What to See When You RV - South Dakota Edition

Posted on June 11, 2018

Although South Dakota is sparsely populated, it hosts two of the most revered monuments in the country: Crazy Horse Memorial and Mt. Rushmore. Other sites are equally impressive, and the best way to capture the magnitude of what you are going to see is from the large picture windows of a Class A or a Class C motorhome.

For an American history lesson, Mt. Rushmore is probably at the top of the interest list. Showcasing four of our country’s great presidents, this massive sculpture is impressive. After you have thoroughly soaked in the wonder of this iconic feature, walk the Presidential trail for spectacular views. Check in the Visitor Center to inquire about the schedule for a Ranger interpretation. The Crazy Horse Monument is eight miles away and worthy of a visit as a memorial to the North American Indians. Visitors are wowed by it now, and will be even more so when it is fully completed.

In addition to the monuments of the Black Hills and Badlands, enjoy scenic byways, large herds of buffalo, and wild horses. Caves are prevalent, and these underground wonders hold mysteries for many hours of delight. Take a tram to Mountaintop Grill and enjoy panoramic views, waterfalls, and flora and fauna. Rushmore Cave in Keystone, Wonderland Cave in Sturgis, Black Hills Caverns in Rapid City, Jewel Cave in Custer, and Wind Cave in Hot Springs will thrill you with miles of passageways where you will see crystals, stalactites, and stalagmites. Purchase unique souvenirs from the various gift shops.

Fans of “Little House on the Prairie” will revel in Ingall’s Homestead, just outside De Smet. See a re-creation of their first home, a one-room schoolhouse, and a small church, all reminiscent of the places from the series, even the empty prairie. Children will love the hands-on activities of making a corn cob doll, using a hand pump, and riding in a stagecoach. See the cemetery where Caroline and Charles Ingalls are buried as well as some of the other characters from the Little House books.

Park your motorhome nearby and let the kids play in the eight-and-one-half acre park in Rapid City. It ensures hours of fun with sculptures and themed items depicting classic children’s stories. Also, train rides, tunnels, ships, treehouses, and bridges will keep them exploring for hours. On a hill overlooking the city, gigantic dinosaur sculptures delight the children. Enjoy the scenery on a drive through the Black Hills National Forest and stop to admire Roughneck Falls for a peaceful, serene break.

Pull into Deadwood and dodge the bullets! Re-creations of famous gunfights take place on the streets daily. See the graves of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane in the Mount Moriah Cemetery, and visit the historic Adams House before hiking the George Mickelson Trail through the Black Hills National Forest.

Your motorhome will store all of your equipment needs, which may differ depending on whether your visit is in summer or winter. Regardless of whether you drive a gas RV or a diesel RV, you will find it comfortable in any type of weather. South Dakota has campgrounds that meet every desire and diverse habitats that respond to the call of the wild. Drive into the wilderness in your RUV (recreational utility vehicle) or park your RV in one of the many campgrounds that populate the windswept prairies or indulge in luxury at one of the fine resorts for motorhomes. All will create a memorable vacation.

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