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Mid October trip

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Wichita Falls, TX
posts: 9
reviews: 61
Mid October trip

Will there still be plenty of restaurants/shopping open in mid to late october? One restaurant i looked at said they shut down during the off season and since this will be our first trip i want to make sure. Thank you!

6 replies to this topic
Sioux Falls, South...
Destination Expert
for Sioux Falls
posts: 1,914
reviews: 129
1. Re: Mid October trip

Let me ask you a question first. Are you:

1. retired and/or do you have a flexible schedule and are you driving in?

2. taking time off from a job and already have plane tickets purchased?

If it's #1, I would honestly postpone this trip until next June-Sept. With the govt. shutdown, Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, the Minuteman Site and the Badlands are currently shut down. We're not 100 percent sure about the main road through the Badlands though and don't have a good way to confirm this right now. Also, please see my post about the unpredictability of October weather (Tourists- Heads up)

If it's #2, there is still plenty to see that is state and privately owned (Custer State Park, Spearfish Canyon) and October is certainly much better than coming in January, for example.

I'm not trying to scare you, but if you do have a choice, considering what's going on at this time, you may want to reschedule. You said this is your first trip and I want you to have a nice time.

Rapid City is not ideal for a base because it's not centrally located, but it is still doable for a base and many people choose to stay there. Everything in Rapid will be open all year because of the larger population of local residents. I can't help you with the smaller towns, but others on here will have great info. on that.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
posts: 4,300
reviews: 35
2. Re: Mid October trip

The smaller towns are much more "seasonal" than Rapid and would offer more restaurants (some chain and some non-chain). Rapid does have your regular stores like Wal Mart, Target, Kohl's a small mall, Best Buy, etc. There's even a Cabella's. I believe there's also small store shopping in downtown Rapid, although I haven't been there.

Some hotels in Keystone do close during the winter months, along with some restaurants.

I do agree that right now may not be the best time to vacation in the Black Hills. If you could possibly reschedule your trip, I'd recommend it.

Wichita Falls, TX
posts: 9
reviews: 61
3. Re: Mid October trip

We are not retired and are driving there. Our reservations are within the custer natl park, so i may see if we can reschedule. Since this will be our first trip, we want to be able to see and do as much as possible. Thank you for your input! Much appreciated!

Wichita Falls, TX
posts: 9
reviews: 61
4. Re: Mid October trip

Thank you!

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 679
reviews: 12
5. Re: Mid October trip

We have been in the Hills in mid and late October, and other than Keystone, never had a problem finding a place to eat in the towns of Hill City and Custer. Of course, Rapid City is never a problem. The Powder House Lodge in Keystone remains open but I know many in Keystone close for the winter months. Some of the restaurants shorten and/or change their hours, however. The lodge dining room at State Game Lodge will be open but I am not sure about the lodge dining rooms at Blue Bell, Legion Lake or Sylvan Lake. Restaurants in Deadwood and Lead do not close, however, i would check the hours open for establishments in Lead and Spearfish Canyon.

Pierre, South Dakota
posts: 441
reviews: 3
6. Re: Mid October trip

FWIW, Custer *State* park does not receive federal funding and is a STATE park, not a national park, and is therefore unaffected in every way by the "shutdown". However, the black hills area was hit with a massive snowstorm this past weekend, and that has essentially shut down travel in the black hills as of rght now

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