Do you like old fashion trains? The 1800 Railroad is an authentic steam train in which you can ride up into the black hills. Interested in learning how they built Mt. Rushmore and the presidents who are immortalized on the side of the mountain? How about seeing and learning about a monument that is still being built to memorialize the Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse. With so much to see and do, it will be difficult to get it all in one visit. The Black Hills of South Dakota is beautiful with lush dark forest and mountains everywhere. Home of Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, black hills gold and roaming buffalo. This is a place you will want to relax for a week or more and do a little sight seeing. No matter if you are a history buff, nature lover, wildlife enthusiast, there is something for everyone. None of us wanted to leave when it was time.
We are not getting paid for the advertisement of the these facilities. The content in this blog is of our own views and honest opinions.
Crazy Horse Monument
Crazy Horse Monument and museum was very fascinating with lots of great information about the family who has devoted their lives to work on the monument. Also lots of information about Crazy Horse and the Lakota Indians of the Black Hills, South Dakota.
Although this was one of the more expensive sites to see in the area
($30 parking, $12 per person), it was worth the learning experience. If you are the adventurist type, for an additional fee, you can take a bus ride up to the monument and see it up close. The cost of the regular admittance included a laser light show after dark. After visiting the monument and museum we went to the camper for dinner, then came back for the laser light show at dusk. Even in the rain, we still enjoyed seeing and it.
Mount Rushmore was amazing to see the awesomeness of the hand carved presidents on the side of the mountain. It was surreal to think about the hard work it took to carve these massive faces without the modern tools of today. There is a room that showcases the tools used and the people who were responsible for creating this massive structure.
We had a little camera fun before we left. We figured out that if you are at just the right angle and point at the presidents, you can capture these goofy boys at play.
This monument is handicap accessible and is strict about not bringing your pets. Service dogs are welcome and the park employees ask the correct ADA questions. The employees were very respectful when asking about my son’s service dog.
The low cost of this attraction was extremely worth the time and money to visit. The monument is free to see but there is a parking fee of $10 per vehicle, $5 for seniors, or free for active duty military.
Custer State Park and Needles Hwy
When in the Black Hills of South Dakota, don’t forget to drive through Custer State Park. There are great camping areas in the park, just be careful bringing larger rigs. Not suggested to bring RV’s the Needles Hwy route due to the very tight small rock tunnels.
Where we stayed
We stayed in a nice little RV park in Hill City, centrally located and within minutes of all these great attractions. The Black Hills Trailside Resort was a quaint, very clean RV park. The staff was extremely friendly and helpful. They had great info on the local attractions and answered any questions we had. We had a wonderful site right next to a running river and a walking trail nearby. Ask for site #10 – that was our favorite and most spacious one. It is easy to back into as well. The bathrooms and showers are modern, spacious, and very clean. With all the attractions spread out throughout the hills, it was in a great location and easy to get to everything. The campgrounds in the state park may have been slightly cheaper, but seem to be more difficult to navigate in and out of when site seeing outside of the park. It is all what you prefer.
There are also little towns around that are fun to tour and shop in. Here are a couple of pictures from Hill City.
Amazing experience for the whole family! We really did not want to leave.
Visiting South Dakota? Visit our other page regarding Sioux Falls, SD.
Photos by Cilla Green and Theodore Green
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