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Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse and the Badlands: Expanding Horizons

Program Number: 4752RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/11/2010 - 7/16/2010; 6/19/2016 - 6/24/2016; 6/26/2016 - 7/1/2016; 7/17/2016 - 7/22/2016; 7/31/2016 - 8/5/2016;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Price starting at: $907.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Family Programs; National Parks; Intergenerational; Science & Nature
Meals: 13; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Enjoy the fun of shared time as you explore Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park and the beautiful Black Hills. Saddle up for a Western trail ride and discover ancient fossils and lunar-like deposits in the Badlands. Share stories around an open fire while you learn, laugh and create memories with your multi-generational family.


• Go horseback riding, splash in a historic warm water spring, visit a mammoth sink hole and learn how to pan for gold like Potato Creek Johnny.
• Experience Custer State Park’s “wildlife loop” in search of buffalo, pronghorns, begging burrows and big horn sheep.
• Take a chair lift up to a ridge for a special view of Mount Rushmore and feel the wind in your hair as you zip down on the Alpine slide.

Activity Particulars

Walking on uneven ground up to two miles; hilly terrain. Elevations above 5,000 feet.

This is a Family program for participants, their adult children and grandchildren ages 8 and up.

Coordinated by Black Hills Educational Institute.

Mount Rushmore

Massive granite faces overlook the forested treetops of the Black Hills, representing the first 150 years of American history in the sculptural representation of four U.S. presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln. Mount Rushmore and the gateway town of Keystone attract visitors to this beautiful, storied region of the state.

Secluded lodge with a view of Mount Rushmore on 45 forested acres with large meadow that is often a wildlife playground.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Robert Yellowhawk

Robert Gerald Yellowhawk is a native South Dakotan, born in Rapid City. His goal as a youth was to graduate from high school, and now he is a sophomore at Oglala Lakota College in Rapid City, majoring in business administration. A participant as a sixth-grader in the Ateyapi Program, he is now a fulltime mentor helping youths understand traditional Native American dance, values, regalia, ceremonies and the Lakota language. Robert worked two summers at Crazy Horse Memorial.
Erin Woods

Erin Woods is an elementary teacher in the Rapid City School District. With a keen interest in Mount Rushmore history, she enthusiastically relates how Mount Rushmore was carved and how the architects and carvers were able to keep the head of George Washington in proportion to Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt. Erin has a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction, with an emphasis in math and educational technology.
Meals and Lodgings
   K Bar S Lodge
  Keystone, SD 5 nights
 K Bar S Lodge
Type: Lodge
  Description: The K Bar S Lodge is brand new (open in spring 2006) and 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
  Room amenities: Rooms have many upgrades above standard hotel type rooms including such nice touches as thermostatically controlled heating and air conditioning, superior Serta Presidential mattresses, custom made furniture, hairdryers, iron with ironing board and more.
  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. Free guest laundry is available on site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for pricing Additional night reservations may be made by calling the K Bar S Lodge direct at 1-866-522-7724.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for pricing Additional night reservations may be made by calling the K Bar S Lodge direct at 1-866-522-7724.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in at 3:00 PM. You will be staying at K Bar S Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast. You will be staying at K Bar S Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. There is a liability waiver required on the tram lift and alpine slide. There is also a liability waiver required for the trail ride.
  Parking availability:
Free parking on site at the hotel in Keystone.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Keystone, SD
  Nearest city or town:  Rapid City, SD
  Nearest highway: Intersection of US Highways 16A and 40
  Nearest airport:  Rapid City Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Keystone, SD
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details

Rapid City


From Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
Rapid City Airport Shuttle Service
phone: 800-357-9998
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Depends on the number of people - CASH ONLY
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


45 minutes 


Airport Shuttle accepts CASH ONLY

Driving Directions
  Denver, CO The Black Hills are about 400 miles north of Denver.
  Minneapolis, MN Rapid City is about 600 miles west of Minneapolis.
  Rapid City, SD The K Bar S Lodge is located just 1/3 mile west of Keystone, South Dakota on the Old Hill City Road. If you are arriving on Interstate 90 take exit 57, which becomes US Highway 16. Continue on Hwy. 16 south approximately 25 miles to a large arched wooden bridge that is the exit to US Highway 16A. This is well signed as the route to Mt. Rushmore. From this bridge continue south approximately 3 miles to Keystone. As you arrive in Keystone, you’ll approach a stop light. At this light, turn right on Old Hill City Rd. and go less than 1/2 mile to the K Bar S sign showing the address as 434 Old Hill City Road. Turn right at the sign and go onto the property. Arriving by plane at Rapid City Regional Airport, you'll drive west on US Highway 44 and into Rapid City. At the intersection with US Highway 16, turn left (south) and go approximately 20 miles to a large arched wooden bridge that is the exit to US Highway 16A. Continue as above. Driving from Denver there are many routes through Nebraska or Wyoming. If arriving through Wyoming, the best route is north from Lusk on US Highway 85 to US Highway 18 at Mule Creek Junction. Turn right, east, toward Edgemont SD. After 12 miles, turn left on US Highway 89 that will then merge 16 miles later and become US Highway 385 north. Follow 385 north through the towns of Custer and Hill City to US Highway 16. Follow Highway 16 east to 16A and proceed as Described above into Keystone and to the K Bar S. If arriving through Nebraska, the best way is through Chadron on US Highway 385. Simply follow 385 north into South Dakota to the intersection with US Highway 16 described in the Wyoming directions and come into Keystone.
Elevation Note: 4,300 to 5,200

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrivals and Orientation
(Sunday, July 11)
 Arrive To: Check in at the Lodge after 3:00 PM. There is an orientation beginning at 5:15PM in the Lodge. Please check your final itinerary to schedule your arrival time allowing about 45min travel time from the airport to the K Bar S Lodge.
 Dinner: Dinner is included.
 Evening: You may settle into your room
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Mammoth Site/Evan's Plunge/Evening Presentation
(Monday, July 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included.
 Morning: This morning adventure awaits you! Travel back in time when Ice Age mammoths, camels, and giant short-faced bears roamed the Great Plains of North America. More than 26,000 years ago a sudden collapse of a sinkhole with a warm spring percolating from the bottom filled the sinkhole and created an ideal watering hole for animals to quench their thirst. Unfortunately the sinkhole proved to be too slippery and steep for the animals to retreat thus creating a death trap for large Columbian and woolly mammoths. We'll investigate this historic event by visiting the world's largest Columbian mammoth exhibit and research center for Pleistocene studies.
 Lunch: Lunch is included.
 Afternoon: This afternoon immerse yourself in the natural warm springs of Evans Plunge. Don't forget to pack your swimming suit and towel for this fun afternoon of relaxing in the warm spring pools. Water slides add a little thrill for those young at heart!
 Dinner: Dinner is included.
 Evening: The evening will be an opportunity for you and your grandchild to bond and learn about this fascinating land.
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Mount Rushmore and the Alpine Slide/The Journey Museum and Gold Panning/Evening Presentation
(Tuesday, July 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included.
 Morning: High in the Black Hills on a cliff of solid granite are the faces of four of our country's Presidents. Each had a special place in the establishment, exploration, preservation and development of our nation. This special place is Mt. Rushmore National Monument. We'll take a group photo on the viewing terrace, walk the Presidential Trail, and explore in the Monument's museum to learn how and why this incredible carving was made. Those able to handle a significant number of stairs will want to visit the Sculptor's Studio to see the plaster models used by Gutzon Borglum to guide his gigantic carving. Next we'll discover Mt. Rushmore form a different angle as we ride a chair lift up to the top of a ridge. Enjoy the view as well as the ride back down on the lift or take the option of feeling the wind in your hair as you ride the alpine slide back down the hill.
 Lunch: Lunch is included.
 Afternoon: We'll continue our 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 Lakota artifacts and learn why they call the Black Hills "Center of the Universe."
 Dinner: Dinner is included.
 Evening: The evening will once again be an opportunity for you and your grandchild to bond and learn about this fascinating land and the culture of its people.
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Custer State Park and Trail Ride on Horse Back/Crazy Horse Memorial/Campfire
(Wednesday, July 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included.
 Morning: We kick off this morning with a field trip to Custer State Park. General Custer's expedition discovered gold here in 1874, that began the the rush of illegal settlers to the Black Hills. We'll stop at the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center where we'll get a close up look at the Park's history, mysteries, landscapes and wildlife that combine to create this diverse and beautiful park. Next we'll take what we've learned and travel the Wildlife Loop road in search of buffalo, elk, white tail deer and more. At the end of the loop, put on your cowboy hat for a fun filled hour long horse back trail ride.
 Lunch: Lunch is included.
 Afternoon: Just 17 miles from Mt. Rushmore is Crazy Horse Memorial and Indian Museum of the Great Plains. This carving was begun at the request of Lakota Chiefs who, in the words of Chief Henry Standing Bear, said "we want the White Man to know that the Red Man had great leaders, too."
 Dinner: Dinner is included.
 Evening: Possible campfire - weather permitting.
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Badlands National Park
(Thursday, July 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is included.
 Morning: We'll continue to discover a land of extremes. Learn how a once subtropical paradise, complete with exotic sea creatures and dinosaurs, evolved into the desolate Badlands of today. At first glance this moon-like terrain may seem inhospitable, but look closely and discover the secrets that lie with in. Learn how settlers overcame such harsh conditions and watch as the world around you transforms from a sea of gray to a cathedral of colors.
 Lunch: Lunch is on your own in Wall
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll obtain a new appreciation for those who blazed the trail for gold discovery decades before. We'll try our hand at imitating the miners from long ago by panning for gold. Look close, there may be other minerals, and gems in your pan as well!
 Dinner: Final banquet is included.
 Evening: This is the conclusion of the program.
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6:
(Friday, July 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast is inlcuded. Feel free to depart anytime this morning.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Keystone, SD General overview
There 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, 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. The history of the gold rush days is easy to access with a stop in Deadwood about a 1 hour drive north of Keystone. You can take a trolley ride to Mt. Moriah to see Will Bill Hickok's resting place along side Martha Canary, better known as Calamity Jane. Or just a short 10 minute ride from Deadwood you might visit the Homestake Gold Mine's open cut or tour the Mining Museum to learn details of hard rock, underground mining. From there 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
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

What’s included in this Road Scholar program?

Except for the occasional meal on some programs, Road Scholar programs are all-inclusive. That means there are no extra “options,” no passing the hat for tips and no surprises. From lectures and field trips to gratuities and accommodations – the price you pay up front is the price you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

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