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Thom02099

Loveland,CO

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Posted: 09/16/19 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

rfloyd99 wrote:

OP here. Thanks for the responses, keep them coming! We've researched the sights in the area, and have read about the "usual suspects". Any off-the-beaten-path ideas?


If you're into hiking, there's a great hike to Black Elk Peak, formerly Harney Peak, the highest point in South Dakota, at over 7200 feet. Not overly long or difficult, the views are incredible from the top.


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Iraqvet05

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Posted: 09/16/19 10:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think 3 nights at the Badlands NP is a bit much. We drove from Custer back to the Badlands and spent a part of day there and at Wall Drug. The only thing I missed and wanted to see was the Minuteman missile silo.


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janstey58

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Posted: 09/16/19 11:14am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Gotta see the begging burros in Custer SP as you drive through! Also drive Needles Hiway in a car.


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gkainz

Arvada, CO, USA

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Posted: 09/16/19 11:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thom02099 wrote:

rfloyd99 wrote:

OP here. Thanks for the responses, keep them coming! We've researched the sights in the area, and have read about the "usual suspects". Any off-the-beaten-path ideas?


If you're into hiking, there's a great hike to Black Elk Peak, formerly Harney Peak, the highest point in South Dakota, at over 7200 feet. Not overly long or difficult, the views are incredible from the top.


correct, but even more ... Harney Peak is the highest point east of the Rockies in North America ... [emoticon]

rfloyd99 wrote:

OP here. Thanks for the responses, keep them coming! We've researched the sights in the area, and have read about the "usual suspects". Any off-the-beaten-path ideas?


North of Custer is Sylvan Lake - and starting at the dam (which you may recognize if you saw "National Treasure - Book of Secrets") is a nice hiking trail through Sunday Gulch. It's moderately strenuous but has hand rails for most of the rough spots.

Then off to Mount Rushmore and Keystone for a day trip. If driving a car, you can take the Needles Highway, including a few very narrow tunnels. They're narrow, but ironically enough, wide enough for a greyhound bus (if you're one of the few specially trained bus drivers!) (Google for images and videos)

Custer State Park includes the Game Lodge, Calvin Coolidge's summer White House. The vistors center has been significantly upgraded since I moved away and I've heard it's well worth the stop. Heading south, drive the wildlife loop, including 2 pigtail bridges. Mount Coolidge and Cicero Peak fire lookouts may be open to climb up, or just hike to.

Bluebell lodge is a great place to stop for lunch on your way south.

Further south, I second the Mammoth Digs in Hot Springs, also Evans Plunge. I got SCUBA certified there back in the 70s. [emoticon] Wind Cave National Park is between Custer State Park and Hot Springs. It's an interesting cave for the winds, where it got it's name, but I much prefer Jewell Cave, east of Custer.

Heading to the Northern Hills, Spearfish Canyon is an attractive drive.

The Homestake Gold Mine near Lead and Deadwood is much changed since the 70's but I believe still has an information center.

Deadwood is now a gambling town and much of what I recall worth seeing is gone, but may still have some areas of interest.

Rapid City has a good museum of Natural History at SD School of Mines, as well as a very good aviation museum at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

Reptile Gardens (south of Rapid City) gives me the creeps but I cannot stand snakes, so disregard my revulsion. It gets high marks from visitors.

* This post was edited 09/16/19 12:16pm by gkainz *


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RVman3252

Ohio, USA

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Posted: 09/16/19 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ADAD437 wrote:

don't miss the buffalo round up at custer state park, do not know the date off hand but real close to your date's.


The Buffalo Round-up is always the last Friday of September... so this year it will be September 27th. It is definitely a worthwhile event to see... we were there last year. We stayed at Rafter J, which was a great park, especially while in the Custer State Park area.

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rfloyd99

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Posted: 09/16/19 05:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP again. Thanks for the heads up re Deadwood. I lived in Colorado for 30 years and saw what the politicians and gambling interests did to three interesting, historic and beautiful mountain towns. I think we'll skip D'wood and drive the 75 miles to Devil's Tower instead.

Crowe

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Posted: 09/16/19 06:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Honestly I would skip Wall Drug now. It's gotten very commercial and is nothing like it was. It's totally lost it's charm IMHO. Love Bear Country USA if you like that sort of thing. Keystone definitely-it's hokey, kitschy and lots of fun. Been to both Wind Cave and Jewell Cave and also prefer Jewell Cave. Also agree with the Mammoth Digs site. Very interesting. Badlands is worth a visit but can be done in a day trip or an overnight.


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navigator2346

texas

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Posted: 09/16/19 08:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Harney Peak (now named Black Elk Peak)can be hiked from Sylvan Lake. It is a good hike.

Black Elk Peak aka Harney Peak

Maurice45

sioux city

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Posted: 09/16/19 09:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Both Wind Cave and Jewel Cave are unavailable as both have shut down their elevators for repair until may 2020, We are currently camping at Big Pine rv park in Custer which I recommend.

bucky

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Posted: 09/18/19 08:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

ken56 wrote:

Stop at Wall Drug in Wall SD. I have never seen so many billboards for a business in my life so you can't miss it. It's more than just a drug store.


You must have missed Rock City then. Wall drug is worth a stop, you can get a Buffalo Burger and meet the waitresses from Lithuania

More than Pedro?


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