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South Dakota Landmarks & monuments

Our most recommended South Dakota Landmarks & monuments

Rapid City: Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour

1. Rapid City: Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour

Head out on an 8-hour, all-inclusive tour of the Black Hills of South Dakota. On this tour, you will depart from Rapid City and travel to Custer State Park, while exploring the top attractions along the way. As you make your way through the Black Hills, your driver/guide will provide interesting commentary, answer questions and provide you with information of what to do and see at your attraction stops. Your first destination will be Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Explore the world-famous memorial depicting four of the most prominent presidents of the first 150 years of the United States – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. Next, you will discover the 8th wonder of the world at Crazy Horse Memorial. It is the world’s largest mountain carving and is a memorial to all Native American tribes.  Lastly, travel into Custer State Park. It is known for its bison herds and other wildlife. Take in the scenery and marvel at the beauty of the Iron Mountain Road, which climbs 17 miles to the entrance of Mount Rushmore. You will wind over unique wooden bridges known as the pigtails. 

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.

Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

3. 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.

Badlands National Park: Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour

4. Badlands National Park: Self-Guided Driving Audio Tour

Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app, which will function as your personal tour guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Once downloaded, your tour of Badlands National Park begins either in the town of Wall. (If it’s more convenient, you can also begin the tour from the town of Philip.) From there, you’ll head south into the park itself. Once you enter the park, you’ll have the option to take a quick detour to see a prairie dog colony at Roberts Prairie Dog Town. It’s a pretty uncommon sight, and I’d highly recommend it for any animal lovers! After that, you’ll reach Pinnacles Overlook, a fantastic place to spot bison or bighorn sheep. Don’t forget to bring binoculars just in case! Then there’s Ancient Hunters Overlook, where the ancestors of the Lakota once butchered bison they had killed in their hunts. As you drive, you’ll hear lots more about these hunters and their prey. Then you’ll arrive at Yellow Mounds Overlook, which really outdoes its unappealing name by revealing millions of years of geologic history! Homestead Overlook is up next. Here, you’ll learn all about how the Homestead Acts transformed the Badlands, and what they meant for the Lakota who were already living in the region. At Burns Basin, up next, you’ll get a chance to see the site of one of those 20th century homesteads once occupied by a sheep rancher. You’ll find something different at Prairie Winds Overlook, offering views not of rocky crags but instead of lush, flowing prairie. Believe it or not, these prairies are in danger of disappearing in the near future, making this spot even more special. Then there’s Panorama Point. The name of this one is pretty self-explanatory, so make sure to set your phone’s camera to Panorama Mode! At Bigfoot Pass, next, you’ll hear the tragic tale of the Wounded Knee Massacre, which took place not far from the Badlands. Then you’ll learn how to spot a golden eagle, one of the Badlands’ most majestic residents. The Fossil Exhibit Trail is up next, and it’s a must-see for anyone traveling with younger explorers. Here, you’ll uncover the history behind the many, many fossils and prehistoric creatures of the Badlands with an easy walk full of informational signs. After that, you’ll come across Saddle Pass Trail, a short hike that’s great for birdwatchers. If you need a break, the Ben Reifel Visitor Center is just beyond that trail. It even features a fossil lab for amateur paleontologists hungry for more knowledge! You’ll come to the Cliff Shelf Trail next. This unique trail takes hikers through a lush juniper forest to break up the harsh, rocky landscape. Then there are the trio of trails known as The Notch, The Castle, and The Door. Offering a variety of different lengths and difficulties, there’s something for everyone here! Finally, you’ll arrive at Big Badlands Overlook. This one really earns its name, and offers one of the best views in the entire park. Your tour concludes here.

Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike

5. Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike

Go on this full-day private tour and explore two famous landmarks of the Black Hills. Enjoy a convenient pick-up from Rapid City, Custer or Hill City and spend your morning learning in-depth details of Mount Rushmore, the Shrine of Democracy, and how the Monument came to fruition. Take great pictures and admire the panoramic views.  Savor a delicious lunch at a location of your choice and spend the rest of the day hiking the Flume Trail which runs downhill from Sheridan Lake Dam to the old gold-mining town of Rockerville.  Hike 3-miles while enjoying the local flora and wildlife. The Flume Trail follows the historic Rockerville Flume, an 1880's gold-rush era water channel used to transport gold.  Listen to the stories your knowledgeable guide can share and learn about the rare history of the Black Hills, the Flume Trail, and the mining boom of the 1880s.  See historic remnants along the way and learn what makes this trail so important to the Black Hills.

From Rapid City: Badlands National Park Trip with Wall Drug

6. From Rapid City: Badlands National Park Trip with Wall Drug

Head to the Badlands National Park for a day of unforgettable nature and dramatic sights. Enjoy a guided tour with snacks, drinks, and a picnic lunch, and visit the famous Wall Drug roadside attraction. Start with pickup from your hotel, hop in the vehicle, and head for the dramatic Badlands National Park. Sit back and relax as you travel through an ever-changing landscape. Keep a look out for wild animals like the American Bison, prairie dogs, coyotes, Bighorn Sheep, antelope, and more. Be struck by the sheer scale of everything as you drive through it. Admire a wild yet eerily calm that appears almost like a painting. Witness pinnacles and spires rising from the flat grassland in every direction, and great cliffs jutting into the sky behind them. Enjoy stops at a safe distance to watch animals grazing together peacefully. See tiny prairie dogs and pronghorn trotting by as you admire the natural landscape and the creatures that inhabit it. Drive down Sage Creek Rim Road and the Peter Norbeck-designed Badlands Loop Road with plenty of time to take some dramatic pictures. Be struck by the subtle changes in the landscape during the drive. See the brown and pink of the sandy soil gradually give way to more muted shades of yellow and purple. Complete your experience with a stop at the cowboy-themed Wall Drug roadside attraction. Browse the stores and sights as you delve into the authentic atmosphere of Americana.

Mickelson Trail: 20-Mile Private Bicycle Tour

7. Mickelson Trail: 20-Mile Private Bicycle Tour

Witness sights in the Black Hills few people have the opportunity to see on a private bicycle tour. The Mickelson Trail extends from Edgemont, South Dakota to Deadwood, South Dakota consisting of 109 miles (175 km) with 15 trailheads.  Have the flexibility to choose where to start on the trail. Cruise through the moderate 20-mile (32 km) portion as you travel through two tunnels and over a historic railroad bridge.  Bike through the breathtaking Black Hills on your choice of a mountain bike or comfort bike. Whether you are a bike enthusiast or the average traveler, the trail is easily manageable for the entire family.

Frequently asked questions about South Dakota

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What people are saying about South Dakota

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 !!

We thoroughly enjoyed our tour. Bruce, our bus driver, was very knowledgeable, and an extremely careful driver! We could relax, listen to the information, and enjoy the scenery!!

Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse were the highlights...driver was great...enough time at each stop...well worth the price!!!

Bruce our driver was very friendly and provided a lot of information in which made the trip more enjoyable.

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