Lutheran Outdoors at Outlaw Ranch



The clean, elevating smell of ponderosa pines co-mingles with the southern Black Hills’ visual gifts: whitetail deer grazing in a lush meadow; distant mountain peaks embracing the sky; a gem-blue creek curving through a horse pasture. Outlaw Ranch in South Dakota is at the heart of Mother Nature’s largesse, an educational retreat where Road Scholar adventurers have piqued their senses for nearly 27 years exploring a Midwestern American trove of culture, nature and history. To wit: At nearby Mount Rushmore, Road Scholars learn Lewis & Clark and Buffalo Bill Cody were first considered to grace the rock face. The learning never stops, except at day’s end, over a replay of the day’s adventures in a front-porch rocking chair.


The comfortable Outlaw Ranch abuts magical Custer State Park at a beautiful site on 200 acres in the forests of the southern Black Hills. Overlooking horse pastures and a nearby lake and hills, the Ranch offers two kinds of accommodations. In the lodge, two private bedrooms each have a sink in the room but share one bathroom. In the retreat center, gender-specific bath facilities are shared by three rooms.


An exceptional array of active pursuits awaits Road Scholars at this nature haven, from endless walks through grassy expanses and ponderosa pines to canoeing and kayaking on a calm pond. Road Scholars might throw a line into the pond in hopes of catching a shimmering fish. An outdoor basketball court offers the opportunity to work on the shooting touch. And there’s a campfire circle for nighttime socializing, as well as a spacious common room for indoor games.

Good to Know
  • No TVs in rooms.
  • Linens provided in rooms and guests make own bed upon arrival.
  • Coffee maker in lounge.
  • Wireless Internet provided.
  • Housekeeping once a week.


The Retreat Difference  |  The unique experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for light morning exercise, meeting a community member for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a single room to yourself for under $200 more for most programs. 


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