Embark on a 7-day adventure in South Dakota's Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, and Badlands regions. Explore the natural wonders of Badlands National Park, Devils Tower, Crazy Horse Memorial, and the iconic Mount Rushmore, with accommodations in Rapid City, Spearfish, and Custer for a well-rounded experience in this scenic part of the United States.
DAY 1: WELCOME TO SOUTH DAKOTA!
Fly to Rapid City and get to know your Sunrise Tour Director and fellow travelers at a welcome dinner, the gateway to South Dakotas Black Hills and Badlands region. D
DAY 2: WALL DRUG/PRAIRIE DOGS/BADLANDS
The morning begins with a stop at Wall Drug, voted one of America's most popular roadside attractions. What started as a humble pharmacy in 1931 by Ted & Dorothy Hustead has transformed into an amazing shopping mall full of any souveuir imaginable. If you can believe it, the store all started in 1936 with "Free ice Water" signs to help drum up some business. We start our exploration of Wall Drug with their famous homemade donuts and coffee before free time to explore the complex. Next, we're off to feed the "pipsqueaks" of the Prairie at the Badlands Ranch Store. Then, get your camera ready as we spend the rest of the day in South Dakota's iconic Badlands National Park. The striking geological deposits seem to change color almost every minute in the shifting afternoon sun. Here we'll enjoy lunch in the park and stop at multiple scenic overlooks for photo opportunities before returning for a second night in Rapid City. B, L
DAY 3: BEAR BUTTE GARDENS/VORE BUFFALO JUMP/ FREE TIME SPEARFISH
Today, we are hosted by Rick and Michelle Grosek, owners of a 120-acre homestead named Bear Butte Gardens. Learn what it takes to grow many kinds of vegetables as well as the ins-and-outs of raising lamb and chicken in the dry Black Hills climate. Our taste buds will savor their farm-to-table lunch featuring their latest harvest and fresh meats. This afternoon, head to Vore Buffalo Jump to meet with archaeologists and learn about how the pit was used from 1500 AD to 1800 AD by Native American hunters to disable bison for food. This evening is yours to explore downtown Spearfish. B, L
DAY 4: DEVILS TOWER/DIAMOND 7 BAR RANCH/ CENTER OF THF NATION
We start our day at Devils Tower, America's first National Monument. This astounding geographic feature towers over 1,000 feet above the Belle Fourche River, creating one of the most striking naturally formed landscapes in the country. Here we will enioy the views from the park visitor center and even take a short hike on one of the trails. From there, we head to Diamond 7 Bar Ranch located off the beaten path. We will meet with owner Beth Reilly and hear her stories of growing up on the ranch. We cap off our day at the literal heart of the nation, Belle Fourche, to view the Center of the Natiou monument which marks the geographical center of the United States. B, L
DAY 5: BLACK HILLS/CRAZY HORSE/CHUCK WAGON SUPPER
This morning we visit the D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, one of the oldest operating hatcheries in the country. Established in 1896, we'll learn from one of the biologists on how their hatchery manages the trout population in South Dakota and surrounding states. You'll be mesmerized with their underwater fish viewing area! After a scenic drive through the spectacular Black Hills National Forest and around the Pactola Reservoir, we arrive at Crazy Horse Memorial. The on-site Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center also provide interesting regional insights for our group. The day wraps up at Custer State Park with an old-fashioned hayride. Take in the scenery on a 45-minute wildlife tour to a mountain canyon for our chuckwagon feast where each guest receives a souvenir cowboy hat and bandanna to get into the western spirit. B, L, D
DAY 6: JEEP SAFARI/MOUNT RUSHMORE NIGHT LIGHTING
This morning you may spot buffalo, prong-horn antelope, donkeys, prairie dogs and more on our wildlife Jeep Safari through Custer State Park. Along the way, guides will share historical and educational facts about the park and wildlife. And, of course, our visit to South Dakota wouldn't be complete without time at one the nation's most famous landmarks, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. This evening we'll also attend the'must experience' patriotic evening lighting show conducted by the National Park Service. (Our September 24th departure will experience the Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park this morning in lieu of the Jeep Safari.) B, L
DAY 7: NEEDLES HIGHWAY/ FAREWELL
After a breakfast, we head back into Custer State Park to hop aboard a Jeep Tour of the Needles Highway. Sit back and enjoy this spectacular drive through the rugged granite mountains, beautiful meadows surrounded by aspen and birch trees, and the shaded forests filled with spruce and pine trees. We then head back to the State Game Lodge to enjoy a delicious buffet lunch before heading home, with memories of travels through the "Land and Infinite Variety." B, L
- Departure: May 12, 2024
- Return: May 18, 2024
- Double: $2999
- Single: $3499
*Includes round-trip airfare from STL or MCI
Nights 1-2: The Rushmore Hotel & Suites, Rapid City
Nights 3-4: Best Western Black Hill Lodge, Spearfish
Nights 5-6: Holiday lnn Express, Custer
Since we are traveling by plane you must bring a valid state-issued ID (driver’s license) or passport.
Sunrise Tours luggage straps (that go around the entire exterior of your piece of luggage) are available in our office that can assist with ensuring your luggage stays securely closed throughout the air transport process. If you would like a complimentary luggage strap, please stop by our NEW office (12166 Old Big Bend Road, #208, 63122) during regular office hours.
New reservations will require a $250 per person deposit unless otherwise noted. As always, your deposit is still fully refundable for any reason until final payment. We are happy to accept cash, check (preferred) or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, Discover) for your deposit.
Throughout 2021 we limited capacity on all our tours. This policy was so overwhelmingly popular by Sunrise travelers, we have made it permanent. In 2022 and beyond, we will limit the capacity on our motorcoaches to 80%. Most Sunrise Tours travel on 50-seat coaches with extra legroom, which means guests will enjoy extra legroom AND at least 6-8 empty seats. In the rare cases when we charter a 55-seat coach, there will be at least 10 open seats on the bus.
Our popular on-board refreshment service on travel days will feature a variety of soda, beer, wine spritzers, juices and sparkling water choices served in recyclable aluminum cans. This is a safe and eco-conscious way for us to deliver the ever-popular Sunrise Tours “happy hour” on tour. We do not typically serve bottled water and ask that while on tour you be responsible for your own hydration and consider the Sunrise Tours drink service a welcome refreshment.
Terms and Conditions:
Please refer to our policies HERE for more information on our terms and conditions.