Driving a total of approx. 69 miles throughout the day with multiple stops. Walk about 2 miles today on sidewalks and flat terrain.
Breakfast is at the hotel in a private dining room. Buffet: Fruit, eggs, toast, pastries, breakfast meat, juice, hot tea, and coffee. Additional beverages for purchase are available.
We’ll transfer from the hotel to the Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City, which is a replica of the Borgund Stavkirke of Laerdal, Norway. Built in 1969, the Chapel is an exact model of the famous 842 year-old Scandinavian church whose structure combines Norse Dragon Heads, Christian symbols, fancy roof shingles and a pegged-timber construction. There also is a grass-roofed Stabbur welcome center and Log Cabin Museum. Watch for deer and wild turkeys that roam the chapel grounds. The Chapel in the Hills staff will give a talk in the Chapel about the history of the Chapel, how it was built and why, and the significance of the Chapel today. Next, we’ll travel to Custer State Park visitors center. Upon arrival, we’ll watch a film about Custer State Park and, if there is time, we will enjoy some independent exploration to peruse the exhibits. Custer State park which covers 71,000 acres, making it one of the largest state parks in the nation. From its northern sector in the shadow of 7,242-foot-high Harney Peak to the forests, meadows and prairies of its southeast corner, Custer State Park offers a splendid route featuring pigtail bridges, granite tunnels that frame the faces of Mount Rushmore, and curves that wind along a road experts said couldn't be built. Watch for bison as they may be part of one of the largest publicly owned bison herds in the country numbering between 1,000 to 1,200. Other wildlife includes pronghorn or antelope, mule and whitetail deer, burros, coyotes, wild turkeys, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and golden eagles. En route to the visitor center, our Group Leader will provide commentary on our surroundings. Upon arrival, we’ll watch a film about Custer State Park and, if there is time, we will enjoy some independent exploration to peruse the exhibits.
Buffet lunch at historic Game Lodge in Custer State Park. Items may include: Buffalo stew, 2 entrées, salads, bread and assorted desserts. Additional beverages are available for purchase.
Continue to the Mammoth Site. Discover the Mammoths and experience America’s greatest Ice Age Treasure at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. The Mammoth site, with a 36,000 square foot visitor center, is an in-situ (bones left as found) Ice Age museum containing the largest concentration of Columbian and Woolly Mammoths found in their primary context in the world. Imagine walking the edges of a 26,000-year-old sinkhole where mammoths, short face bear, mountain lions, and wolves once walked. The Muller Exhibit Hall features fascinating exhibits: a full-sized Columbian mammoth replica, a walk-in bone shelter, and skeletons of now-extinct carnivores; the giant short-faced bear and the American lion. Get a glimpse of the scientific work conducted downstairs in the state of the art lab. The Mammoth Site has been featured on Discovery Channel, CBS and NBC Evening News, Today Show, BBC Television programs, and in many magazines, including National Geographic. The site has co-hosted international symposiums and conferences, as well as published scientific Quaternary research books. Continue exploring Custer State Park
Enjoy the evening in downtown Rapid City and support local business' where you can choose from a variety of local restaurants and types of cuisine or enjoy dinner at the hotel and the evening at your leisure.
After dinner, people watch or take a stroll through historic downtown Rapid City.