13160
South Dakota

The Best of Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills and Badlands

Discover South Dakota’s beautiful Black Hills and Badlands, where bison mosey through roadside meadows and hand-carved mountains tower over vast stretches of untouched wilderness.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 13160RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,399
57 Reviews
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4.93 Average
Christine
(5)

As a single traveler it was so fun to be with this group. It's much nicer to be with others when you share a great experience or see something wonderful. And, it's safer than traveling alone. I'm hooked on Road Scholar.

Adrienne
(5)

I chose the mount Rushmore, Badlands tour because seeing Mount Rushmore was on my bucket list. I was very surprised that there were so many beautiful and interesting things to see and learn about on the trip that Mount Rushmore actually became the least interesting. Strongly recommend this trip and looking forward to many more Roadscholar adventures. This was my first Roadscholar adventure, but it won't be my last.

Alfred
(5)

Great program,Exceded expectations.Rushmore &Bison were on "Bucket List",

Kathleen
(5)

I will do more of these programs, they were terrific!! Thank you for an outstanding experience, one I will never forget!

Peter
(5)

wonderful trip......met terrific people.....wight we visited were most interesting and open a part of the US we never knew about....very worthwhile and gained a lot of knowledge

Christina
(4)

September was a perfect time to go since it was comfortably warm and not too hot. Overall, it was a wonderful experience.

Francis
(5)

Our guide, Michael, was native to the area. He shared fantastic insights about life in the Black Hills.

Vicki
(5)

I have just returned from a wonderful trip to South Dakota. I went primarily for Mt Rushmore but learned there is so much more to love about the Black Hills. I began the trip barely knowing where South Dakota was and now I can say it is a place I love.

Anne Marie
(4)

Just returned from the Best of Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills and the Badlands. What a wonderful trip! Not only the above sites but the other stops made me fall in love with this area of South Dakota. Our guide and all the other folks we met were lovely.

Wilson
(5)

GREAT TRIP LEARNED A LOT ABOUT MT. RUSHMORE

Kathie
(5)

This Program of Mount Rushmore, the Black Hills and Badlands was one of the most comprehensive and diversified programs we have ever attended. I can't begin to tell you how interesting it all was -- things I never dreamed I would be interested in fascinated me and opened new doors in so many areas. I'm sure much of this was due to the energetic and dedicated program speakers who were able to explain so many varied subjects to us in layman's terms. This was not just monuments . . . it was about beautifully curated museums, interesting towns, the Mammoth Site, the Homestake Mine and the neutrino studies that are being done there, the Badlands, Crazy Horse,Custer's Army, what it's like to run a ranch, and so much more! Don't miss this one!

Cathleen
(5)

This program fit perfectly with my quest to visit all the National Parks. The museums and speakers added a great deal to my experience.

Sue
(5)

What an exciting program! We saw so many beautiful and interesting things in a beautiful area. Buffalo and prairie dogs, mammoth bones, a neutrino lab a mile underground, a sod house, rocky wooded hills, and wide-open prairies. We learned about tragic Native American history, rugged pioneers, and modern-day cowboys. All packed into a wonderful, memorable week. I've been telling my friends about it ever since.

Henry
(5)

A chance to travel w/o leaving your easy chair!

Evelyn
(5)

Interesting, informative, beautiful, and definitely worth doing!

Jeannine
(5)

This trip was absolutely fantastic! Every outing was great (although not enough time in some spots - will have to return!), including the ones I thought might be not very interesting. I would highly recommend this trip if you've never seen southwestern South Dakota!

Janet
(5)

This was one of my most satisfying vacations ever. It was my first Road Scholar experience but hoping to have another opportunity soon. Road Scholar personnel were well organized and the speakers and leaders enhanced the experience. Well done!

Marie
(5)

A very enjoyable and educational tour. Definitely saw/visited more sites with the tour than if we had been on our own.

Rosemary
(5)

The visit to South Dakota was more enjoyable than anticipated. A good trip all around.

Evelyn
(5)

Awesome state. Much to see, Great trip

Robert
(5)

An excellent adventure viewing geography i’ve Never seen before.

Susan
(5)

This program is outstanding. We signed up to see Mount Rushmore, and we saw and learned so much more about the Black Hills, Badlands, Lakota culture, mining, homesteading, geology and more. . What a historically and culturally rich area! Our guide was excellent and the accommodations were terrific. I highly recommend this program.

Annette
(5)

This was our 19th Road Scholar program and one of the very best. People, food, accommodates all were outstanding. Two years from now, I hope we can come back for the RS program that includes working on the Mammoth dig.

Steven
(5)

If anyone does the black hills tour, this IS the one to use! Very pleased.

Gloria
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This is my second Road Scholar trip am very happy with both - one in Europe and one in states. Highly recommend to everyone. Road Scholar makes sure we have appropriate activities and I have not only enjoyed them all, but have always felt well taken care of and secure.

Charles
(5)

Great program that exceeded my expectations. Outstanding group leader excellent lecturers and accommodations. I learned much about American Indian culture and history of tribes of the area that were visited.

Frances
(5)

What a wonderful trip to South Dakota! We were surprised by the rich culture, beautiful scenery, bountiful wildlife, and enthusiastic residents who helped show us all the wonderful sites in their state. We would definitely recommend this trip.

Karen
(4)

Wonderful trip----who would have known South Dakota had so much to offer!!!

Sarah
(4)

This program offers an excellent overview of the highlights of western South Dakota. Do be prepared that because SD is a large state, you will spend more time on a bus than you might in city-based programs, but it's the only way to see key sights. It would be a good program for people who don't want to walk much. If you like to hike/walk, you are better off attending an active version of the program. Also, I went the last week of May and this year (2019) the weather was very rainy. Apparently the previous week they even got snow. So if you're looking for warmer but not too hot, weather, I would recommend early June or even September.

Lori
(5)

Feel free to use any part of my review on your website. We had a wonderful experience. Thank you!

Barbara
(5)

As someone who has never taken a group tour (since early 1980s China because I had to) and who has mostly traveled alone through Asia, Europe, South America and the Middle East, I found that group travel was not as difficult as I expected. Although I needed more independence at several points in the trip, I enjoyed meeting and getting to know my group and ended up really being impressed by their helpfulness, kindness, and intelligence.

Martha
(5)

The Best of Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, and Badlands program in South Dakota was exceptional. The educational aspect was excellent, the sites we visited were interesting, and the number of activities kept us really busy. We thoroughly enjoyed our first trip with Roads Scholar and look forward to many more!

Ann
(5)

As a first time Road Scholar participant I found the program exceeded my expectations. I felt comfortable traveling with a congenial group from all over the country. I appreciated the educational component that Road Scholar provides. Our tour guide, lecturers, accommodations, sights and sites were all wonderful and well organized.

Kenneth
(5)

A beautiful part of our country especially in the fall led by a leader who has excellent knowledge of the area, historical events, local customs, and life in the Black Hills

Carol
(5)

I was a bit afraid of the standing in museums and walking on this trip as it was my first. I found I could opt out at any time by walking out of the room or finding a chair in some cases. When I go again, I will have no hesitation at this level. The trip itself was outstanding

Nancy
(5)

Knew little, found out a lot with more diversity than I imagined. Increased my knowledge of the state and the world, past and the potential future.

Toni
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

This was a very interesting and busy week in the beautiful Black Hills. I enjoyed learning about everything, even the annual buffalo roundup, which was worth standing outside on a very cold morning and waiting for the wranglers and bison to appear on the horizon. Although I had visited the area as a tourist when I was a young adult, this program introduced me to places I knew nothing about and I appreciated the in- depth information we received from a variety of experts. Jean-Claire was always upbeat and kept us organized and moving. The comfortable lodge was in a beautiful setting and the food was plentiful and tasty. This was the 13th RS program I have taken so I am familiar with RS quality and this program was up there with the best.

Michelle
(5)

I had never been to South Dakota. I was impressed by the friendly people, the scenery and the many things that were available to experience. The countryside is beautiful, there is a lot to learn about our native American people and the culture of the West. Do not miss Mt Rushmore and the evening lighting ceremony.

Carl
(5)

Much more than Mt. Rushmore, this program included learning history of the gold rush and Custer's expedition, going to sites where Mammoth bones are excavated and where neutrino experiments are conducted in an underground mine, watching a buffalo herd, and viewing scenic beauty of the Badlands.

Ben
(5)

Dont miss this program! A very well organized five days that provides an excellent understanding of the geological, cultural and destination highlights of the Black Hills, Badlands area.

Martha
(5)

Loved this trip! if you are adventuresome and love seeing some of the beautiful topography of our country this trip is for you. The lodge we stayed in was wonderful , a great way of enjoying the outdoors.

Yvonne
(5)

if you want to not just see but learn this is the travel company for you

Peggy
(5)

Everything about this trip was great, from the various sites we visited to the guest speakers, transportation, accommodations and food. Jerry Gau is an extremely knowledgeable and helpful leader. There is so much more in South Dakota to see and do than I thought possible. Never a dull moment!

Virginia
(5)

Our guide and bus driver were both great assets for this great trip. Many varied sites were visited, and all were worthwhile. Food was not of the quality I'm used to with past road scholar trips. Another minor issue is that 70+-year-old folks have a difficult time getting a 50 lb suitcase up two sets of stairs; no elevator. But those are minor compared to the great setting and program overall.

Arthur
This reviewer did not give a star rating.

Leader was excellent: knew subject matter very well; very friendly and well organized. Program ran smoothly. Program issues: (1) Women in S. D. agriculture presentation was not useful and time could have been better spent at Mammoth excavation later same day. They couldn't (or wouldn't) speak to current issues that would have been of interest to non-farmers on tour (subsidies, tariffs, etc.) (2) More time should have been allocated to Mammoth excavation; (3) visit to Journey Museum in Rapid City should have been scheduled earlier b/c it's a great intro to area and sites to be visited; (4) Presenters in Gold Room at hotel must use mikes all the time, and all tour guides should also use portable mikes ; (5) hotel is okay but housekeeping is indifferent.

Patricia
(5)

I had never considered going to South Dakota. I chose this for that reason, and found it so interesting and informative. A beautiful state with many attractions. The group was well led, with many varying excursions.

Brian
(5)

Great programs and the best way to travel. You learn so much more about these trips then you would going yourself.

Irene
(5)

Now that I have gone on my first Roads Scholar tour I can understand why many of the other travelers I met have been on numerous trips with them!

Norman
(5)

Get to know South Dakota, its diversity from Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse sculptures to Homestake Mining Co. Opera House in Hot Springs, the Woolly Mammoth Dig Site, the Sanford underground laboratory, the Badlands and the Black Hills. Your expectations will surely be exceeded.

Sandy
(5)

I loved this trip! I mainly wanted to see Mt Rushmore and the Badlands and was surprised to find out there was so much more to discover that all tied in with the total South Dakota experience. Accommodations were great, food was delicious, tour guide was very knowledgeable, and the educational programs were varied and great. Totally recommend this trip.

Dave
(5)

This tour was more interesting than I had expected. You had to see and experience the many sites and facets in order to appreciate what was there. My wife and I came away with satisfaction of all that was presented.

Rev Peggy
(5)

I thought I knew a lot about the early frontier, but so much more is gained from experience: setting my feet on ancient soil, touching the walls of a sod house, hearing why there are lone bull buffalo, walking down the parade of flags at Mt Rushmore, learning the geological reason for the Black Hills & then seeing them...it all makes more sense.

Nancy
(5)

This program to Mount Rushmore exceeded my expectations. The location, staff and bus driver were outstanding. The educational aspects were carefully and accurately planned.

Louise
(5)

The program was highly educational on all levels. It is a very busy itinerary with little time to relax or even change for dinner. Not for everyone!

Cynthia
(5)

A great destination and well presented program. Exceeded expectations! Thank you1

Stanley
(5)

The region covered by this tour has a very interesting history. All of the museums visited were incredible. The Badlands experience cannot be adequately captured in photos - you must be there to believe it!

Anita
(5)

I wanted this particular experience, not linked with Yellowstone or other parks I have already seen. It went way beyond my expectations!






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