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MOUNT RUSHMORE, SOUTH DAKOTA

Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Badlands: An Active Discovery

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Road Scholar
Program #12774RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Keystone is about 4,300 feet above sea level. Several of our field trips will be near 5,200 feet.

Equipment Requirements
Rain gear, day pack, hiking boots, water sandals, jacket, hat, sun screen and water bottle are required for this program.

Itinerary for Sep 15 — Sep 21, 2013

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.

Contact info:
434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
web: www.kbarslodge.com

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.

Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps services all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for pricing
Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, September 15 - Arrival and Orientation
Afternoon: Check-in time at the K Bar S Lodge is at 3:00 PM. Collect your Road Scholar Program Welcome Packet at time of check-in. Orientation will take place at 5:00 PM in the Lodge.

Dinner: K Bar S Lodge

Evening: After dinner you're free to settle into your room.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.

Contact info:
434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
web: www.kbarslodge.com

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.

Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps services all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for pricing
Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, September 16 - Visit the Magnificent Crazy Horse Memorial Mounta...
Visit the Magnificent Crazy Horse Memorial Mountain Carving / Kayaking on Beautiful Sylvan Lake / Travel the Famous Needles Scenic Byway

Note: Please bring a set of quick-dry clothes, sandals for the kayaking activity and light hiking shoes/boots for the easy walk/hike around Sylvan Lake.

Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge

Morning: In an effort to honor the rich heritage and traditions of Native Americans, Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear set out to carve a mountain just south of Mount Rushmore. In 1948, the two men agreed that this monument would be carved without any federal funding. Korczak and a handful of others began blasting the mountain and removing the rock. Ziolkowski died in 1982 but his family, led by his widow Ruth, continues to work on his great vision. The face of Crazy Horse was dedicated in 1998 and today precision blasting is carving out the features of his horse. When completed, the mountain will be 563-feet high and carved in the round. Korczak Ziolkowski wanted more than just a mountain carving. His 220-page master plan included museums, a medical school and training center, recreation area and an Avenue of Chiefs that would be lined with sculptural portraits of great Lakota and Native American leaders. His family plans to continue to work until this vision is realized. Today, the Crazy Horse Memorial campus offers visitors breath-taking views of the ongoing carving from its viewing veranda. The campus also includes an Indian Museum of North America, gift shop, welcome center, and Native American Cultural Center.

Lunch: Sylvan Lake Lodge

Afternoon: There's no better way to spend a summer afternoon than gliding through calm, glass-like waters with the sun warming your skin and a paddle in your hands. This afternoon we'll set sail for Sylvan Lake where novice and experienced kayakers alike will discover the majestic beauty of Custer State Park from the solitude of a kayak. We'll also walk the interpretive Sylvan Lake Loop trail. This is an easy loop around the lake that offers hikers wonderful views of the granite outcroppings lining the lake. This afternoon travel the Needles Highway. Slender granite formations called "Needles" dominate the skyline of the Needles highway. Deemed “impossible” to construct by its critics, the Needles highway—a National Scenic Byway—was completed in 1922 and includes 14 miles of sharp turns, low tunnels, and impressive granite spires. The Needle’s Eye is one of the most memorable granite needles along the drive, with its signature ‘eye’ formed by countless years of rain, ice and wind.

Dinner: K Bar S Lodge

Evening: Tonight's instructor will lecture on related information to the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.

Contact info:
434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
web: www.kbarslodge.com

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.

Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps services all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for pricing
Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, September 17 - Visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial / Walk the...
Visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial / Walk the Presidential Trail / Tour the City of Presidents / Free Time in Rapid City - Voted Most Patriotic City in the Nation / Tour the Journey Museum

Note: You will be walking several miles throughout the day. Please remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.

Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge

Morning: Visit our Nation's Shrine of Democracy. Amidst the emerald carpet of the Black Hills, sculptor Gutzon Borglum looked out upon craggy pine-clad mountains and saw not simply granite, but rather nature's foundation for a majestic monument. Borglum's vision became Mount Rushmore National Memorial as the noble portrayal of four of America's leaders gradually emerged from the enduring granite. The towering faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln embody the birth, growth, preservation and development of the United States. This morning immerse yourself in the shadow of Mount Rushmore. Learn about the monument, the land it occupies and the artist whose vision created a symbol for all of America. Walk the 1/2 mile Presidential Trail to the sculptor's studio.

Lunch: Downtown Rapid City

Afternoon: Walk the City of Presidents. Visitors to historic downtown Rapid City, voted most patriotic city in the nation, are greeted by the City of Presidents, a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents along the city’s streets and sidewalks. The City of Presidents project began in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency. Each year, four presidential sculptures are added in downtown Rapid City- two presidents from the early years of the presidency and two from more recent administrations. Each of the sculptures is privately funded, and the pattern of placement was chosen to maintain a coherent structure and eliminate any sense of favoritism or political gain. After the City of President's walk please enjoy free time in downtown Rapid City. Later this afternoon we'll gather and tour the Journey Museum. The Journey takes you on an incredible trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the mystical Black Hills over 2.5 billion years ago to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier. The Journey Museum brings together four major prehistoric and historic collections to tell the complete story of the Western Great Plains - from the perspective of the Lakota peoples and the pioneers who shaped its past, to the scientists who now study it. Get a close up look at the struggles settlers and sod busters went through to tame the vast and wild land.

Dinner: K Bar S Lodge

Evening: Tonight, attend the Lighting Ceremony at Mt. Rushmore. This is a very patriotic program presented in the open, outdoor auditorium. SUBJECT TO SEASONAL DATES and WEATHER.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.

Contact info:
434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
web: www.kbarslodge.com

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.

Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps services all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for pricing
Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, September 18 - Explore Badlands National Park
Note: Hiking in Badlands National Park will require sturdy hiking boots, hat, sun screen, water bottle, and a day pack for toting a sack lunch.

Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge

Morning: The rugged beauty of Badlands National Park’s buttes, pinnacles and spires mark terrain once roamed by giant Pleistocene-era beasts. Sabre-tooth cats, rhinoceroses and other bygone creatures once called this wilderness home, leaving their fossil remains in the ancient rock. Time becomes difficult to comprehend as we learn about the deep canyons, towering spires and flat-topped tables of the Badlands. An inland sea covered this area 68-77 million years ago. Layers of sediment deposited over the next 75 million years give the Badlands their bands of colors while erosion continues to expose the inner most secrets of these lunar-like deposits. This land of sharp ridges, steep gullies, pyramids and knobs has been so ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water that it has become uniquely picturesque. The forces that carved these features have not only created a unique topography; they have given a strange beauty to this almost desolate land. Explore this beautiful and rugged wonderland while hiking on designated park trails.

Lunch: Sack lunch in the field

Afternoon: Continuation of hike. Later this afternoon visit the infamous Wall Drug.

Dinner: K Bar S Lodge

Evening: Tonight's instructor will captivate us with traditional oral stories, and historic accounts of the local culture and peoples.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.

Contact info:
434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
web: www.kbarslodge.com

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.

Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps services all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for pricing
Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, September 19 - Explore the Wild Life Loop Road / Saddle up for a...
Explore the Wild Life Loop Road / Saddle up for a Horse-Back Trail Ride / Explore Wind Cave National Park

Note: Long pants and boots or tennis shoes are required for horse-back riding. Wind Cave is moderately strenuous with 300 stairs (mostly going down). Please bring comfortable walking shoes and a jacket for cool cave temperatures.

Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge

Morning: This morning venture into Custer State Park. General Custer’s men found gold here in the summer of 1874. The park’s pine forests, grassy meadows and towers of granite offer spectacular views while also providing a remarkable, lush sanctuary for the park’s four-legged residents. Nearly 1,500 magnificent bison, along with fleet pronghorn, elusive elk, sure-footed mountain goats and a band of begging burrows freely roam the park’s sprawling 71,000 acres Travel the Wild Life Loop road in search of these majestic creatures. At the end of the loop saddle up for a horseback trail ride through the lush back country of Custer State Park.

Lunch: Blue Bell Lodge

Afternoon: Hidden beneath the rolling prairie is one of the world's longest and most complex caves. Wind Cave, in Wind Cave National Park, is 28,295 acres of mixed-grass prairie, ponderosa pine forest, and a plethora of wildlife. The cave is well known for its outstanding display of boxwork, an unusual cave formation composed of thin calcite fins resembling honeycombs. The park's mixed-grass prairie is one of the few remaining and is home to native wildlife such as bison, elk, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, and prairie dogs. Explore Wind Cave with its Natural Cave Entrance Tour. Travel to the place where the cave was discovered and learn how it got its name. Journey through the vast cave rooms and discover the unique and abundant formations. Most of the 300 stairs along this route are down. This moderately strenuous one-half mile tour lasts 1¼ hours and exits the cave by elevator.

Dinner: K Bar S Lodge

Evening: Tonight's instructor will lecture on related information to the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mt. Rushmore. It is quietly secluded on 31 forested acres and away from busy streets. Battle Creek winds its way throughout the property and the large meadow in front of the Lodge is often the playground for deer and turkeys.

Contact info:
434 Old Hill City Rd.
Keystone, SD 57751 USA
phone: 866-522-7724
web: www.kbarslodge.com

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with an ironing board and iron, in room coffee, hair dryer, and television with remote control. All rooms feature highest quality Serta Presidential beds. Rooms are not equipped with a mini-fridge but, the 24 hour manned front desk has a large refrigerator for any medicines that may need to be kept cool.

Facility amenities: A beautiful lobby provides a spectacular view of Mt. Rushmore and nearby Mt. Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps services all other hotel room buildings. Free guest laundry is available on site.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Call for pricing
Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, September 20 - Bike the Mickelson Trail / Explore the town of Hi...
Bike the Mickelson Trail / Explore the town of Hill City / Enjoy a Wine Tasting at Prairie Berry Winery

Note: Biking the Mickelson Trail will require comfortable clothing and tennis shoes. The trail is made of crushed limestone and gravel and miles biked will not exceed a 4 percent grade.

Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge

Morning: Hop aboard a furnished bike and ride on a truly unique Black Hills trail. The Mickelson Trail was originally the Burlington Northern line that took trains from the southern Black Hills to the northern gold mining towns of the Black Hills. The line was abandoned in 1983. A group of outdoor enthusiasts recognized the trails potential, and with support of then Governor Mickelson, it became the states' first rails to trails project. The surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel and grades do not exceed 4 percent.

Lunch: Lunch on your own in Hill City

Afternoon: This afternoon feel free to enjoy the local flavor of Hill City with some free time. Hill City has a unique collection of magnificent museums and cultural shops. The Black Hills Institute of Geological Research - the leader in paleontological excavations and preparation since 1974, helping supply museums and collectors the finest in professionally prepared fossils and cast replicas, is a great place to visit if you want to see big time geological and paleontological artefact's in a small town. The South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Ltd. is a not-for-profit organization established for the purposes of preservation, education, promotion, and interactive interpretation of railroad equipment, memorabilia, and the ever-changing historical material specific to South Dakota and related American railroads. It is a destination designed for all ages and levels of interest. Hill City also hosts a plethora of art galleries and unique shops supplied by local artists and business.

Afternoon: Later this afternoon visit the local Prairie Berry Winery located just outside of Hill City. The family owned winery has been making South Dakota wines for five generations. They offer more than 15 grape, fruit and honey wines.

Dinner: Final banquet at the K Bar S Lodge.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, September 21 - Independent Departures. Hotel check out is 11 AM.
Breakfast: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Keystone, South Dakota
General OverviewThere are many additional activities available during your visit to the Black Hills. This program will touch on many of the general areas of interest but can not dig deeply into all there is to see and do here. There is an interesting and detailed history about Native Americans, plains settlers, gold seekers and more. Many people come to the Black Hills for exceptional trout fishing, photography, additional hiking, and the study of specialized interests such as geology and paleontology. There are numerous museums in Rapid City, Deadwood, Hill City, Custer and other smaller towns in the Black Hills. There is an almost endless list of public and private attractions to visit as well. Places such as Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, the Wild Horse Sanctuary, and dozens of other fun activities await your visit. In Keystone there is mini golf, the Presidential Wax museum, Rushmore Borglum Story, places to get your photo taken in historic costumes, gold mine tours, and much, much more. You could travel to Devil's Tower in NE Wyoming and return to the Hills by driving through beautiful Spearfish Canyon, a National Scenic Byway. There is so much to do in the Black Hills, there is a good reason the Black Hills are dubbed "Beyond All Expectations".
For additional information, visit: www.blackhillsbadlands.com

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
6 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips
3 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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