South Dakota Outdoor sports

Our most recommended South Dakota Outdoor sports

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. 

Custer: Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

2. Custer: Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Go on a hot air balloon tour of the Black Hills and treat yourself to an experience of a lifetime. Admire the beautiful Black Hills and witness historic, wild landscapes and abundant wildlife from a hot air balloon. Soar above the southern Black Hills, and world-renowned Custer State Park with extraordinary 360-degree views of mountains, rock formations, valleys, lakes, and prairies.  Look out for wildlife such as elk, antelope, whitetail deer, buffalo, mule deer, or even a mountain lion. Fly just miles away from Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind Cave National Park, and the South Dakota Badlands. Certified pilots will navigate the flight with your safety and enjoyment in mind. During your 1-hour ride, your pilot will answer any questions that you might have and identify local points of interest.  Upon landing, enjoy a celebratory champagne toast, light snacks, and a story about the origin of hot air ballooning.

Badlands National Park Private Tour

3. 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.

From Rapid City: Private Devils Tower Tour and Hike

4. 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.

From Rapid City: Custer State Park Private Safari and Hiking

5. 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.

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.

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

7. 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.

Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience

8. Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience

Start your day with a convenient pickup from your hotel and enjoy a short ride to Pactola Lake, the largest reservoir in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Be amazed by the stunning views. Choose whether to try a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak and enjoy your private guided adventure on the lake. Learn about the fascinating history of how the lake came to exist in western South Dakota. Spend the day taking in exquisite views of the best flora and fauna South Dakota has to offer. All five of your senses will be invigorated while on the lake. Enjoy lunch at a location of your choice. There are many locations to choose from and suggestions are available upon request.

Frequently asked questions about South Dakota

What top attractions are a must-see in South Dakota?

The must-see attractions in South Dakota are:

Other Sightseeing Options in South Dakota

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What people are saying about South Dakota

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!!

We booked a private day tour through Carrie for our first day in Black Hills. We had booked another private tour for the following day with another tour service. Four days before the tour scheduled for the 2nd day, the tour guide cancelled without any options or explanation. When Carrie found out about this, she worked to provide us a tour for us on the 2nd day on short notice. Both days we had Mickey as our guide. She did an excellent job. It was very informative and packed with a lot of fun and interesting things to experience and see. I can't begin to thank Carrie and Mickey enough for their excellent service. I highly recommend Black Hills Private Tours to everyone.

Excellent! Collected from accommodation and had private all day tour. Guide was wonderful (Karen), informative and fun to be with. Not knowing the area meant we would not have felt comfortable taking a hike alone so this made it a great option to see beyond the normal tourist route. Would highly recommend.

Our guide Kevin was knowledgeable, friendly & accomadating.