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Rapid City, South Dakota

In Rapid City, it’s all about the little things that lead to the biggest memories. So, while you’re exploring around town and throughout the Black Hills, it’s the time spent with your friends and family that’ll leave an impact bigger than Mount Rushmore.

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Top Spots in and near Rapid City

  • Hermosa, South Dakota

    Explore the Spokane Ghost Town

    1 mi / 4521 ft gain
    Spokane will always be one of my favorite locations in the hills. The town was founded in 1890 and features 3 intact structures from that time. The most intact structure is the manager's house which you can find up on a hill behind the other buildings. A few years ago the old school house finally...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Horse Thief Lake Trail

    4.0
    5.27 mi / 1132 ft gain
    Horse Thief Lake Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Keystone, South Dakota.
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Mt. Rushmore Profile View

    Cool little pull off area to get a shot of Washington’s face from the side between the mountains. There is a pull off on both sides of the road and a popular spot to stop and photograph this unique perspective of Mt. Rushmore.  For the loop trail to see more of the sites of Mt. Rushmore, check o...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Hike Iron Creek Trail #15

    2.4 mi / 200 ft gain
    The trail is accessible from 2 different spots, both give you the opportunity for a scenic drive to get there. The approach from the Northeast side is on Iron Mountain road a beautiful scenic Black Hills highway, and you will be very near Lakota Lake.  The Southwest trail head is a more rugged dr...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Hike Willow Creek Trail

    2.8 mi / 5200 ft gain
    The trailhead is located at the Willow Creek Horse Camp. This trail doesn't allow motorized vehicles but you may share it with some horses depending on when you venture onto the trail. The trail itself is pretty easy, it will take about 1.5-2 hours depending on your pace and is shaded for about h...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Cathedral Spires in the Black Hills

    4.8
    1.65 mi / 200 ft gain
    This is a moderate hike with a huge payout in the form of some of the Black Hills' most beautiful features — tall granite spires rising hundreds of feet above the surrounding terrain, reaching a maximum height of 6,860 feet. Starting from the Cathedral Spires Trailhead --where you may be treated...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Hike Grace Coolidge Walk-In Area

    6 mi / 150 ft gain
    Grace Coolidge Walk-In area is a fantastic place to go for a hike and do some fly fishing! There are 6 dams built along the 3 mile trail. You can start on either from Center Lake off of Playhouse Rd. or you can start at the southern trailhead near Highway 16A, that is not too far west from the St...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Drive Needles Highway in Custer State Park

    4.8
    Perfect for a pre or post Black Hills/Badlands adventure, Needles Highway is the joyride of a lifetime.  Entrance to Custer State Park costs 10 dollars, and do be prepared to keep it in low gear behind RVs and motorcycles. Pull-offs for photos and general marveling are frequent. 
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Hike to Little Devil's Tower in the Black Hills

    5.0
    The trail starts at the Little Devil's Tower Trailhead which is located roughly one mile east of Sylvan Lake on Highway 87. Take Trail #4 for around 1/2 mile until a fork in the trail. The right fork takes you to Harney Peak, while the left takes you to Little Devils Tower. Along the trail there ...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Poet's Table

    5.0
    0.86 mi / 374 ft gain
    This hike starts at the Little Devil's Towers trailhead just east of Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. Follow the main trail from the parking lot about 300 yards then there will be an unmarked trail off to the left, it is a beaten path more than a trail. The trail that leads up to Poet's Table ve...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Hiking to Harney Peak

    4.9
    The Harney Peak Trailhead #9 is located in the northwest corner of the parking lot just beyond Sylvan Lake. From there, the hike is very straight forward – the beginning of the trail is very moderate, being slightly flat with a few ups and downs along the way.Once you cross into the Black Elk Wil...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Sylvan Lake Shore Trail

    5.0
    1.1 mi / 39 ft gain
    Sylvan Lake Shore Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Custer, South Dakota.
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Black Elk Peak and Little Devil's Tower Loop

    5.0
    7.85 mi / 1621 ft gain
    Black Elk Peak and Little Devil's Tower Loop is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Custer, South Dakota.
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Hike Sunday Gulch Loop

    5.0
    2.8 mi / 400 ft gain
    To get to Sunday Gulch Trail you will need to walk around Sylvan Lake to the Northwest End of the Lake, there is a loop all the way around the lake, so either way will take you there. You will see a sign for Sunday Gulch Trail, it is trail #6.  The trail itself can be quite steep in places but it...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Drive the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop

    4.7
    The Custer State Park Wildlife Loop runs for 18 miles across beautiful grasslands and pine-speckled slopes that are home to much of the park's wildlife. Bison, pronghorn, whitetail, mule deer, elk, coyotes, burros, prairie dogs, eagles, hawks, and a variety of other birds may be spotted along the...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Camp at Sylvan Lake Campground

    5.0
    Medium-sized campground across the road from Sylvan Lake. Run by Custer State Park - reservations can be made online. Several individual sites are available for walk-in camping, which makes for a backcountry experience.Make you campsite reservation here: https://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks...
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Go Great Places in South Dakota

In the Mount Rushmore state, travels to South Dakota are full of one-of-a-kind adventure with wide-open spaces as endless as the horizons. Between legendary landscapes and scenic drives, you can always find space that shifts life into park. When you’re ready, go great places.

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