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Rushmore Custer Devils Tower Crazy Horse
Old 05-17-2018, 01:51 PM   #1
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Rushmore Custer Devils Tower Crazy Horse

Planning trip to Rapid City in September. Attached is a list of tours offered by Affordable Adventures. They are small (2-10 people or private). We'll probably pick 4 guided tours and rent a car for other locations.

Any tips or advice about the destinations or are there other things to do and see that our party of 4 adults might enjoy?

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-17-2018, 02:24 PM   #2
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Missing is the Minuteman Missile site tours. There is a short one (you look from the top) and a long one (go in). The long one has limited availability.
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:10 PM   #3
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We did a late September trip to the Black Hills last year and had a wonderful time. As Joe says above, the Minuteman missile site is a great tour. You can tour the above ground areas as a walk-in, but make a reservation at least 1-2 weeks ahead to be able to go underground and see the launch controls.
https://www.nps.gov/mimi/index.htm

On September 30 at the Crazy Horse memorial they have the "Volksmarch". No regular admission fee with a food donation & $3.00 registration, and you can walk (not climb!) up the back side and even out to the tip of the outstretched arm. Definitely worth the time, not too strenuous, and the museum is excellent.
https://crazyhorsememorial.org/crazy...olksmarch.html

On October 6 in Rapid City is the Black Hills PowWow. It's a national gathering of native tribes that goes on the whole weekend. For a casual visitor just the final evening ceremony would be sufficient. The costumes and dancing are incredible.
https://www.visitrapidcity.com/event...k-hills-powwow

We thought the Buffalo Roundup in Custer Park (September 28) was over-rated. You need to arrive by 8:00 a.m. or so, then it's mostly a waiting game until the buffalo arrive. You can't get closer than about 100 yards away from the cowboys and buffalo so do bring binoculars if you go. There is an arts & crafts festival near the Custer Park Game Lodge that same weekend. Nice products, mostly by Native American artists and prices were reasonable.
https://custerresorts.com/activities/buffalo-roundup/

Have a great trip!
Brian
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Old 05-17-2018, 03:21 PM   #4
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While you're in the area make sure to check out Badlands National Park. DW and I loved the colorful rock formations.
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Old 05-17-2018, 04:03 PM   #5
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Wow, that looks to be a great trip and interesting itinerary!

A former colleague and good friend of mine has done a great deal of research on George Custer over the course of several decades. Part of that research included applying for and receiving special permission to tent camp for several nights at the site of the battle of Little Big Horn.

It appears that some of your travels will include areas that were part of Lewis and Clark's Voyage of Discovery. IMHO, perhaps the most incredible true-life adventure to have taken place on this continent.

Will you be chronicling your experiences at all?
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:59 AM   #6
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September? Don't miss the drive through Spearfish Canyon. Breathtaking!
You could also check the dates on the Deadwood Jam if you're in to music.
And just navigating through the hills is a joy in itself. BTW you don't need to plan your rooms too far ahead. Its slow after the rally. Spearfish Canyon Lodge is a good home base for a few days. Enjoy!

P.S many Sept. anniversaries in the hills
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:09 AM   #7
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Love the Devil's Tower/Deadwood area of WY/ND. You will have a blast. Just take your time and wander...
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:22 AM   #8
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Love the Devil's Tower/Deadwood area of WY/ND. You will have a blast. Just take your time and wander...
Neither one that close to ND.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:23 AM   #9
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Was last century, but really enjoyed CSP jeep rides thru buffalo herds.
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Old 05-19-2018, 12:07 PM   #10
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Neither one that close to ND.


My bad. Obviously a typo. SD. Have visited the area many, many times. Black Hills are one of my favorite spots out West. Spectacular in a low key way.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #11
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Let me say this:


Devil's Tower rates on my top 10 natural wonders of the world, at least on my life visits.


If you are ever in the Black Hills, you MUST go a little west and see Devil's Tower.


Or... perhaps Close Encounters of the Third Kind had a big impact on me... No, really, it is unique and worth the trip.
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Old 05-19-2018, 09:48 PM   #12
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We were in the area a couple of years ago. We really liked the wild cave tour at Wind Cave. Very interesting and informative, but not for the claustrophobic, crawling/squeezing through some tight spaces, nor for those who try to avoid getting dirty. I suspect that's not the one on your tour list.

The Prairie Berry winery was a fun place for tasting and some lunch.

Don't miss the Badlands. At some of the stops off the road there are some short trails you can walk to get some different perspectives.

We also went out to Devils Tower and hiked around most of the perimeter (a short stretch was closed). Very unusual formation, looked out of place from several miles away as we were driving toward it.
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:42 PM   #13
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We just returned from a week long trip to Rapid City area. Do make advance reservations if you want to visit Minuteman Missile Launch site.

We also visited Air and Space museum next to Ellsworth Airforce base just east of Rapid City.....very impressed with the collection of aircrafts and the guided tour!

Badlands National park is awesome...you may plan on spending a full day in the park.

We liked the Jewel cave and the Wind Cave near the Mount Rushmore (within an hour's drive).

We loved driving on the Needle Highway near the Mt. Rushmore as well.

Have Fun,
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:03 AM   #14
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We went a few years ago to this area. Badlands National Park is a must do if you like nature. Black hills is very nice too, and Devils tower is iconic of course.


Mt Rushmore was a bit of a let down - smaller than we expected, but it and Crazy Horse are good places if you want to people watch and like tourist trappy kind of places. This whole area is a very family friendly place and would highly recommend it to just about anyone. We drove in from Yellowstone NP so did the whole Wall Drug sign thing (similar to the South of the Border experience for east coast folks, but a little nicer location once you get there.) Wall Drug is close to Badlands so you can do it on the way.


That said it is very easy driving around - I'd just rent the car and do it yourself unless driving is not your kind of thing.


Specific to us, we saw an incredible thunderstorm come through - not too bad but the clouds were incredible!


If you are really into nature Thunder Basin National Grassland is interesting but those into people watching would likely be bored - to each his own. Also Sturgis motorcycle rally dates may get crowded.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:21 AM   #15
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The Badlands are impressive. If you ride a bike, the Mickelson Trail (a rail to trail) is in the heart of the Black Hills.
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Old 05-20-2018, 11:54 AM   #16
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OP here...still planning. Looks like we'll go on several small group tours with Affordable Adventures. Also looking forward to aerial helicopter tour. Pricey, but it looks amazing. Check out their short video

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Old 05-20-2018, 06:36 PM   #17
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Very timely thread for me as we are considering a trip later this year through the same area. One of the places I'm interested in is the Little Bighorn battlefield (link), about 4 hours west of Rapid City.

Has anyone been there?
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Old 05-20-2018, 06:53 PM   #18
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Very timely thread for me as we are considering a trip later this year through the same area. One of the places I'm interested in is the Little Bighorn battlefield (link), about 4 hours west of Rapid City.



Has anyone been there?


I have visited. If you have extra time, and it is not out of the way, go. But honestly nothing other than the history of the place makes it worthwhile. But I suppose the same could be leveled against say Gettysburg battlefield; and, yet, Gettysburg is absolutely worth a detour.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:34 PM   #19
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I have visited. If you have extra time, and it is not out of the way, go. But honestly nothing other than the history of the place makes it worthwhile. But I suppose the same could be leveled against say Gettysburg battlefield; and, yet, Gettysburg is absolutely worth a detour.
Thanks. Yes, I think it would be worth it. For me at least -- not sure about the DW.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:35 PM   #20
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Don’t forget Wall Drug!
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