural monuments on this day trip to Devils Tower. Departing from your hotel in Rapid City or Spearfish, enjoy the ride to Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming. Once there, get the opportunity to hike around this natural wonder. While hiking, learn more about Devil Tower's incredible Native American history, and what makes it so unique, from your tour guide. Admire local fauna and flora and witness panoramic views. Stop for lunch at a restaurant of your choice and get the chance to sample some local cuisine before heading back to your hotel in the evening.

Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

3. Black Hills & Badlands: Self-Guided Audio Driving Tour

Choose from a range of self-guided tours and itineraries with the help of this informative audio guide. Listen to your narrator as they guide you to some of Western South Dakota's most beautiful landmarks. Download the app and listen to your narrator as you set off on a discovery of Western South Dakota. Witness the variety of spectacular landscapes ranging from the prairies grassland and rock formations of the Badlands National Park, to the four presidential faces carved into Mount Rushmore, through to the mountains, canyons, and forests of the Black Hills. Follow the suggested itineraries, or divide the commentary and create your own half, full, or multi-day sightseeing trips. Major Highlights: • Badlands Wall • Bridal Veil Falls • Crazy Horse Memorial • Custer State Park • Custer Wildlife Loop Road • Deadwood • Devils Tower • Door Trail • Fossil Trail • Homestake Mine - Lead • Iron Mountain Road • Keystone • Minuteman Missile Visitor Center • Mount Rushmore • Needles Highway • Pigtails and Tunnels • Prairie Dog Town • Rapid City • Roughlock Falls • Sylvan Lake • Spearfish Canyon • Wind Cave and Jewel Cave • Yellow Mounds Overlook Includes: Enjoy a driving route that takes you to all the best sights and finishes with a trop at Mount Rushmore as the grand finale. Drive the Black Hill loop in the direction it was created - counter-clockwise, which means you will approach Mount Rushmore with peekaboo views through the tunnel along the winding Iron Mountain Road. Venture to the Badlands National Park. See a landscape dominated by prairies, eroding buttes, and fascinating rock formations that created a challenging barrier for pioneers. Receive excellent viewing opportunities and some terrific hikes to enjoy, many easy short boardwalks, but also some challenging and rewarding trails. Visit a decommissioned nuclear missile silo and see examples of how original homesteaders lived. Follow the 19-mile Spearfish Canyon route through 1,000 foot limestone walls. This scenic route also visits what was one of the world's richest gold mining operations at the Homestake Mine in Lead. Don't miss the opportunity to visit Deadwood, whose earliest characters included Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.

Badlands National Park Private Tour

4. Badlands National Park Private Tour

Enjoy a private tour for a unique glimpse into the unique beauty of the Badlands National Park. Learn about the history of the area and spend the day discovering the rare geology of the Badlands. After being picked up, take a short drive to the quaint town of Wall to explore and uncover why Wall Drug is so legendary throughout the world. Next, travel into the Badlands National Park to admire some of the rarest and most incredible geological formations in South Dakota. Enjoy a few moderate hikes around the Badlands and with some luck see some local wildlife up close. Lastly, visit the town of Scenic, a ghost town with a great history, which your guide will tell you all about. On your way there, see the Minuteman Missile Site.

Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour

5. Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour

Get up close and personal with roaming buffalo, deer, and feed the wild donkeys at Custer State Park. Once in the park, board an open-air Jeep and explore the beauty the park has to offer with your guide. Make sure to bring healthy snacks for the wild donkeys and you will have them eating out of the palm of your hands. Next, travel to Hot Springs to get a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Mammoth Site. While at this active Paleontological dig site, view fossils from the ice age. Enjoy an interactive learning experience that includes a botany and geological walkway.

From Rapid City: Private Spearfish Canyon Tour

6. From Rapid City: Private Spearfish Canyon Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in the morning and travel to Spearfish Canyon. Journey along the winding road up the canyon and marvel at the beauty of the Black Hills. Arrive at Spearfish Canyon where you will see breathtaking limestone palisades of a creek-carved gorge more ancient than the Grand Canyon. With your guide, choose from different hiking options suited to all levels of ability and experience. Discover incredible waterfalls, scenery, wildlife, and plant life. Enjoy some lunch at a location of your choosing. After your day of exploration, be returned to your accommodation back in Rapid City.

South Dakota: Private Thoen Stone Tour

7. South Dakota: Private Thoen Stone Tour

History and mystery surround this tour as you are personally led by the author of The Kind Whisper, Alan Maas. This tour will leave you wondering did Ezra Kind and his companions really find gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota before California? Maas covers the story and locations where history and legends were made in this Northern Hills tour which includes the actual stone along with Deadwood, The Frawley Ranch, Spearfish, and many extras which will leave you wanting more! This tour includes a copy of the book The Kind Whisper, which you can study before the tour to answer questions and discover surprises. You can also choose to have the book autographed by the author himself!

From Rapid City: Custer State Park Private Safari and Hiking

8. From Rapid City: Custer State Park Private Safari and Hiking

Enjoy a private full-day tour from Rapid City or Hill City to the beautiful Custer State Park. Custer is South Dakota's largest state park, famous for its bison herds, antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goats, coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife. Custer State Park is regularly named as one of the best wildlife destinations in the world. Once at the park, join an open-air jeep safari tour to get up close and personal with roaming buffalo and other wildlife. You will have an opportunity to get out and feed the burros. For the remainder of the afternoon, you will be able to hike some of the most beautiful trails located in the park. Lunch will be enjoyed at the historic Custer State Game Lodge, or another location of your choice.

Rapid City: Mt Rushmore Custer State Park & Crazy Horse

9. Rapid City: Mt Rushmore Custer State Park & Crazy Horse

Take a private tour of South Dakota's Southern Black Hills (Paha Sapa) and its landmarks. Learn the history and biology via an interactive presentation. Understand why they're called the Black Hills. Discover the mountain before it was carved and its carver and workers. Sit in the amphitheater and view the faces while talking about the monument. Hike the Presidential Trail and take photos at the Grand Overlook. We can pause at the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center to view and experience an Interactive exhibit. View a film and explore the edited history of Mt Rushmore and the reason for the carved faces. As you ascend Iron Mountain Road, the stunning view of hills and forests full of animals creates an unforgettable sight. Unforeseen attractions like the Pigtail Bridges are at every turn. Intended to make the ride fun, these bridges decrease our speed and allow you to take in the immense granite spires, Aspens, and Ponderosas. Iron Mountain Road takes you through three tunnels cut into the Black Hills granite. They are narrow enough for us to fit and are designed to frame Mt Rushmore. We'll take pictures, and if it's not crowded, you can go inside to experience being inside a mountain. The tunnels are named after significant contributors to the road and area: Doane Robinson, CC Gideon, and Scoval Johnson. At Norbeck Overlook, you'll see Black Elk Peak, the Six Grandfathers, and the Cathedral Spires! On the ground, you'll notice red rocks thrust up from the earth, which is why they call this place Iron Mountain. It's the abundance of iron-rich schist. This rock is oxidized, has the color of rust, and looks like petrified wood. We now reach Custer State Park. The visitor center is an excellent introduction to Wildlife Loop Road, a well-known spot in SD. On the drive, you may spot various birds, bison, elk, deer, prairie dogs, and pronghorn. Be prepared for bison approaching our vehicle - and stay inside! If the weather is good, we'll picnic, or visit a restaurant, then journey to Sylvan Lake, South Dakota, renowned for its beauty in the Black Hills. We'll ascend the Needles Highway and Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, then explore the lake and a side trail to the store. It's a popular wedding spot, so we'll take all the photos you want before continuing. As we continue on, we approach the Needles Eye. The Cathedral Spires, in the mountains of South Dakota, are a remarkable rock formation. Locals were outraged when they heard about plans to carve the spires. Thankfully, the Spires remain intact, and we can visit them today to take pictures of this extraordinary antiquity. Lastly, we head to Crazy Horse. Carved by Korczak Ziolkowski at Chief Standing Bear's request, it's a fantastic sight. By the time we're finished and have you safely back home, we hope you've had an excellent experience. It's our pleasure to share our knowledge and hopefully make new friends in the process!

Badlands National Park

10. Badlands National Park

Enjoy a Private tour of the beautiful Badlands National Park. You will learn the history of the area, about the Lakota Sioux, the homesteaders and cattle ranchers who all claimed this land at one time. And you will be informed how this natural wonder was formed from the Great Inland Sea. We picked you up at your hotel, and take a short drive to the legendary Wall Drug Store, an internationally well known 'tourist trap' that is well worth the stop. Next, we enter the Badlands at the Pinnacles Overlook, and admire incredible unique geological formations. Here with luck, we will see the amazing bighorn sheep, antelope, bison and the ubiquitous prairie dogs. We will continue along the 'Loop' road stopping a many overlooks and enjoy a short boardwalk hike at Fossil Exhibit Trail. The Park Ranger explains the various fossil exhibits on display. Midway we will tour the Ben Riefel Center (museum and gift shop). And then a picnic lunch (sub sandwich, veggies, fruit, chips and picnic salad) at one of the rest areas. Then onto a short hike at the Door Trail . . . it leads to fantastic views of the Badlands ravines and deep gullies. Leaving the Park we stop at special location to feed the hard to find white prairie dogs. Next we stop at the recently opened Minuteman Missile Exhibit Center. Here you find exhibits, films, and historians that share the story of the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile System. Baby Boomers will remember this as the "Duck and Cover" days . . . hiding under our school desks to avoid the A Bombs. Final stops is at the only existing Delta Missile Silo for a short presentation from a Park Ranger about the history of the Cold War. And then . . . we return you and your souvenirs to your hotels.

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What people are saying about Rapid City

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 80 reviews

We had a delightful day with Christine, our private driver, photographer and guide. She had all the insight required to educate us on all aspects of the Badlands in SD. We found prairie dogs, Buffalo, Little Bighorn sheep and antelope. We stopped for many breathtaking views of Badlands. We visited famous Wall drug store. The van was super comfortable and clean with plenty of water and snacks. We had lunch at Red Rock restaurant (included). Christine customized our experience based on our level of fitness and our interest. She allowed us to skip a view of the military missile silos in order to see Sturgis. Pick up and drop off from your Hotel. Highly recommended tour with Christine!!

Our guide was Rise and she was so friendly, very knowledgeable about South Dakota, alms history if everything we saw! We felt like she was part of our family when our tour was done! My husband was a little skeptical about the cost of the tour but in the end he felt it was worth every Penny and more! She knew so many places to see, get the best pictures and interesting things we would not have known on our own, plus he was able to see everything and enjoy the drive with Rose taking care of the driving and hair pin curves!! Really recommend the Blackhills Tour and ask for Rose !!

this excursion is something special, well worth seeing with a very good tourist guide who also translates everything into German on the cell phone, everything is perfectly clear here you can see the most beautiful nature in the national park and the many bison.

Excellent experience! Christine was a great guide and was very informative!

Our guide Kevin was knowledgeable, friendly & accomadating.