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Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

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Detroit
posts: 79
reviews: 11
Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

We are taking the Caravan tour to Mount Rushmore and Yellowstone. The tour is based out of the Radisson, Rapid City. We have booked our first night there on our own, but that could be changed if you think that another site would be better for the first night.

Please review the following and provide any feedback that you believe would be helpful.

We will be arriving on Tuesday afternoon and will join the tour on Wednesday night. On our own, we would like to take a helicopter tour on the Tuesday that we arrive.) Since we will be going to both Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore as part of the tour, we would like to see the lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore that night. How long should we allow for this? Is traffic insane? Would we do better on a tour?

On Wednesday morning, we think that we would like to drive out and see Devil's Tower. I have read that there is a campground near there where one can get excellent views and take pictures. (Bear in mind that we both have short attention spans and neither of us cares to climb it or even hike around the base. We just want to get a few pictures and be on our way.) I know that it is about 100 miles from Rapid City, so is it worth the drive? What will the traffic be like early in the morning. We will still be on eastern time, so leaving early is not a problem. What time would you suggest?

We then want to stop in Deadwood. We want to see the Mt. Moriah cemetery and Saloon #10. Are there other fun things to see here? We do not usually do well in museums.

Thank you for reading this far and for any suggestion that you may make. One more question, if it rains, can you suggest places in Rapid City?

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,353
reviews: 35
1. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

Seeing the lighting ceremony isn't bad at all. Traffic isn't that crazy unless you are visiting around July 4th. You don't need a tour for it. Allot 45 minutes to an hour for the ceremony. Rapid City is about a 30 minute drive to Rushmore.

I do consider Devil's Tower a must see, but I truly think it's worthwhile to walk the base. You are talking about a 2 hour drive one way from Rapid. I don't think I'd make the drive to merely snap some pics and head back. When you walk the base, you can watch any climbers, or at least see them briefly. I'd spend at least an hour if I was driving that far.

Deadwood is mainly casinos and wild west history. My personal favorite attraction in Deadwood is the Adams House/Museum, but based on your self description, I don't think you'd probably enjoy them.

Do you enjoy short hikes? If so, I think you'd like to drive Spearfish Canyon, where you can take some short hikes to some gorgeous waterfalls. This could be done on the way back from Devil's Tower. If you head that way and want to see all 3, I'd plan on an early start (no later than 7ish) so you can join your tour that night.

If it rains, Rapid City does have the Journey Museum, which a friend of mine liked (I have not seen it). However, since you don't like museums, that's probably not a good suggestion. Quite a bit of the things to do are outdoor activities. You could possibly consider a cave tour. There are a couple of privately owned ones outside Rapid (Sittng Bull Caverns, Black Hills Caverns, Crystal Cave Park). You could also make the drive out to Jewel Cave or Wind Cave, unless they are included on your tour.

Let us know if you have additional questions.

Overland Park...
posts: 69
reviews: 20
2. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

We are also planning a trip. My Mom told me that Devil's Tower is a must see. ;-)

Edited: 2:50 pm, March 25, 2012
Detroit
posts: 79
reviews: 11
3. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

Thank you travelplanner for your suggestions. You have made me reconsider walking around the base of Devil's Tower. Depending on the weather that day, just might do that. I liked the idea of short hikes in Spearfish Canyon to see waterfalls. Thank you for the info on the lighting ceremony. I think that the cave suggestion might be a good one for a rainy activity.

One more question, in mid August will we need heavy duty insect repellent?

Rapid City, South...
posts: 85
reviews: 1
4. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

Traffic really isn't too bad at Mt Rushmore or Crazy Horse. You will be just fine doing this on your own, it is pretty self guide-able and if you have questions there are plenty of people there to help you out. While you are in town, walk down to Main Street Square, only a few blocks from your hotel... It is a great new addition to downtown and has an awesome interactive fountain that sprays water to the beat of the music and lights. Staying at the Radisson (now known as Adoba Eco Hotel) is a great place to choose.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,353
reviews: 35
5. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

Aerie,

I'm sorry..I totally missed your question on insect repellant. I always take it, as it really depends on the area, and the mosquitoes love me. It doesn't hurt to be prepared in case.

Detroit
posts: 79
reviews: 11
6. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

Thanks for the advice on the insect repellent. Insects of all types seem more than willing to take a bite of me.

Wyoming
posts: 1,735
reviews: 11
7. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

Walking around Devil's Tower is a must! There are usually very few bugs in August. That is one of the driest months of the year. But, it never hurts to be prepared.

8. Re: Devil's Tower and Deadwood - Questions

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