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Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Badlands: An Active Discovery

Program Number: 12774RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/21/2014 - 5/27/2014; 9/10/2014 - 9/16/2014; 9/24/2014 - 9/30/2014; 6/3/2015 - 6/9/2015; 6/4/2015 - 6/10/2015;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Price starting at: $1,499.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: National Parks; Outdoor Adventures, Misc.; Walking/Hiking; Science & Nature
Meals: 16; 6 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

In Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Badlands find a landscape that is still as large as the heroes who laid a claim to it, a land once called “the last great unknown,” where some of mankind’s greatest monuments pay tribute to great leaders. From pacific grass prairies to the otherworldly Badlands to the spiritual and verdant Black Hills, gain an up-close and objective perspective of the monuments, cultures and natural treasures that are at the heart of the American experience.




Highlights

• Hike amongst ethereal buttes and peaks in Badlands National Park and walk through towering pine trees in the shadow of Mount Rushmore.
• Learn about the irony of two stories told by mountain carvings within 17 miles of each other — Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial.
• Visit a national award-winning family winery in the heart of the Black Hills.



Activity Particulars

Hikes of 1-3 miles over uneven and rocky terrain. Optional horseback riding and kayaking, included in the program, are appropriate for beginners. Elevations of 3,500 to more than 5,000 feet.




Date Specific Information

9-24-2014

Special Event: This program date includes the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. Feel the thunder as you watch cowboys and cowgirls as they roundup and drive the herd of approximately 1,300 buffalo over the rolling prairie. Special Event: This program date includes the annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch. This is an AVA sponsored 10K or 6.2-mile woodlands ramble to the world’s largest mountain carving in progress. The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organized hike in the United States and is the only time each year the public may hike to the mountain carving.



6-3-2015, 6-4-2015

Special Event: This program date includes the annual Crazy Horse Volksmarch. This is an AVA sponsored 10K or 6.2-mile woodlands ramble to the world’s largest mountain carving in progress. The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organized hike in the United States and is the only time each year the public may hike to the mountain carving.



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.



Accommodations
Secluded lodge with a view of Mount Rushmore.

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

Born and raised in central New Jersey, John Esposti made the decision at five years of age to go out west and meet his destiny. At 18, he enrolled at the University of Idaho and received a degree in education. He then moved to Valdez, Alaska to teach woodworking, drafting and electronics. After four years of working and experiencing all sorts of adventures in a wild and amazing land, he climbed onto a sailboat and sailed off into the sunset bound for Hawaii, and later attended the University of Hawaii. After marrying his wife, Cindy, John returned to the Black Hills to operate a family-run business named Rushmore Cave. After selling the cave business in 2008, John worked for three years at the renowned Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City, S.D. Today, he and Cindy are starting a new venture called GeoFunTrek, with a goal to provide stimulating visitor experiences in the form of day-long educational explorations in the Black Hills.
 
Stephen Yellowhawk

Stephen Yellowhawk was born on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in Eagle Butte, S.D., and was raised in Rapid City by his grandparents, Gerald and Johanna Yellowhawk. He was first inspired to dance by his uncle, Jim Yellowhawk, a world-renowned artist, and has been sharing his talents for traditional dance since he was 14 years old. Stephen received a bachelor’s in elementary education from Oglala Lakota College, and is actively pursuing a master’s degree in leadership and management, with the goal of becoming a leader in Indian education. He is currently employed at the Okiciyapi Wellness Center as a health technician, providing guidance to Native American diabetic patients, and serves as the board president for the Black Hills Powwow Association.
 
Paul Horsted

Paul Horsted has been photographing South Dakota’s people and places for more than 30 years. Early in his career, he was a staff photographer at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, and later served as chief photographer at the South Dakota Department of Tourism. Now living in Custer, Paul has been an independent freelance photographer for the past two decades. His work has appeared in publications such as LIFE magazine, Reader's Digest, and Smithsonian, and he's a frequent contributor to South Dakota Magazine. Paul is co-author of the award-winning book, “Exploring With Custer: The 1874 Black Hills Expedition,” and of the more recent book, “The Black Hills Yesterday & Today.” In 2009, Paul and his research partners released a companion volume about the 1874 Custer Expedition's travels to and from the Black Hills, entitled, “Crossing the Plains With Custer.”
 
Meals and Lodgings
   K Bar S Lodge
  Keystone, South Dakota 6 nights
 K Bar S Lodge
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
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 Mount Rushmore and nearby Mount 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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 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
  Additional nights after: Call for pricing Extra night room reservations may be made by contacting the K Bar S Lodge directly. 1-866-522-7724
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check-in 3:00PM. Registration in the hotel lobby between 4:00 and 4:45. Orientation at 5:00. You will be staying at K Bar S Lodge that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast at 9:00AM. Hotel check out at 11:00AM. You will be staying at K Bar S Lodge the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. There is a waiver for horseback riding that will need to be signed and returned ahead of program start, even if you choose not to ride.
  Parking availability:
There is free parking at the K Bar S Lodge.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Keystone, South Dakota
  Nearest city or town:  Rapid City
  Nearest highway: Highway 16A
  Nearest airport:  Rapid City Regional Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Keystone, South Dakota
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Rapid Taxi
phone: 605-348-8080
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call Rapid Taxi for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Please call no earlier than two days ahead for reservations. Credit card and cash accepted

 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Airport Shuttle Company
phone: 800-357-9998
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$45 per person for 1 - 2 people. $23 per person for 3 or more.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Please call a week in advance for reservations. The Airport Shuttle Company accepts cash. Credit cards accepted at terminal desk only.

 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Alamo / National
phone: 605-393-2664
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Unless you require personal transportation during the week or you plan to extend your visit we recommend using the Taxi or Airport Shuttle service. All local transportation is provided during the program.

 

Rapid City

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Car Rentals
Budget
phone: 605-393-0488
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

45 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

30 miles

   

Unless you require personal transportation during the week or you plan to extend your visit we recommend using the Taxi or Airport Shuttle service. All local transportation is provided during the program.

 
Driving Directions
  Denver, Colorado The Black Hills are about 400 miles north of Denver. 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 below into Keystone and to the K Bar S.
  Minneapolis, MN. Rapid City is about 600 miles west, south west of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Take Interstate 90 to exit 57 in Rapid City. See continued directions below.
  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.
Elevation Note: Keystone is about 4,300 feet above sea level. Several of our field trips will be near 5,200 feet.

Equipment Requirements: Sturdy walking shoes or boots, day pack, sandals for kayaking, long pants and boots or tennis shoes for trail ride, hat, sun screen and leak-proof water bottle are required for this program.
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: Arrival and Lodge Check-in, Registration and Orientation, Welcome Dinner
(Wednesday, May 21)
   
 Afternoon: Lodge Check-in: Available from 3:00 p.m.

Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table and pick up your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule we will review during Orientation, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.

Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.

During free time, the Group Leader will often be available for informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently.

Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: In the dining facility at the Lodge, enjoy a buffet dinner with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
 Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in to your room, and get a good night’s sleep for the full day tomorrow.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Crazy Horse Memorial / Kayaking Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park / Needles National Scenic Byway
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: Bring a change of quick-dry clothes and sandals for kayaking and light hiking shoes/boots for the easy 1 mile loop walk/hike around Sylvan Lake.



   
 Breakfast: In the Lodge dining facility, enjoy a tasty breakfast buffet with hot and cold cereals, waffles with fruit topping, hard-boiled eggs, pastries, bagels, yogurt, fruit, coffee, tea, milk and an assortment of juices.
 Morning: In 1939, Chief Henry Standing Bear wrote to sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, "My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too." In response, and without government funding, Ziolkowski set out to create a memorial to the history and heritage of Native Americans, personified by Chief Crazy Horse. He began in 1948 and worked on the project until his death in 1982. His family continues the dream as work progresses on the world's largest mountain sculpture that still uses no tax dollars and is funded privately through a non-profit organization. When completed, the Crazy Horse Memorial will be the largest outdoor sculpture in the world: 641 feet long and 563 feet high.

Led by our knowledgeable Group Leader, we will take a field trip to marvel at breathtaking views of what has been carved out of the mountain so far and learn about Ziolkowski’s grand master plan. The campus also serves as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts, and crafts through the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational & Cultural Center.
 Lunch: At Sylvan Lake Lodge in Custer State Park, enjoy a selection of salad or sandwiches in the dining room with a view of Harney Peak.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we'll enjoy the spectacular solitude of Sylvan Lake where novice and experienced kayakers alike will explore the majestic beauty of the lake in single or double kayaks (with instruction for those who have not kayaked previously). We'll also walk the interpretive Sylvan Lake Trail, an easy loop that offers hikers wonderful views of the granite outcroppings lining the lake. Then we re-board our motor coach and traverse the Needles Highway, where slender granite formations called "Needles" dominate the skyline. Deemed impossible to construct by critics, the Needles Highway -- a National Scenic Byway -- was completed in 1922. The spectacular drive through forested mountains includes 14 miles of sharp turns, low tunnels, and impressive granite spires. One of the most impressive features, the Needle’s Eye, has been formed by countless years of rain, ice, and wind.
 Dinner: At the Lodge.
 Evening: Learn fascinating aspects of the Black Hills and its surrounding peoples and cultures from a local expert.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Mount Rushmore National Memorial / Rapid City / Journey Museum / Mount Rushmore Lighting Ceremony
(Friday, May 23)

Note: Walking several miles throughout the day; wear comfortable walking shoes.



   
 Breakfast: At the Lodge.
 Morning: Danish-American sculptor Gutzon Borglum, the creator of Mount Rushmore, wrote: “The purpose of the memorial is to communicate the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States with colossal statues of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt.” Borglum intended his monumental sculpture to be not only a memorial to four of our greatest Presidents, but a shrine to democracy. Why these four? Washington led the nascent United States to win independence from Great Britain. Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence. Roosevelt the “trust buster” ensured the rights of working people and was instrumental in building the Panama Canal. Borglum began work in 1927 and continued until his death in 1941, when his son, Lincoln Borglum, took it on and ended work later that year. During the field trip guided by our Group Leader, there will be an optional 1/2 mile walk on the Presidential Trail to Borglum’s studio. Here you will learn more about the monument, its construction, and the artist whose vision produced one of America’s most iconic symbols.
 Lunch: In downtown Rapid City, you will have your choice of restaurants; vouchers provided.
 Afternoon: We will take a walk through historic downtown Rapid City, chosen as the “Most Patriotic City” during the inaugural Best of the Road Rally hosted by USA Today. We are greeted by the “City of Presidents” -- a 20-square-block section of downtown with life-size bronze statues of past presidents along streets and sidewalks. Begun in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency, each sculpture was privately funded, and the pattern of placement was chosen to maintain a coherent structure and eliminate any sense of favoritism or political gain. You will also have some free time for personal independent exploration.

Later in the afternoon we'll re-group and visit the Journey Museum. The Journey Museum, and its four major collections, provides a metaphorical journey into the past of more than just this part of western South Dakota. The Journey brings into focus a cogent story of billions of years of eruption, exploration, evolution, conflict and change.

The Journey Museum, and its four major collections, provides a metaphorical journey into the past. Geologic action deep inside the earth 2.5 billion years ago violently thrust into being the land now known as the Black Hills. No description of the Black Hills is relevant without a rudimentary understanding of basic geologic forces and their impact on the land, the animals and ultimately the people. Once covered by a shallow inland sea, this part of the Great Plains was home to ancient dinosaurs. Though now extinct, The Journey will help bring them back to relevance as we understand their time in this place. The journey continues as we learn about the arrival of Native American Sioux to the plains around 1700. As we proceed through The Journey, we begin to comprehend the cultural clash that changed their world with the arrival of gold seekers, settlers and sod busters intent on finding a future in Dakota Territory.
 Dinner: At the Lodge.
 Evening: Tonight (weather and seasonal availability permitting), we will attend the Lighting Ceremony at Mount Rushmore, a patriotic program presented in the open, outdoor auditorium.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Badlands National Park Hiking Field Trip / Wall Drug Store
(Saturday, May 24)

Note: Hiking in Badlands National Park requires sturdy hiking boots, hat, and a day pack for carrying sunscreen, water bottle, etc.



   
 Breakfast: At the Lodge.
 Morning: We will explore the rugged beauty of Badlands National Park on designated park trails via motorcoach. The Lakota gave this land its name, “mako sica,” meaning “land bad.” An inland sea covered this area 68-77 million years ago. Erosion of the Badlands over the last 75 million years reveals sedimentary layers of vivid colors resulting from different minerals and elements left from volcanic ash carried here by the wind from other parts of the world. Today, the 244,000 acres of mystical moon-like topography of spires and pinnacles surrounded by a sea of grass are inhabited by buffalo, deer, antelope, prairie dogs, and much more.
 Lunch: In the town of Wall just outside of Badlands National Park, enjoy a vintage, cafeteria-style lunch at famous Wall Drug Store.
 Afternoon: The Wall Drug Store got its start during the Depression years by offering free ice water to thirsty travelers. Wall Drug features the largest privately owned western and illustration art collection in the country, and you are free to visit the gallery independently after lunch.
 Dinner: At the Lodge.
 Evening: Tonight's speaker will captivate us with stories and historic accounts of the local culture, peoples, and traditions.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Custer State Park Wild Life Loop Road / Horse-Back Trail Ride / Wind Cave National Park
(Sunday, May 25)

Note: Long pants and boots or tennis shoes are required for horse-back riding. The Wind Cave interpretive walk has stairs with 300 steps, exiting at the end via elevator. Bring comfortable walking shoes and a jacket for cool cave temperatures.



   
 Breakfast: At the Lodge.
 Morning: Our field trip this morning ventures into Custer State Park, where 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 burros“ -- wild donkeys that have learned to seek food hand-outs from motorists – all freely roam the park’s sprawling 71,000 acres We will traverse the Wild Life Loop road via motor coach in search of these majestic creatures.

At the end of the loop, we'll stop at Blue Bell Stables and saddle up for a one-hour, expert-led horseback trail ride through the lush back country of Custer State Park.
 Lunch: Enjoy a selection of local specialties at Blue Bell Lodge.
 Afternoon: For a dramatic change of pace, our afternoon field trip takes us into one of the world's longest and most complex caves, hidden beneath the rolling prairie. Wind Cave was known to the Sioux Indians as the living, breathing incarnation of Mother Earth and thus the source of all life. Meteorologists tell us today that changes in barometric pressure cause the “wind” that was Mother Earth’s breath. We will explore this beautiful 28,000 acres of the southern Black Hills in Wind Cave National Park. Famous for its boxwork underground calcite honeycomb formations, above ground the mixed grass prairie is scattered with Ponderosa Pines and is a paradise for elk, bison, pronghorn, mule deer, coyotes, and prairie dogs.
 Dinner: At the Lodge.
 Evening: Learn more about natural and human history of the Black Hills.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Biking Mickelson Trail / Hill City / Wine Tasting at Local Winery
(Monday, May 26)

Note: Biking the Mickelson Trail requires comfortable clothing and tennis shoes. The trail is made of crushed limestone and gravel and miles bicycled will not exceed a 4-percent grade. Bicycling distance and time, based on personal preference, is anywhere from 2 to 8 miles round trip and up to 3 hours.



   
 Breakfast: At the Lodge.
 Morning: This morning we'll travel to Hill City where you will be furnished a personally fitted bicycle for you to ride on a truly unique Black Hills trail at your leisure. In addition to the bike, you will also have a helmet, flat tire repair kit, a place to hold your water bottle, and any instruction or advice you need from expert bicyclists. 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 state’s first rails-to-trails project.
 Lunch: This lunch in Hill City has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader for lunch at your own cost if you like.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. Hill City has a unique collection of magnificent museums and cultural shops. We recommend the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research, the leader in paleontological excavations and preparation since 1974, that helps supply museums and collectors the finest in professionally prepared fossils and cast replicas, if you want to see big-time geological and paleontological artifacts in a small town. Another suggestion s the South Dakota State Railroad Museum, Ltd., a not-for-profit organization that preserves and interprets railroad equipment, memorabilia, and the ever-changing historical material specific to South Dakota and related American railroads. Hill City also hosts a number of art galleries and shops of local artists and artisans.

Later this afternoon, we will re-group and visit a winery located just outside of Hill City to enjoy complimentary tastings.
 Dinner: Our farewell dinner at the K Bar S Lodge is an opportunity to share your favorite experiences in the company of new Road Scholar friends. Get a good night’s sleep and prepare for departure in the morning.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: K Bar S Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Program Concludes
(Tuesday, May 27)

Note: Please note that hotel check-out is by 11:00 a.m.



   
 Breakfast: At the Lodge. This concludes our program.

We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Keystone, South Dakota 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, 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: 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.

Suggested Reading List


Moon of Popping Trees


Author: Rex Alan Smith


Description: The Massacre at Wounded Knee was the last major battle between whites and Native Americans.With parallels to concerns some have of today’s news reports, you’ll see that this massacre was largely a result of overblown news reports of the danger of the Native American Ghost Dance. Even more startling is the revelation in this book that the Ghost Dance had its origin in the Christian resurrection story. This book spans fifty years of the life and struggles of Native Americans as they try to maintain their lifestyle in the face of America’s westward expansion.



The Carving of Mount Rushmore


Author: Rex Alan Smith


Description: This entertaining and very readable book tells the fascinating stories of the people of Mt. Rushmore. Included are first person accounts of not only the carvers, the politicians and Borglum, but an almost unbelievable host of others who became part of the tumult and triumph that make this history read like a novel. If you’re only going to read one book about Rushmore, this is the one.



Exploring with Custer: The 1874 Black Hills Expedition


Author: Ernest Grafe & Paul Horsted


Description: General George Armstrong Custer's Journey to the Black Hills in 1874 was better documented than any other military expedition of the Old West. Not only did William H. Illingworth record superb views of the landscape and several camps, but at least fifteen men wrote diaries, reports or newspaper dispatches brimming with vivid detail. This book blends the Illingworth photos and their present-day counterparts with selections from all known accounts to paint a unique portrait of everyday life along the trail. Please order through Paul Horsted at www.dakotaphoto.com or 1.800.248.2194



Pioneer Days in the Black Hills


Author: John S. McClintock


Description: A rough-and-tumble account of the early days of Deadwood and the Dakota Territory written by early day pioneer John S.McClintock. He provides material on the gold rush, skirmishes with Indians, exploits of road agents and outlaws, and appearances of celebrities such as Wild Bill Hickok and Deadwood Dick.





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