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We have 4 days in the area and need some help please

Regina, Canada
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We have 4 days in the area and need some help please

We will arrive I Rapid City Late Sunday July 21 and have to leave very early Friday July 26. Our kids are ages 15, 15 and 12 and quite active. We are staying right in Rapid City. Some things we would like to do are:

-one of the caves

-wildlife loop

- Mount Rushmore


-Sylvan lake

-maybe Bear Country

-maybe Reptile Gardens

-Mount Rushmore adventure park

- maybe Crazy horse

-outlet mall shopping


We don't mind some hiking and lots of walking. Is there anything else we are missing? What would be our best plan to see everything? Wish we had more time, but just aren't able to stay any longer. Any help would be very appreciated. Thanks!

South Dakota
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1. Re: We have 4 days in the area and need some help please

Hmm, I have not heard of Rushmore Adventure Park or any outlet malls (along the lines of the Tanger chain) in the Black Hills. Not to say they don't exist, I've just never heard of them. Rapid City has a regular shopping mall, but I haven't heard of any outlet malls in SD. Hopefully someone else will chime in on this.

Four full days still allows you enough time to see most of the must sees. A lot of people come on here wanting to see everything in one or two days.

Since you like adventure, you may want to do both Wind and Jewel Caves and do one of the more adventurous cave tours (check the NPS Jewel Cave site for tour descriptions). If you run out of time, I would omit Wind Cave.

Adults and little kids like Bear Country, but your kids might be at an age where they would not appreciate that.

You could do the Harney Peak hike in Custer. Allow at least four hours, possibly more, depending on how fast you go. The kids would also like the Alpine Slide.

You could also hike in the Badlands. Be warned that July will be hot, although this year has been cooler than usual and MUCH cooler than last year. Temps frequently exceed 100 degrees, especially in the Badlands in July and August. Again, this may not happen this year.

You have Needles Hwy and the Wildlife Loop on your list. You will also want to do Iron Mt. Road. Do not attempt all three drives in one day. The drives take quite a bit of time and it's a good idea to break them up. If anyone in your group is prone to carsickness, consider taking a Dramamine before doing Needles and Iron Mt. Road.

Others on here are good at taking what you want to see and arranging it into a logical plan.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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5,803 posts
61 reviews
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2. Re: We have 4 days in the area and need some help please

Yes, I don't know of any outlet malls either. According to my hubby, I'd know about them if they existed. lol!

There are the usual chain stores and a small mall, but it's not what I'd call the shopping capital of the world.

I am thinking you might mean Rushmore Cave, where they have a zipline and a new 7D advenure ride??

I agree with 3174's additions. I think the Alpine Slide might be better than Bear Country or Repitle Gardens. You could also consider the Cosmos Mystery Area, where interesting phenomenon occur, like balls rolling uphill.

The hikes 3174 mentioned are good if time allows. The Harney Peak one is long and will eat into a lot of time. You might want to skip it since you are on a limited time frame.

All drives mentioned in Custer State Park are must sees and will be enjoyed by all ages.

You might consider doing a daytrip to Devil's Tower and Spearfish Canyon if time permits. There's some nice short hikes there that are very feasibly done in a 1/2 day.

If you haven't done so, be sure to order a travel guide from travelsd.com. It has very useful information on the area.

Let us know if we can assist further.

3. Re: We have 4 days in the area and need some help please

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