Road Scholar educational adventures are created by Elderhostel,
the not-for-profit world leader in lifelong learning since 1975.


Call (800) 454-5768

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET


Create an account                             Forgot your password?

or Log In via Facebook

Log in to see all you can do with your online Road Scholar account.

MOUNT RUSHMORE, SOUTH DAKOTA

Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Badlands: Vanishing Trails

Select a Date

 

SIGN UP

and receive your

FREE E-NEWSLETTER

&

E-Photo Book:



Top 10 Learning Experiences Around the World

Find A Program

Search By:

Location

SD

Interest

National Parks

Price Range

$1000 - $1500

Start Date

End Date

More Options


Road Scholar
Program #13160RJ
7 Days | 6 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderate
Road Scholar has thousands of educational adventures to choose from. A good way to narrow down our list is to browse our collection of "Most Popular" programs.
See all of our Most Popular 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
Comfortable walking shoes, a light rain jacket, and a leak proof water bottle are highly recommended.

Itinerary for Jun 8 — Jun 14, 2014

Expand all
Type: Hotel

Description: The K Bar S Lodge, built in 2006, is located with a view of Mount 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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service 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 at 1-866-522-7724.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, June 08 - Independent Arrivals / Registration / Orientation
Afternoon: Check-in any time after 3:00PM. Collect your Road Scholar Program Welcome Packet at time of check in. Please stop by the Road Scholar registration table in the hotel lobby between 4:30 and 5:15 to complete some light paperwork. Orientation will take place at 5:30PM.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the K Bar S Lodge.

Evening: Feel free to settle into your room after dinner.

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 Mount 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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service 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 at 1-866-522-7724.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, June 09 - Tatanka / Historic Deadwood / Homestake Sanford L...
Breakfast: A deluxe continental breakfast will be provided in the K Bar S enclosed gazebo.

Morning: We'll kick off the week by discovering the Black Hills and surrounding area's rich Native American history and culture with a field trip to Tatanka - Story of the Bison, a native interpretation center with live demonstrations and personal contacts with native Lakota Sioux interpreters. Here we'll also see the third largest bronze sculpture in the world. Commissioned by actor Kevin Costner after making his block-buster movie, Dances With Wolves, this sculpture features several Native American riders chasing buffalo over a cliff. Each piece is 125% life size and incredibly well done. Later this morning, travel into the historic town of Deadwood where we'll learn about of the struggles of the early gold seekers and board a trolley to Boot Hill to hear stories and legends about notorious characters such as; Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Poker Alice who were instrumental in the development of Deadwood's illustrious reputation.

Lunch: Lunch will be provided for the group in Deadwood.

Afternoon: This afternoon, travel to the historic town of Lead. The sister city to historic Deadwood, Lead has played a pivotal role in the history of the Black Hills. Home to the Homestake Gold Mine, the streets of Lead tell a tale as rich as the gold mined from its hills. The Homestake Gold Mine was one of the early enterprises associated with the Gold Rush of 1876. The mining of gold from Homestake ceased several years ago due to low gold prices but, has begun a new life serving as a laboratory 4,850 feet underground. The lab is working towards a revolution in physics by studying neutrinos. This afternoon enjoy a presentation from the Deputy Director for Education and Outreach for Sanford Underground Research Facility.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the 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 Mount 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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service 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 at 1-866-522-7724.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, June 10 - Custer State Park / Needles Scenic Byway / Crazy ...
Custer State Park / Needles Scenic Byway / Crazy Horse Memorial / Presentation

Breakfast: A deluxe continental breakfast will be provided in the K Bar S enclosed gazebo.

Morning: The Custer Expedition of 1874 is contributed with the illegal flood of white settlers into Sioux territory and the Black Hills. Colonel George Custer spent nearly two months exploring and recording the area around and within the Black Hills. It was during this trip that gold was discovered in French Creek near the current Custer State Park, thus creating the gold rush of 1874. This morning, explore Custer State Park and one of it's designated scenic byways, the Needles Highway. The Park's pine forests, grassy meadows and towers of granite offer spectacular views while also providing a 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.

Lunch: Enjoy an outdoor Western Cookout at the State Game Lodge - 1927 Summer White House to President Calvin Coolidge.

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll take a field trip to Crazy Horse Memorial. 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.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the 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 Mount 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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service 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 at 1-866-522-7724.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, June 11 - Mount Rushmore Memorial / Journey Museum / Rapid ...
Mount Rushmore Memorial / Journey Museum / Rapid City / Lighting Ceremony

Breakfast: A deluxe continental breakfast will be provided in the K Bar S enclosed gazebo.

Morning: 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. Optional ½ mile walk with numerous stairs down the Sculptor’s Studio is available.

Lunch: Lunch will be provided at K Bar S Lodge.

Afternoon: This afternoon continue your week of exploration with a visit to 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: Dinner will be at the K Bar S Lodge.

Evening: Tonight we'll partake in the Mount Rushmore Lighting Ceremony. 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 Mount 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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service 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 at 1-866-522-7724.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, June 12 - Badlands National Park / Prairie Homestead / Wall...
Breakfast: A deluxe continental breakfast will be provided in the K Bar S enclosed gazebo.

Morning: The settlers and gold seekers of early days often struggled daily just to stay alive - in their very effort to live and eat. En route to the Black Hills many dared to traverse across the rugged moon-like landscape that is now known as Badlands National Park. This morning, on the edge of the Badlands, we'll visit an original sod house on the prairie still owned by the descendants of hardy explorers. The Prairie Homestead Historic Site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and gives us a true sense of the rough life of settlers of this by-gone era. Later this morning we’ll tour Badlands National Park. 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 picturesque. The Badlands are a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. The forces that carved these features have not only created a unique topography; they have given a strange beauty to this almost desolate land.

Lunch: Lunch will be provided at Wall Drug, in the town of Wall, South Dakota.

Afternoon: The Wall Drug Store got its start during the Depression years by offering Free Ice Water to thirsty travelers. From their beginning in 1931 to today, the family-owned and run business continues what their reputation was and is built on — giving friendly service to the public! Wall Drug earns much of its fame from its self-promotion. Billboards advertising the establishment can be seen for hundreds of miles throughout South Dakota and the neighboring states. In addition, many visitors of Wall Drug have erected signs throughout the world announcing the miles to Wall Drug from famous locations, treating it as a geodesic datum. Wall Drug also features the largest privately owned western and illustration art collection in the country!

Dinner: Dinner will be at the K Bar S Lodge.

Evening: This evening enjoy a unique look into the colorful past of those who blazed the trail expanding the western frontier.

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 Mount 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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount Baldy. Free coffee is available in the lobby. An elevator serves the main building while ramps service 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 at 1-866-522-7724.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, June 13 - Presentation / Historic 1880 Train Ride / Hill Ci...
Presentation / Historic 1880 Train Ride / Hill City / Black Hills Geological Institute / Final Banquet

Breakfast: A deluxe continental breakfast will be provided in the K Bar S enclosed gazebo.

Morning: This morning the instructor will lecture on related information to the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures. Later this morning, travel back in time as you ride through the beautiful back country of the Black Hills on the Historic 1880 Train. You'll have prime opportunity to spot a plethora of flora and fauna. The train will take you to the neighboring town of Hill City. This afternoon discover creatures from long ago with a group tour of the Black Hills Geologic Research Institute.

Lunch: Lunch will be on your own today to explore the local fare in Hill City.

Afternoon: Enjoy a free afternoon in Hill City. Immerse yourself in the colorful art galleries and shops of this quaint town. Later in the afternoon, hop back on the iron horse for your return trip to the K Bar S.

Dinner: Tonight, enjoy wine, champagne and hors d' oeuvres before our final dinner together. This is the conclusion of the program.

Lodging: K Bar S Lodge

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Seven: Saturday, June 14 - Independent Departures
Breakfast: A deluxe continental breakfast will be provided in the K Bar S enclosed gazebo.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Keystone, SD
General OverviewIf you're planning on coming early or staying post program, there are many additional activities available here in 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, bicycling on old rail beds, hiking, and the study of specialized interests such as geology and palaeontology. 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, Mt. Rushmore Gold factory (on-the-floor factory tours), Jewel Cave, 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
10 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

Also on these dates ...

Choose a nearby learning adventure to add before or after this program:

Support Lifelong Learning

Our educational adventures are made possible by donors like you

Please support lifelong learning here

Free Catalog | Refer a Friend | Gift Certificates | Press | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Careers | Contact Us

© Elderhostel, Inc. 2014
11 Avenue de Lafayette | Boston MA 02111 | Toll-Free 1-800-454-5768