We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First visit to South Dakota

San Fernando...
Level Contributor
56 posts
111 reviews
Save Topic
First visit to South Dakota

We would love to visit Mount Rushmore in June and the surrounding area. I came across The Mount Rushmore Tours and their Buffalo Roundup and Yellowstone Tour for 8 days. Has anybody taken this tour? I see their one day Fort Hays Old West Town Dinner Show, which looks great, but what about this week long trip?

Also, if we just do The Black Hills on our own for a week, is 2 days in Deadwood too much or just enough? Thanks.

South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,552 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: First visit to South Dakota

Can't answer the tour question, as we did everything on our own.

I think one day in Deadwood is sufficient, but of course, it depends on how much time you want to spend in casinos.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
5,910 posts
61 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First visit to South Dakota

We also do our trips to this area on our own, as its pretty easy to do. Traffic is just about non-existent compared to the east coast, and the area is very compact. I have no experience on the tour you mention, but I would never consider taking a tour that covers the Black Hills area, Yellowstone, and the Buffalo Round up (this is only once a year in September, BTW) in 8 days. In the South Dakota section of the forums, you will find some top questions, and one includes suggestions for touring both these areas. To see them both well without rushing, you need 2 weeks minimum, although 3 weeks is preferable. Keep in mind that tours mainly cover the highlights at a very fast pace, but on the plus side, no one has to drive, so everyone gets to see the same amount, especially during the scenic drives. You may like this way to travel, but I think you could see more by doing it all yourself.

To me, 2 hours is enough time in Deadwood, lol, but I think a day would more than cover it. You might consider lodging a couple of nights in Deadwood to give you some additional touring time in the northern Black Hills. Don't miss Devil's Tower and Spearfish Canyon. The DC Booth Fish Hatchery in Spearfish is really fun and totally free. Keep in mind the casinos in Deadwood are quite small (store fronts). They are nothing like ones in Vegas or Atlantic City.

Let us know if you have additional questions.

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Arlington
Level Contributor
13,144 posts
114 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First visit to South Dakota

If you want to see the northern part of the Black Hills, I'd stay in Spearfish (which is what we did).

For us, the only worthwhile thing to do in Deadwood was explore Mt. Moriah Cemetery, which is much more than just the gravesites of Wild Bill Hickock, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock. You can get a map when you go there that explains the history of many more individual gravesites and particular sections of the cemetery.

We did a pretty good self-tour of the Badlands, Black Hills, Devil's Tower and Little Bighorn Battlefield in 8 days. I'm not saying we saw everything, but we saw everything we wanted to see.

Besides reading the Top Questions and other questions on this forum, you should read the Moon Guide to Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills and order a copy of the free South Dakota travel guide: www.travelsd.com

4. Re: First visit to South Dakota

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guideline limiting each user to a single forums screen name.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 9:34 am, January 29, 2014
Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
2 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: First visit to South Dakota

When you stated "the Badlands, Black Hills, Devil's Tower and Little Bighorn Battlefield in 8 days." was that 8 days in that area alone or did that include travel time to and from. I am just trying to get a reference on how much time to spend there as my wife and I will be driving from Eastern PA.

South Dakota
Level Contributor
4,552 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: First visit to South Dakota

John D, we usually suggest 5-7 days to see the Black Hills, Badlands and Devil's Tower. This would not include driving time.

San Fernando...
Level Contributor
56 posts
111 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: First visit to South Dakota

Thank you everyone for your suggestions. I just received my South Dakota Visitor's Bureau guide and will be studying it thoroughly.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
2 posts
59 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: First visit to South Dakota

Thanks much for the info. We plan on going the middle to end of June.

9. Re: First visit to South Dakota

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 12:21 am, February 01, 2015