Advice for South Dakota state parks trip

Discussion in 'IW Outdoors' started by shooter42, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. shooter42

    shooter42 Member

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    My girlfriend and I are planning to drive out to SD over the Labor Day weekend. Probably drive out Thursday after work and come back Monday. Neither of us are familiar with the area or parks but would like to go hiking in the black hills, bad lands and possibly Custer state park. Any advice on other parks to see, places to stay, places to eat etc is very appreciated! I do not have a camper but will have a tent. We’re interested in camp ground recommendations and also cabins to rent possibly.

    Thanks in advance for any information! Also- 72 days till the bow opener
     
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  3. bigbuckhunter88

    bigbuckhunter88 PMA Member

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    No help but contemplating a trip the same weekend since they are opening their archery season Sept 1
     
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  4. Ishi

    Ishi PMA Member

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    I’ve been there three times and it’s a great place to visit. There are many campgrounds in the area but we stayed at KOA between Mt Rushmore and Hill City on Highway 244 (They have cabins)
    Place to see
    Drive Iron Mountain road leading to Custer St Park. Take the loop to view all the animals. Drive Needles Highway to Sylvan lake.
    Visit Rushmore during the night ceremony.
    There are miles of hiking trails in the wilderness area. Hike to Harneys Peak, also hike to little Devils Tower.
    We just did a drive through on the Badlands then always visit Wall Drug.
    I’d rather hike around Rushmore then hike the badlands cause that’s mostly rocks.
    There are three towns close to find places to eat. Hill City, Keystone, Custer.
    Start googling info to find your interests on what you want to do cause in your time frame of three days out there you’ll run out of time.
    Also between Rapid City and Rushmore there are a bunch of touristy places to visit. Wind Cave National Park has a great cave tour if you like cave tours.
    Make sure to visit Cabelas in Mitchellville and Rapid City to stock up on supplies for the opener.
    Have fun!
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2018
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  5. flugge

    flugge Well-Known Member

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    What Ishi said... We own ground down by Hot Springs. Right on the Angostura Reservoir/Sheps Canyon Recreation area. There are really a lot of things to see, Mammoth Hot Springs in Hot Springs, and many other things. One word of advice though, Expect plenty of people since thats the last "big weekend". I have been out there several times for archery opener, and its a little hectic. I will be out there the 3rd week in September this year enjoying a short honeymoon on our way back from getting Married on Sept 18 in Jackson Wyoming...
     
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  6. Mike311

    Mike311 Active Member

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    Just arrived home last night from this same trip. I’d second Ishi also except for Wall Drug and the Badlands. Wall Drug is a trap that’ll just waste your time. The Badlands offer nice hikes and views. Our kids really enjoyed climbing the rocks. We hit the Badlands, Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, Black Hills, 2 rodeo’s at Frontier Days in Cheyenne, toured Mile High Stadium, hit a Rockies/Astros game, Rocky Mountain National Park- too many people but worth the drive and stops along Trail Ridge Rd, Red Rocks Park in Morrison and several hikes along the entire trip. If you like to adventure take the Spearfish Canyon drive and hike the Devils Bathtub trail in South Dakota. Also take the 4th of July Rd from the Colorado town of Eldora up to Arapaho Pass Trail where there are several hiking options all with great views and the drive up the road is interesting out of Eldora.

    I’d recommend a good backpack, light rain gear, good footwear, plenty of water and some snack food. We got by with our phones for this trip as far as direction but I’ll never head west without a satellite GPS and an old school Atlas. Phone was sketchy at best and I really think we could have saved more time but driving around with views like we had is not a bad thing.
     
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  7. Ishi

    Ishi PMA Member

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    Great info! Thanks
     
  8. mplane72

    mplane72 Active Member

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    Just got back myself and what Ishi and Mike311 said is spot on. I would add that the tour at Wind Cave National Park is worth it. Get there early as you will probably have to wait for a while. I thought the badlands was cool but it's not my favorite type of topography. Do that loop at Custer early AM or evening. Much more animal activity and less people.

    On a side note I much preferred Theodore Rosevelt NP up in N.D. to Bad Lands S.D.
     
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