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Black Hills Five-Day Tour
Tour Rapid City with stops at Stavkirke, a replica of an 850-year-old church in Norway; The Journey Museum, with exhibits on traditional and contemporary Native American culture; the Museum of Geology, with skeletons of giant prehistoric marine reptiles; the Dahl Arts Center; a Black Hills Gold jewelry factory tour; a vibrant downtown area; and Dinosaur Park and Storybook Island for kids of all ages. Overnight in Rapid City.
Depart Rapid City via Highway 44 to Badlands National Park, 244,000 acres (97,600 ha) of eerie, haunting topography. After touring the Badlands, a popular stop is a world-famous drug store in Wall. This tiny store, built in 1931, has boomed to become block-sized and internationally known. Drive via Interstate 90 to Sturgis and the Fort Meade Museum and on to Spearfish, home of the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery. Overnight in Spearfish.
Start the day with a drive through Spearfish Canyon, a National Forest Scenic Byway. Stop in the Lead/Deadwood area to visit the Black Hills Mining Museum in Lead or Deadwood’s Mount Moriah Cemetery, where the likes of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried. More than 80 gaming casinos beckon with slots, Blackjack and poker.
Leave Deadwood behind and travel south on Highway 385 to Hill City for a ride on a historic 1880 train and see works by local artists in main street shops.
Move on to Crazy Horse Memorial, a gigantic carving of Lakota leader Crazy Horse being blasted from a mountain in the Black Hills. The Crazy Horse complex also contains the beautiful Indian Museum of North America.
Continue on to 71,000-acre (28,400 ha) Custer State Park for an overnight stay in one of four enchanting lodges. Evening entertainment can include a hayride/supper or a visit to the Black Hills Playhouse. Overnight in Custer State Park or Custer.
Enjoy trail rides through the mountains or Jeep rides on the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park to see the buffalo herds. Wind Cave National Park is south of Custer State Park on Highway 87. Cave tour options range from simple walking tours to lantern tours. Farther south on Highway 87 is the city of Hot Springs, home of The Mammoth Site, a wild horse sanctuary and the world’s largest natural, indoor warm-springs swimming pool. Overnight in Hot Springs.
Today’s route covers the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation with stops at the Red Cloud Indian Art Show, Pine Ridge Visitor Center, the Wounded Knee Massacre Site, and the Oglala Lakota College. After visiting the reservation, the tour concludes with the highlight of any South Dakota visit, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Overnight in Rapid City.