South Dakota is a hidden gem of a state that is not to be missed on any national park or RV road trip. From the iconic Mount Rushmore and the stunning Badlands National Park to the impressive Crazy Horse Monument, the hidden gem of Custer State Park, the historical town of Deadwood, and the breathtaking Jewel Cave National Monument, South Dakota offers some of the best sights in the country. In our newest blog post, we explore why South Dakota is a must-visit destination on any road trip and highlight the attractions that make it one of the best destinations for RV travel and national park exploration. We love South Dakota and here is why…
Mt. Rushmore National Monument
Mt. Rushmore is a must-see destination for anyone planning a national park road trip or an RV travel adventure. The monument is set in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and offers a spectacular scenic backdrop for a vacation. The area is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, including forests, streams, and wildlife, providing ample opportunities for outdoor recreation. Visitors can explore the park on the Presidential Trail, a scenic hike that offers stunning views of the monument and the surrounding landscape. Additionally, visitors can enjoy educational opportunities at the Sculptor’s Studio and the museum, where they can learn about the monument’s history and creation. The cultural experience is also not to be missed, as Mt. Rushmore attracts visitors from all over the world, making it a great place to meet people from different cultures and backgrounds. Overall, a Mt. Rushmore vacation offers a unique opportunity to experience American history and culture in a beautiful natural setting, making it an essential stop on any national park road trip or RV travel adventure.
Badlands National Park
If you’re planning an RV road trip or national park vacation in South Dakota, we highly recommend adding Badlands National Park to your itinerary! This is one of our favorite Parks in the West! With its unique geological formations, stunning views, and abundant wildlife, the park offers an unforgettable experience that’s sure to make your trip a memorable one. Whether you prefer scenic drives, hiking trails, or camping under the stars, there’s something for everyone at Badlands National Park. And with educational opportunities available at the visitor center and museum, you can learn about the history and geology of the area while enjoying the beauty of the park. So why not add Badlands National Park to your travel plans and experience one of America’s most beautiful natural wonders for yourself? We promise you won’t regret it!
Custer State Park
At Tumbleweed Travel Co., we believe that hidden gems are often the best ones, and that’s certainly true of this stunning destination in South Dakota. Despite being off the beaten path and less well-known than many of the national parks, Custer State Park is equally as beautiful and offers a wealth of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy.
The park’s history dates back to the early 1900s, when it was established as a game preserve to protect the area’s dwindling bison herds. Today, the park is home to over 1,500 bison, as well as other wildlife such as pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep. One of the main draws of Custer State Park is our scenic drives, including the Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, and Wildlife Loop Road, which offer breathtaking views of our rugged landscapes and abundant wildlife. Visitors can also enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and boating, as well as guided tours, horseback riding, and other outdoor activities. In addition to our natural attractions, we’re also proud to offer several historical and cultural sites, including the State Game Lodge, which was once the “Summer White House” of President Calvin Coolidge, as well as several Native American sites and museums.
Custer State Park is a less busy, but equally as beautiful destination as many national parks, offering visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty and rich history of South Dakota in a unique and memorable way.
Crazy Horse National Monument
Many people have heard of Crazy Horse, but don’t know where it is! Crazy Horse National Monument is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting the Black Hills region of South Dakota. This incredible monument, still being carved today, pays tribute to the legendary Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, and is the largest sculpture in the world. With its impressive scale, ongoing construction, and beautiful setting, it’s no wonder that people find it so cool and awe-inspiring. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of the Lakota people, enjoy the stunning views of the Black Hills, and take advantage of the many other attractions at the site, such as the museum, cultural center, hiking trails, and Native American art market. A trip to the Black Hills just wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this iconic and unforgettable destination.
Deadwood, the Wild West Town
Deadwood, South Dakota has a rich and colorful history that dates back to the Gold Rush of the 1870s. The town was originally established as a camp for miners seeking their fortunes in the Black Hills and quickly became a bustling center of commerce and entertainment. However, the prosperity of Deadwood was often tempered by violence and lawlessness. The town was known for its saloons, gambling, and gunfights, and was home to famous figures like Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. The death of Wild Bill Hickok in a poker game in Deadwood’s No. 10 Saloon cemented the town’s reputation as a Wild West frontier town.
Despite its tumultuous past, Deadwood survived and eventually evolved into a popular destination for road trippers. Today, visitors can explore the town’s historic buildings and museums, take a walking tour of the town, and learn about its rich history. The town has also embraced its Wild West reputation and has a lively casino scene, with several casinos and entertainment venues. Overall, Deadwood’s unique history and lively atmosphere make it a popular destination for road trippers where you can can experience the excitement and danger of the Wild West while exploring the town’s historic buildings and learning about its past.
Jewel Cave National Monument
Jewel Cave National Monument is a special place that draws visitors from all over the world. This unique park features one of the longest caves in the world, with over 200 miles of mapped passages. The cave is named for the sparkling calcite crystals that can be found throughout its chambers, giving it a glittering, jewel-like appearance. But Jewel Cave is more than just a natural wonder. It is also an important site for scientific research and exploration. The cave’s complex network of passageways and chambers provides a unique opportunity for scientists to study geology, hydrology, and other fields.
You can take guided tours of the cave, which offer a fascinating glimpse into its history and geology. The park also offers hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and other recreational opportunities. And with its stunning natural beauty and rich scientific history, Jewel Cave is a place that people go out of their way to visit. If you are in the Black Hills, you won’t have to go out of your way at all. Just added this stop to all of our favorite South Dakota Road Trip stops.