South Dakota
Mount Rushmore, Black Hills and Badlands: An Active Discovery
Learn about and visit Mount Rushmore and explore South Dakota at its most raw as you hike the unique landscapes of the Badlands, kayak Black Hills Lake and visit a local family winery.
Program No. 12774RJ
7 days
Starts at
Getting There
See travel details and required documents

At a Glance

Discover the wildly diverse landscapes in the Black Hills of South Dakota while hiking, biking, riding horseback and kayaking through this unbelievably unique and pristine wilderness. Home to Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills offers beauty, solitude and a plethora of activities for those with an adventuresome spirit. Let the great outdoors become your classroom as local experts reveal the wonders of this exquisite island in the plains.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Hiking 2 - 5 miles over uneven and rocky terrain. Optional one hour horseback trail ride and afternoon lake kayaking; appropriate for beginners. Recreational ½ day bike ride on flat, crushed gravel surface. Elevations of 3,500-6,200 feet.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Hike amongst ethereal buttes and peaks in Badlands National Park and walk through towering pine trees in the shadow of Mount Rushmore.
  • Learn about native history and culture by visiting Crazy Horse Memorial.
  • Discover Custer State Park, the second largest State Park in the nation, on foot, on horseback and in the seat of a kayak.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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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.
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John Esposti
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Stephen Yellowhawk
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Paul Horsted
Suggested Reading List
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