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Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

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northern california
posts: 12
reviews: 12
Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Hi Everyone: We are coming to SD next week, flying into Rapid City on 10/17. Among other things, we are planning to drive across the state to DeSmet to see the Laura Ingalls Wilder homes, etc. We will drive from Rapid City to Pierre, spend the night, then drive to DeSmet and will be staying overnight in Brookings, then back to Rapid City. What's the weather been like? Also, I was reading an article on the Huffington Post today that there are tons of dead cattle all over the place from the recent snow storm - is that true? I know the federal parks are closed, but I think we'll still be able to see Deadwood, Custer, etc? Thanks for your help!

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,325
reviews: 35
1. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

It looks like more rain and snow are forecast for Monday and Tuesday, but drier conditions seems to be forecast for when you arrive (for now). Temps will be below freezing at night. I looked only at Rapid, but I believe the eastern side of the state recevied more rain in the recent blizzard that affected the Hills. 3174 will be able to confirm.

I'm not sure on the cattle situation since I'm not a local. Hopefully someone else can chime in.

You will be able to see Custer SP, as state parks are not affected with the shutdown. Ditto on Deadwood, You won't have much access, if any, to Rushmore, the Badlands, Devil's Tower, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, and the Minuteman Site unless the shutdown ends before you arrive. Let's hope!!

northern california
posts: 12
reviews: 12
2. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Thanks for your input! Are there roads outside that give you a view of Devil's Tower? Same question about Rushmore. Thanks again!

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,951
reviews: 129
3. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Yes, there are an estimated 50-60,000 dead cattle and horses lying around after the blizzard.

We don't have a ton of Black Hills local residents posting on here on a regular basis. To keep yourself updated on the current blizzard aftermath situation and for weather forecasts, keep checking kotatv.com. Lohrs is a local who posts on here from time to time you could try sending a private message to Lohrs for an update, too.

The eastern half of the state didn't receive snow, so you won't have problems in DeSmet.

Unfortunately, the federal govt. had stooped to the low of even coning off the side of the highway past Rushmore so tourists couldn't pull over. When the blizzard occurred, the cones were removed to plow. I'm not sure whether or not they were put back.

October weather, especially in the Hills (the eastern half of the state doesn't have quite the fluctuations seen in the western half) is completely unpredictable. You could have another blizzard. You could have a gorgeous 70 degree day. Just keep checking forecasts.

Sorry about the shutdown, I hope you are able to make the best of things and still have an enjoyable trip.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,325
reviews: 35
4. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

How sad about the cattle and horses!

You can see Devil's Tower from a distance from fairly far out. You could head that direction and just stop when the tower comes into view. You can combine the tower easily with Spearfish Canyon and Deadwood.

Edited: 10:11 pm, October 10, 2013
Rapid City, South...
posts: 496
reviews: 52
5. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Rain today in Rapid City is melting the snow, nearly gone except for the parking lot piles. I haven't heard an update about Deadwood or Spearfish other than some Black Hills areas are still without power. Snow in the forecast for the 14 & 15, so a little difficult to know what the roads will be like a couple days later.

Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,951
reviews: 129
6. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Just wanted to make another comment about spending the night in Brookings. Was there something you wanted to see in Brookings itself? Otherwise, it is a 45 minute drive from DeSmet to Brookings and then another 45 min. back west, so you will be going 1 hr. and 30 min. out of your way to spend the night. Have you considered staying at the Prairie Manor B and B in DeSmet? It rates well on TA and I have friends who enjoyed staying there. If this isn't what you want to do, that's fine. I don't want to pressure you into staying somewhere you don't want to stay (I'm experiencing this right now on another forum for my own trip.) Just wanted to throw that option out there in case you weren't aware.

northern california
posts: 12
reviews: 12
7. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Thanks to everyone for your input - in spite of the shut downs, we're looking forward to our trip to S.D.!

northern california
posts: 12
reviews: 12
8. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

Thanks - I'll check the B&B in DeSmet - can't wait to visit DeSmet, I never thought I'd get to see it!

Edited: 5:41 pm, October 12, 2013
Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,951
reviews: 129
9. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

If there's no availability at Prairie Manor, try the Heritage House Bed and Breakfast. It also rates well, but I can't vouch for it from personal experience.

10. Re: Traveling to SD next week - how's the weather, etc?

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