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Government Shutdown Questions

Gilbert, Arizona
posts: 29
reviews: 1
Government Shutdown Questions

We leave next Monday for Rapid City and the surrounding area. As you can imagine, the shutdown has broken our hearts. Can someone tell me what all is shutdown around there besides Mount Rushmore & The Badlands? Also, does anyone of suggestions of things we would be able to do in case it is not resolved quickly? We have a 5 year old girl. Thank you!!

Trying to make the best of a worst case scenario.

11 replies to this topic
Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,775
reviews: 128
1. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

I'm so sorry! We just got back from a trip to Hawaii, and I'm thinking I'm so glad we were able to see Pearl Harbor, because that would be closed now, too.

What should be open: Custer State Park (Needles Hwy, Wildlife Loop, Mt. Coolidge, Sylvan Lake, Iron Mt. Road). Chuckwagon dinners. Crazy Horse. Spearfish Canyon/Roughlock Falls. Deadwood. The Mammoth Site. Big Thunder Gold Mine (until Oct. 31). The 1880 Train (until Oct. 15- then very limited hours/days). There are some small, private caves that might still be open for the season. The Journey Museum is probably open (didn't check). Bear Butte is a state park, so that should be open. The Pactola Reservoir is a very pretty place to stop. The presidents statues in downtown Rapid. Waitiki Water Park in Rapid if you're desperate to fill the time and need something to do with a child. Also, the dinosaur statues on Dinosaur Hill (not very great, in my opinion, but free and something to do). I'm not sure about the Mickelson Trail. You could rent bikes and try that. Wall Drug.

Closed: Wind and Jewel Caves. Storybook Island (for the season). The Alpine Slide (for the season). Devil's Tower. Probably the Minuteman Missile Site.

About the Badlands: We just had a thread on here about that. I e-mailed before they closed and they told me you will still be able to drive some of the main roads through the Badlands. The visitor center will be closed and the trails will be closed, but you should still get a pretty good taste of it.

Others will probably come up with some things I've missed and I'd appreciate correction on anything I have wrong.

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,775
reviews: 128
2. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

Also thought of Bear Country and Reptile Gardens. Those are privately owned. Check for fall hours before you go. Old Mcdonald's Petting Farm is closed for the season.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 673
reviews: 12
3. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

What a disappointment it must be for you. However, you will be able to see Mt. Rushmore from Iron Mountain Road and will have a beautiful view of the monument and the surrounding mountains by stopping at the Peter Norbeck Overlook off of Iron Mountain Road. 3174 gave you some great suggestions that will give you plenty to do. Have you thought about a horseback trail ride? I highly recommend Andy's Trail Rides which I believe is open in the fall. Located in the northern Hills south of Lead, Andy's Trail Rides are not your typical nose to tail ride. We are equestrians and this trail ride is the best guide led ride we have been on. Even if you are not experienced riders, Andy will match you with the right horse so that you will have an enjoyable, safe experience. And the scenery you will see is fabulous. If interested, here is the website with the pertinent information. http://www.andystrailrides.com/

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,244
reviews: 35
4. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

Yes, we are all feeling for everyone who had trips planned and are now feeling the effects of the shutdown. It's so disappointing to look forward for a trip for a long time and then be faced with the possibility of not being able to see what had been originally planned.

You've gotten great ideas from everyone on activities. You might also consider the following:

DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish

Cosmos Mystery Area in Rapid City

Wild Horse Sanctuary in Hot Springs

Good luck. I really hope the shutdown is short lived and you will get to experience everything the wonderful Black Hills has to offer.

Gilbert, Arizona
posts: 29
reviews: 1
5. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

Thank you all so much for your encouraging advice!! Our 5 year old is dying to see Mount Rushmore (she has been studying it in K) so I am encouraged there will at least be roads open so we can view...even if at a distance!

I am also really encouraged by the parks as I forgot they are STATE parks...duh! The begging burros are the other thing she really wants to see! :)

I will plan 2 itineraries just in case. You all have mentioned some wonderful things we can still do! Thank you!

We were going to do Jewel Cave, but is there a privately (I know there are several) owned cave you all recommend?

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,244
reviews: 35
6. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

I've been to Rushmore Cave, which is nice. We enjoyed the tour, although not as much as the caves operated by nps. Black Hills Caverns might be a possibility, but I have not toured it. Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns and Wonderland will be closed when you are there. I actually can't recommend Wonderland, as we were just allowed inside with no tour. I wasn't impressed at all.

Edmonton, AB
posts: 933
reviews: 30
7. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

What is this shutdown? Will Mt Rushmore not be open?

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
posts: 7,840
reviews: 25
8. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

As of today, Mt Rushmore is also affected and closed. As long as the US Gov't is "shut down" and no funding resolution is approved and signed by our president, the entire US Nat'l Park Service (400+ parks, memorials and historic sites) will remain closed to visitors.

Edmonton, AB
posts: 933
reviews: 30
9. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

Thanks for the info

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 673
reviews: 12
10. Re: Government Shutdown Questions

To add to my previous post, I read your original post quickly and did not catch the age of your child. I am not sure she is old enough to go on a trail ride. If you are thinking along those lines make sure you ask before you make reservations.

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