Black Hills, South Dakota

Post your favorite places to motor. Routes with lots of hills and turns are welcome.

Black Hills, South Dakota

Postby kabootist » Mon Aug 11, 2008 6:36 pm

Same as Grassroots Gatherings but with a bit more info.
Stay away during Sturgis Bike week, usually the first week in August, unless of course you are on a Harley.

1. Devils Tower, Wyoming, its less than an hour from Sturgis, but well worth the trip, amazing scenery all the way down to the base of the tower and then you can go into the visitors center...I didn't go in but it was recommended to me by several people.

2. Mount Rushmore...self explanatory, I went in and walked the presidents trail, lots of great scenery and an awesome ride up to the top.

3. Crazy Horse, It will probably never be finished but once again, I didnt go into the visitors center but it was recommended by many.

4. Sturgis/Deadwood/Lead area, these cities are only 20 minutues apart and the rides in between are nice and twisty.

5. Sturgis to Nemo. This is a canyon run and I didnt ride it but, once again we ran out of time, and this came highly recommended.

6. Badlands, you drive by it on I-90 which also has lots of places to stop but I didnt stop, but the views from the highway are nice.

There are lots of other places to go and even more places to stay. If you enjoy just driving around and getting lost like I did on my Harley up there this would make a perfect trip.

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Postby davester » Thu Sep 11, 2008 11:14 am

I wanna go but don't know when---
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Postby DDodge » Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:36 pm

It's true, there are some gorgeous drives in the Black Hills. I started out in South Dakota and still have relatives in the Hills, even dated Miss Black Hills State Teacher's College back in the sixties. :) We took the mini through there on the way to the west coast in 06. You are so right about Sturgis during bike week.

I never bypass the Badlands - incredible country. They're just south of Wall Drug - the nation's first tourist trap! You can (if you're lucky, it's happened to me) get caught in the middle of a buffalo herd in Custer State Park. Keep in mind that a lone male bison weighs about as much as a compact car and is about as fast. Rapid City has a fabulous arty store, Prairie Edge. Sylan Lake, on the gorgeous Needles Highway, is a beautiful place for a walk. There are dinosaurs in Hill City. Deadwood is as hokey as you hoped it would be. The drive up Spearfish Canyon is superb. Devil's Tower is one of the cooler buttes you're ever likely to see.

Fun tourist traps: Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, The Corn Palace (on the way), various Caverns, The Hot Springs Mammoth Site is way cool.

There are just a few downsides. In truth, the whole area kind of has a whiff of Branson. Just south of the Black Hills, and adjacent to it, is the poorest place in the United States, Pine Ridge. The is where the Wounded Knee massacre took place and the serious AIM troubles of the seventies. Today it is still the third world, right here in the middle of the US.

I imagine this will be thought unpatriotic, but I see Mount Rushmore as vandalism on a place sacred to the original inhabitants. The Hills are so beautiful, if you visit you won't have any question why they thought it was sacred.

BTW, they've actually made some progress on Crazy Horse in the last ten years or so; they've been at it since I was a small child and recently is the first time you can see anything that even looks like a sculpture. Imho, they should have left this one a mountain, too.

Cranky old South Dakotan

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Re: Black Hills, South Dakota

Postby dsopoci » Sat May 31, 2014 6:14 pm

I just got back from the black hills. It was some great driving, especially through Custer Park and the Iron highway. I had a blast, except for a freak hail storm that turned my mini into a golf ball. Will be getting estimates on that next week.
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