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    South Dakota trip

    I'm planning a trip to South Dakota in July. Probably the Rapid City area. Any suggestions on where to stay, and what to see? I'd appreciate any thoughts!



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    If you like hiking, you could make a day trip from Rapid to tackle Harney Peak. http://www.trails.com/tcatalog_trail...lid=HGU060-041

    Beautiful trail, deer, mountain goats along the way. It's pretty near Custer. To the peak and back to the trailhead is about 3-4 hours.

    There's a beautiful lodge and lake with little beach at the trailhead too. Probably too late to book a room at the lodge.

    From Rapid to Harney hike area by car is probably a couple hours, with stunning scenery.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    If you go to Deadwood, you should go to the Midnight Star. Kevin Costner owns it (Named it after the bar in the movie Silverado). The casino is on the first two floors. A really neat sportsbar is on the third floor, and a very nice restaurant is on the forth floor. I would highly recommend making it a stop on your trip.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    My wife and I spent one night in Deadwood a few years back when we were out there, and that was a lot of fun. If you have a family, spend a day/night in Hot Springs.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    Custer State Park is beautiful....wildlife, scenic drives. Sylvan Lake is a favorite with excellent hiking trail nearby.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    Thanks for the help everyone. Another question- is it better to take a bus tour, or wander the countryside on your own?



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    That's kind of up to you, Cyclonepride. Are you comfortable driving through some mountainous terrain if you decide to go to Custer State Park? Do you want to stop your car and get out and shoot some pics of a buffalo herd when you feel like it, not when the bus tour tells you its time?



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclonepride View Post
    Thanks for the help everyone. Another question- is it better to take a bus tour, or wander the countryside on your own?
    Wander the countryside on your own. Do you have kids???

    I have several other ideas from when I was little that my parents took me to. Email me if you wish.

    Try a chuckwagon dinner at the Circle B Ranch. Welcome to the Circle-B Ranch Chuckwagon - Chuckwagon Suppers & Western Music Show

    Go to Bear Country USA near Rapid City. Bear Country USA

    Go to Wind Cave National Park. Wind Cave National Park - Wind Cave National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    Take a drive through the Badlands.

    Avoid Crazy Horse...it's a waste of money and you can see just as much from the road.


    Some people wear Superman pajamas. Superman wears Chuck Norris pajamas.

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    Re: South Dakota trip

    In July, I would try to stay in the mountains like Custer. Obviously see Rushmore, but if you can, see it at dusk as well. They have a great program at dusk that will really restore some American pride. Custer State Park is cool, Mammoth dig site is neat, and the Needles Highway (very curvy) will give some unique views of Rushmore. Devil's Tower in Wyoming is pretty cool also and not too far away. It's well worth the trip.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    I'll be in Brookings as of June 1, so if you ever find yourself there, have no worries, because there IS another Cyclone in the area!



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    I took the family last year. We stayed near Hill City and took day trips from there. I'd recommend Deadwood (cool museums), Hot Springs ( mommoth display is incredible) and Custer State Park. Hill city has a fantastic (and free) fossil display. It is th esame guy that found Sue (huge T-rex). The only thing that we felt was a rip off was the "Cosmos". I'd also recommend a drive through or overnight at the Badlands. You can rent cabins right in the park.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    In July, do anything that takes you up higher where it will be cooler. The badlands sucked being 114 degrees outside. I had a newer van that was still overheating in those temps when you turned the air on. And with a wife and kids irritated, it makes you a little more irritated. There was an AWESOME dive BBQ place though I think was in Rapid City that I would stop in for sure. I wish I could remember what it is called. It was in a little place that looked like an ice cream shop.


    ďAlso, I met a lot of Iowa State fans and I donít want to leave any of that behind.Ē - DARIUS DARKS on Staying a CLONE!!!


    Matt (00 Alumn)
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    Re: South Dakota trip

    I'd second the Badlands. I volunteered there after graduating and it's an amazing place. I'd recommend an overnight stay if possible. It's an extremely colorful, rugged, but peaceful place. The best times to be there are the few hours before sunset and after sunrise. If you're into hiking, there are maintained trails and then you can pretty much hike anywhere you'd like in the park. It probably will be hot up there in July though so bring lots of water. Let me know if you'd like more details.

    As for the Black Hills, Sylvan Lake and the needles highway are really cool. And the hike to Harney Peak starts at Sylvan Lake. I'd second Custer state park and if you're into caves: Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are really nice. I personally like Jewel Cave a little bit more but it is more out of the beaten path.

    Another really cool place is Devil's Tower National Monument which is across the border into Wyoming. It was the first designated national monument in the US. It's basically a 1200 feet mesa that come out of nowhere. It looks as if a bear has tried to climb it and broken off columbs of rock on the sides. You can walk around it and get some good views of climbers making their way to the top.
    Oh, and if you go through Hill City, be sure to get a meal at the Alpine Inn. It's a nice little steakhouse with some American food too.

    Have a great trip and enjoy your time up there.



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    Re: South Dakota trip

    Quote Originally Posted by psycln11 View Post
    Wander the countryside on your own. Do you have kids???

    I have several other ideas from when I was little that my parents took me to. Email me if you wish.

    Try a chuckwagon dinner at the Circle B Ranch. Welcome to the Circle-B Ranch Chuckwagon - Chuckwagon Suppers & Western Music Show

    Go to Bear Country USA near Rapid City. Bear Country USA

    Go to Wind Cave National Park. Wind Cave National Park - Wind Cave National Park (U.S. National Park Service)

    Take a drive through the Badlands.

    Avoid Crazy Horse...it's a waste of money and you can see just as much from the road.
    I agree with a lot of this. Drive through the Badlands on the way out. Drive through Custer State Park. Definitely do a Chuckwagon Supper at Custer State Park.

    Wind Cave is great. As is a trip to Wyoming to see Devil's Tower.

    We stayed at a place called the Presidents Inn (if I recall correctly). Not that great but we could see Mt. Rushmore out of our window. We will stay on the grounds of Custer State Park next time...they have cabins you can rent but they are probably already booked.

    Deadwood is fine. I think the food at Costner's place is average at best.

    Reptile Gardens is OK...one of those roadside attractions that you can say..."been there done that".

    I concur that Crazy Horse is not worth entering the property...it's like paying for entry into a big flea market. You see as much as you can see of the actual sculpture from the road.



    I cheer for two teams, Iowa State and whoever is playing the hawkeyes.

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    Re: South Dakota trip

    Man just reading this post makes me want to visit SD again. I haven't been there since I was a little kid, and they were just sculpting Crazy Horse.



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