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    Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    I am going to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and to Crazy Horse this weekend. We are planning to leave on Thursday and get out there that night, so we will have two full days out there....I posted this thread in hopes that I could get some feedback from people that have been out there to see what else my mom and I should take in...any advice is welcomed. It looks like there's plenty of stuff to do we just don't know what.

    We are also not sure where we will be going in Badlands National Park, Maybe a place called pinnacle point, but any advice would be great.

    Thank You


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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    The size of Mt Rushmore was a disappointment.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Mount Rushmore is very cool to see --- for about 10 minutes. But the presidents' faces don't move or talk or wink or do anything. They just kind of stare out over the scrub brush, which is pretty much the state tree of South Dakota. So if you stand there for 10 minutes or 10 years, it's the same.

    Crazy Horse is just a looney's folly. Will never be finished.

    That whole area is grossly overrated. Have a good time, though!



    Quote Originally Posted by drose1 View Post
    I am going to the Badlands, Mount Rushmore and to Crazy Horse this weekend. We are planning to leave on Thursday and get out there that night, so we will have two full days out there....I posted this thread in hopes that I could get some feedback from people that have been out there to see what else my mom and I should take in...any advice is welcomed. It looks like there's plenty of stuff to do we just don't know what.

    We are also not sure where we will be going in Badlands National Park, Maybe a place called pinnacle point, but any advice would be great.

    Thank You



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    One thing that is a MUST, and timing is everything here, is to drive just before dusk out through Custer National Park. Around dusk is when the Elk, Buffalo, Wild Burros, Longhorn Sheep, etc all come out grazing. It's an amazing sight. We make the trip from time to time just for these drives at dusk.


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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Quote Originally Posted by TXCyclones View Post
    One thing that is a MUST, and timing is everything here, is to drive just before dusk out through Custer National Park. Around dusk is when the Elk, Buffalo, Wild Burros, Longhorn Sheep, etc all come out grazing. It's an amazing sight. We make the trip from time to time just for these drives at dusk.
    I would also recommend Custer National Park as a place to go.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Badlands: spend some time hiking / walking down the trails. Depending on the weather and your (and your mom's) endurance, there are several short trails.

    I suggest you also go to Mt. Rushmore in the early evening and see the lighting ceremony starting @ 8 PM. It's a nice show - we were there back in July and the ranger gave a great speech, basically encouraging everyone, regardless of their beliefs, political affiliations, etc to talk to each other and learn from the Presidents and foster a dialogue instead of refusing to listen to each other (IIRC he mentioned that GW and Jefferson didn't really like each other personally but were able to put their differences aside).

    Custer State Park is a nice place and it's a fun place to drive. Go to the Iron Mountain Road / Pete Norbeck Scenic Byway. Basically enjoy the outdoor and scenery.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    The Rapids City area was the site of one of my favorite family vacations! 8 summers ago...enjoyed it very much! Certainly it isn't Disneyland or the Bahamas...but it is a great place to spend time with people you enjoy being with. I agree about the drive through Custer...we had buffalo within a foot of our vehicle. I wish I could be more specific but Rushmore at the time of its lighting was cool but not sure if they do that every night? Deadwood was fun too.

    Hope you have a wonderful experience!



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Drive through Custer State Park and find the bison herd and other wild life. Go to Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. We also did Bear Country USA & Circle B Ranch chuckwagon dinner.


    Skip Crazy Horse, major disappointment since they are no way near complete.


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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    All those places are really cool to see. I agree with TXCyclones, go to Custer State Park. Lots of wild animals and nice scenery. Also, if you are up for hiking, there is Bear Butte. You can park at the base and take a 20-30 min hike to the top. If you have the time, Devil's Tower over in Wyoming is worth seeing. It's about 2 hours from the Black Hills



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Quote Originally Posted by psycln11 View Post
    Drive through Custer State Park and find the bison herd and other wild life. Go to Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs. We also did Bear Country USA & Circle B Ranch chuckwagon dinner.


    Skip Crazy Horse, major disappointment since they are no way near complete.
    Crazy Horse: 10 bucks / person (kids U-6: free) or $ 27/ car
    Mt. Rushmore: $11 / car

    And you can still drive and see Crazy Horse from the road. We drove from Wind Cave to Custer and could see Crazy Horse clearly.

    Wind Cave is OK - there are not stalactites and stalacmites in the cave but they have "popcorns" in the cave. So, it's kind of different.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    I also would recommend going to the Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony. We enjoyed walking the trail there and getting a little closer with different perspectives on each face.

    I kind of have mixed feelings on Crazy Horse. It's kind of cool to see but you can get close enough for that without really paying. The video about the guy and his family is pretty good too. It's a little pricey for what you get since for some bizarre reason, they turned down $20 million from the feds at some point and are using the place to fund the project. And then they have this massive native museum that looks like they'll take and exhibit just about anything someone donates to them.

    I went to Bear Country on a school trip as a kid and enjoyed it then but its been a long time. On our recent visit, my husband insisted on stopping at Wall Drug, even though I had been there before and had no desire to go back, but he kept saying he'd seen those stupid signs all his life, he had to go.

    Highlight of the whole thing for me though was Mt. Rushmore, both times I've been to the area. Watch "North by Northwest" again before you go.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Quote Originally Posted by notengonacho1 View Post
    All those places are really cool to see. I agree with TXCyclones, go to Custer State Park. Lots of wild animals and nice scenery. Also, if you are up for hiking, there is Bear Butte. You can park at the base and take a 20-30 min hike to the top. If you have the time, Devil's Tower over in Wyoming is worth seeing. It's about 2 hours from the Black Hills
    Devil's Tower it's cool to see, but other than that, there's nothing else you can see. We stopped by on the way to Yellowstone from Rapid City, so it was worth it. If you have time and have never been to Wyoming, it'll be nice to go as long as you have time.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    As others have said, Custer State Park is impressive.

    If you're not all that into geology and just want to see some cool stuff, I suggest Jewel Cave over Wind Cave. Jewel is the second longest cave in the world. I also recommend doing the historical tour in addition to the scenic tour. Also, do not waste your time with any cave that is not operated by the National Park Service.

    I think Bear Country is lame, but that's probably because I've saw a lot of bears up close in the wild while living in Wyoming. But if you have kids they might enjoy it.

    Spearfish Canyon is pretty cool to drive through. Parts of Dances With Wolves were filmed in the area. There's also an old trout hatchery in Spearfish that is kind of interesting if you are into fishing.

    Deadwood is a nice historical town to visit if you can catch it at a time when there aren't a billion tourists in the casinos.


    Last edited by Agkistrodon; 09-18-2012 at 10:33 AM.

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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    You should visit The Corn Palace and Wall Drug, 2 odd road side attractions.



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    Re: Badlands/Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial

    Don't miss the "6 ton prairie dog" at Wall Drug, if its still there.


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