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24 hrs in Rapid City

Ohio
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24 hrs in Rapid City

I am coming to Rapid City on 9/10 and will be joining up with a tour group. I will be arriving 24 hours before the tour starts and want to explore Rapid City some. With the tour, I am spending 2 additional nights in Rapid City and we are going to Mt. Rushmore & Crazy Horse Memorial before heading out to Montana and Wyoming. I am renting a car and was thinking about doing the Mt. Rushmore lighting ceremony Sat. night and Sun. morning doing Bear Country USA. I have until 7 pm Sun. when I have to meet up with the tour group. I was wondering if anyone could give me some suggestions to do the rest of the day on Sun? I have read some about Custer State Park and may drive through that. How far is Custer State Park from Rapid City? I'm staying at the Radisson in Rapid City. I appreciate any suggestions.

Boston...
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1. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

It looks like your tour takes you towards the West coast, why not check out the eastern part like Badlands National Park & Minuteman Missile Historic Site? They are about an hour drive from Rapid City.

Rapid City to Custer State Park is approximately an hour drive(~40-50Miles). You can probably do,

* Custer State Park & Wind Cave National Park

* Sylvan Lake, Driving through Needles Highway to Custer State Park

Pitman, New Jersey
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2. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

Are you headed to Yellowstone after SD? If so, you might want to focus on heading to the Badlands on Sunday as RelaxbyTravel suggests. If you skip Bear Country, you'd have ample time to see the Badlands.

Custer SP is also great. Personally, unless you have your heart set on it, I'd skip Bear Country altogether and focus your day on either the Badlands or Custer SP. From Rapid, the Badlands will be a bit easier to get to.

Custer SP has quite a bit of wildlife, but if you are going to Yellowstone after SD, you will see many more types of animals there, so you might enjoy the Badlands a little bit more.

Let us know if you have additional questions.

Ohio
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3. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

Thanks for both of your responses. Yes I'm headed to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons after Mt. Rushmore & Crazy Horse. After spending 2 nights in Rapid City, we spend 1 night in Billings, MT, visit Cody, WY, then 2 nights in Yellowstone, 1 night in Jackson, and the trip ends in Salt Lake City.

I was thinking of Bear Country just to make sure I have a chance to see some bears since I won't be doing any back woods exploring in Yellowstone. I'll have to read up some on the Badlands.

Thanks for the suggestions.

Rapid City, South...
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4. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

I agree. Unless you like zoos, I'd skip Bear Country and spend the day in Custer State Park (but maybe skip that since you'll see plenty of bison in Yellowstone), the Badlands is a good choice, or go to Spearfish Canyon for some hiking.

Ohio
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5. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

Sounds like I'll skip Bear Country. Now I just have to decide between the Badlands and Custer SP. Maybe I'll wait until I get to Rapid City and see what the weather is doing. If it's a rainy day, is one better than another or are there other suggestions?

Pitman, New Jersey
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6. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

The Badlands will definitely be warmer, so an overcast day would be a better time to visit them. I have been there in the clouds, and it was quite comfortable. As long as it's not a torrential downpour, it's not bad.

7. Re: 24 hrs in Rapid City

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