This summer my family will be going on an epic road trip adventure. After spending a week in Wisconsin to visit family, we will be taking the scenic route back home to Colorado. We are planning on stopping at some fun places along the way, including The Black Hills & Badlands of South Dakota.
The last time I visited the Black Hills & Badlands I was a teenager, so I am really looking forward to going back with my kids. They love the outdoors and traveling just as much as my husband and I do, so it will be fun to explore and learn more about the area with them. We are excited to see Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial and all the beautiful wildlife and scenery that encompasses the Black Hills and Badlands.
Top Reasons to Visit the Black Hills & Badlands
If your family loves the outdoors, the Black Hills & Badlands of South Dakota is the perfect place to visit. It’s home to beautiful scenery, an abundance of wildlife and plenty of outdoor adventures.
The landscape of South Dakota is truly one-of-a-kind. The Black Hills & Badlands region has rugged, yet strikingly beautiful badlands (a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively eroded by wind and water), beautiful pine forests, rolling prairies and fresh mountain lakes. There are even underground caverns and two of the world’s largest caves — Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Monument Park.
It is a no-brainer that everyone needs to visit Mount Rushmore at least once in his or her lifetime. The magnificent mountain carvings featuring America’s most prominent U.S. presidents — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt — can be seen from the road or you can hike up for a closer look.
CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL
Based on a mythic warrior, the Crazy Horse Memorial is the largest mountain carving. It’s still in progress, but definitely a sight to see. It’s going to be incredible once it is all finished!
ABUNDANCE OF WILDLIFE
Perhaps one of the best reasons to visit this area is to see the fascinating wildlife — free roaming buffalo, bugling bull elks, bighorn sheep and begging burros. There’s also prairie dogs, deer, antelope and the rare black-footed ferret. A great place to see wildlife is Custer State Park, home to large herds of buffalo that roam freely. Keep in mind that the wildlife is wild and you should keep your safe distance.
Besides admiring the pretty scenery, there are plenty of fun outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, swimming and biking. You can even take an ATV tour, Buffalo Jeep Safari Tour or Cave Tour.
South Dakota promises a memory, no matter where you go or what you do. I encourage you to visit the Black Hills & Badlands to Find Your Great Place and experience the Wildlife this summer. You won’t regret it!
Check out the Black Hills & Badlands website to learn more, grab coupons and even print your own road trip itinerary!
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.