Good Sam RV Travel Guide & Campground Directory

Explore   /   South Dakota Destinations   /   South Dakota Trips of a Lifetime

South Dakota

Total Mileage/Average drive time
103 miles, 2 hours, 8 minutes

Thrill to Wild West adventures in the Black Hills and explore the pine-clad mountains with their amazing rock formations, deep gorges and mesmerizing caves, some of which are among the longest in the world.

1) Custer
Starting Point

Discover a world of adventure at Custer State Park, where a drive on the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road can bring you up-close to bighorn sheep, antelope, elk, mountain lions and one of the world's largest free-roaming buffalo herds. Explore over 71,000 acres in the Black Hills, comprised of pristine lakes, rugged trails, soaring granite spires, "pigtail" bridges and stone tunnels. Feed the "begging" burros, pan for gold, visit the dude ranch or enjoy some tasty vittles at a Chuckwagon cookout.

2) Hill City
14 miles, 17 minutes

In the "Heart of the Black Hills" is Hill City, located in one of the most picturesque settings in the world. Nestled at the base of Harney Peak, Sylvan Lake is breathtaking, surrounded by rock formations and tall, ponderosa pines where you can spend a day fishing, swimming or taking a boat out on the lake. Visit the Sylvan Lake Lodge, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright to be built among the pines. Wile away an afternoon tasting wine at the three local wineries: Prairie Berry, Stone Faces and Naked Winery, serving award-winning wines in an amazing setting.

3) Keystone
12 miles, 17 minutes

Take off on a great adventure, whether you're hiking, biking or trail running, because with numerous trails to choose from, you're sure to discover one with a fitness level you'll enjoy. The George C. Mickelson Trail is one of the premier rail-trails in the West with routes that run through the heart of the Black Hills, offering scenic views, bridges, tunnels, steep drop-offs, and rugged mountain terrain. Explore a hidden world at Rushmore Cave, a natural adventure park that offers unique cave tours, exciting spelunking adventures, soaring Zipline rides over the treetops and hands-on gem stone mining.

4) Rapid City
21 miles, 26 minutes

Spend some times with past U.S. Presidents—all of them, in the City of Presidents, Rapid City, where the life-size bronze statues of America's leaders are located along city streets and sidewalks, all within a 12-block area. Each President is captured in a memorable moment during his term, sitting, standing, greeting the crowds and spending time with beloved pets. These presidential figures were sculpted by five South Dakota artists. The City of Presidents Information Center has more details on each presidential bronze and a map to locate your favorites.

5) Deadwood
42 miles, 46 minutes

There's gold in them there hills, and you can pan for your share at Broken Boot Gold Mine, plus take a tour of an authentic 100-year-old underground mine. Gussie up and pay a call to the "grandest house west of the Mississippi," the historic Adams House and Museum, where artifacts from Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are on display. Witness a Wild West shoot-out on Main Street and follow the capture and trial of Jack McCall for the murder of Wild Bill before paying your respects at Mount Moriah Cemetery, where Calamity Jane, Wild Bill Hickok, Seth Bullock and John "Potato Creek Johnny" Perrett are interred.

6) Spearfish
15 miles, 22 minutes

Locals claim Spearfish Creek is fly fishing heaven with a multitude of wild rainbow trout just waiting to dance on the end of a hook. To learn more about how the trout are raised, drop in at D.C. Visit Booth Historical National Fish Hatchery and Archives, one of the oldest operating hatcheries in the U.S., for a tour of the hatchery and museum. Hit some balls at one of over half-dozen golf courses offering impeccable grounds, challenging holes and breathtaking views. Then venture into Wyoming for a gander at Devils Tower, the first national monument in the U.S. Rising 1,267 feet above the Belle Fourche River, this flat-topped volcanic formation is considered sacred by the Lakota tribe and is awesome to behold.