Welcome to South Dakota
Gently rolling prairies through shallow fertile valleys mark much of this endlessly attractive state. But head southwest and all hell breaks loose – in the best possible way. The Badlands National Park is the geologic equivalent of fireworks. The Black Hills are like opera: majestic, challenging, intriguing and even frustrating. Mt Rushmore matches the Statue of Liberty for five-star icon status
Top experiences in South Dakota
South Dakota activities
Mount Rushmore Experience
This tour of Mt. Rushmore is a 6.5-hour (not including pickup), all inclusive tour of the Black Hills of South Dakota. On this tour, you will make your way from your northern-most area, Rapid City, and travel all the way to the southern-most point, Custer State Park, while viewing and exploring the top attractions along the way. As you make your way through the Black Hills, your driver/guide will provide interesting narration, answer questions, and provide you with information of what to do and see at your attraction stops. The Mt. Rushmore tour is exactly that – a full experience of the Black Hills, including a lunch at the Carver’s Café located at Mt. Rushmore. You will discover Crazy Horse Memorial, take in the scenery of Custer State Park with Iron Mountain Road and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Custer State Park provides visitors with wildlife, pigtail bridges, magnificent Black Hills scenery and tunnels that frame Mt. Rushmore in the distance.
Black Hills Monument Tour
This tour gives you the option to be picked up at your home, campground or hotel within the city limits of Rapid City, and departs at 9am. While in transit, you will have the option to watch an informative video about the Black Hills and all the great sites you don't want to miss. These luxury limousines are always stocked with complimentary drinks and snacks.You will arrive in Keystone at approximately 9:45am for a brief stop to enjoy a little shopping.Next, the tour will depart for the Black Hills which is home to the world famous Mt. Rushmore, our nation's "Shrine of Democracy". Your guide will give you a brief history of the mountain carving, and set you on your way to explore the monument's museum, gift shop and sweets parlor, where you can taste the first ever recipe for ice cream, created by our nation's second president, Thomas Jefferson!The tour will depart Mt. Rushmore at 11:30am for a scenic 30 minute drive to the world's largest mountain carving in progress, Crazy Horse Memorial. This towering sculpture honors our Native American ancestors and offers a museum, expansive viewing decks, a short film highlighting the timeline of this amazing work of art, and the Crazy Horse gift shop.Upon departing the Crazy Horse Memorial, we'll journey to the "Heart of the Hills", Hill City. This sleepy center of the Black Hills has transformed into a top destination, offering many unique art galleries, t-shirt shops, and an official Harley Davidson memorabilia store.Hill City is renowned for it's friendly local business owners, many who have been there for generations.A 30 minute return to Rapid City will have you arriving at approximately 4pm. Avoid the crowded buses and vans and experience these top Black Hills destinations in the luxury and comfort of a stretch limousine!
Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Ride
A hot air balloon ride is a one-of-a-kind adventure for South Dakota locals and visitors. With over thirty years flying experience, your guide will take you on the only hot air balloon ride adventure offered in the Black Hills.Flying in the beautiful Black Hills is a unique experience. While balloon flights are generally focused over vineyards and farmland, you will fly over some spectacular, rugged terrain on this route, typically in the southern hills. From up high you'll see the Custer Valley and the world-renowned Custer State Park. On certain days if the winds are favorable, you'll be able to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial. There are mountains, valleys, lakes and prairies to view as you drift along on the morning breeze, and travelers quite often see some unique wildlife that you really don't see in many other places from a balloon! The Black Hills are home to elk, antelope, buffalo and mule deer. If you're really lucky you might even see a mountain lion from the secure gondola! There’s nowhere else in the world where you can witness the same views from a hot air balloon and fly over such a historic and beautiful landscape.
Safari #1 and Deadwood/Northern Hills Tour Package
Combine our Safari #1 Tour with Deadwood/Northern Hills Tour and receive a 10% discount on both tours.Safari #1 Tour uses comfortable and unique convertible-top tour vehicles and offers unparalleled picturesque wildlife viewing. On this tour, you'll learn about the history of the region from experienced guides. These convertible-top vehicles open and close to adjust to the ever changing weather of the mountains. The tour is never rushed and makes frequent stops for photo ops and breaks. The vehicles do not overcrowd. Eight guests are allowed per tour. The vehicles provide excellent viewing with window seats for everyone. This tour offers the most you can see in one day of the southern hills and is inclusive of fees, bottled water, snacks, and a lakeside picnic lunchDeadwood and Northern Hills Tour includes the infamous Deadwood, South Dakota, with its rich history of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. It is the only town in South Dakota with full service gambling, just like it was in 1876. Here we visit the Mt. Moriah Cemetery, the Adams Museum, No.10 Saloon, Kevin Costner's Midnight Star and Seth Bullock's Hotel. We also visit the Lead Visitor Center and Spearfish Canyon, where four ecosystems meet: trees and plants from Rocky Mountains, Eastern Woodlands, Northern Forests and the Great Plains areas can be found here. This canyon provides breathtaking beauty, with thousand-foot-high limestone/sandstone palisades in shades of brown, pink and gray, and three amazing waterfalls. Tour includes: fees, bottled water, snacks and a picnic lunch beside the beautiful Roughlock Falls.
Badlands Standard or Premium Tour
The Badlands tour begins in the morning with pickup at your Rapid City hotel. If you selected a standard, small-group tour of the North Unit Scenic Byway, you'll travel with a maximum of eight participants in a 14-passenger van. During the 1-hour drive to Badlands National Park, listen as your guide discusses the history of the Badlands and answers any questions you have.At the entrance to the park, you'll stop for photos and views at the majestic Pinnacles Overlook. Then your guide drives the Loop, stopping at several more overlooks on your way to the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Here, you'll stop for a picnic lunch and have a chance to visit the museum before continuing on the Loop to Cedar Pass. At Cedar Pass, you will have the option to walk the short Window and Door trails.Exiting the park, you'll continue for a few miles to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and Information Center. Be prepared to revisit 1962 and the Cold War, including routine 'duck and cover' drills. The final stop will be at the Wall Drug Store, a unique tourist attraction that offers shopping for anything you may think of, including 5-cent coffee and excellent doughnuts. You will be returned to your hotel in the afternoon.
Discover Rock Climbing Adventure
Meet us at 8am sharp ready to go in front of the General Store at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. This is our group course so please don't be the late person who holds up the fun. Arrive a little early if you think you will need to deal with gathering your things and bathroom breaks etc. Please wear pants to protect your legs from scuffs and close toed shoes for the approach hike. (NO sandals or flip flops) Bring water, snacks, sunscreen, camera, extra clothing etc. so that you are ready to be outside for the day. Sylvan lake is over 6000 feet in elevation and may be cooler then surrounding area forecast, especially first thing in the morning. Meet your guides. Fill out liability waivers. Parents must be present to sign for minors (grandparents, aunts, uncles, scout leaders cannot sign for parents unless they are legal guardians, but by contacting us ahead of time, waivers can be printed and brought from home). For children under 17, a parent or adult must PARTICIPATE in the course with them (yes that means you get to climb too). Seventeen year olds must have a parent or adult observing for the duration of the course. Health considerations should be discussed with your medical professional prior to arrival. Get fitted in climbing shoes, harness, helmets etc. We have tiny kids harnesses and shoes up to size 15 shoes for adult. Drop your personal items into your backpack. (We will lend you one for the day if needed.) Hike about 10 minutes to the climbing site. Once arrived, settle in, change into your climbing shoes. Sylvan Rocks Guides will hang climbing ropes and instruct you on the basics needed to climb. We will talk about foot holds, hand holds, tying in, and getting lowered back to the ground. This is a group participation course, and as the day goes on you will learn to belay each other such that you can become a little more independent and get the maximum amount of climbing time in. If you are looking to rappel and learn more about rock climbing, our private 6 or 8 hour days might be better for you. Open climbing will continue on the routes we have set up. Depending on the group size, we will be back in the parking lot by 11 or 12 o'clock. Return your climbing gear and you are free to return to your regular vacation. Most people head out for a well earned lunch they brought or enjoy eating at the Lodge, in Custer, or Hill City.