→Note: this post is the second in a series as we cover a week long vacation itinerary. Our trip starts at Rapid City, South Dakota.
Destinations: The Mammoth Site and Wind Cave National Park
Travel tip: pack a picnic lunch to enjoy at Wind Cave National Park and wear sturdy walking/hiking shoes with non-slip soles. A light jacket may be needed for cave tours.
The Mammoth Site
⇒From Rapid City take Highway 79 south to Hot Springs, South Dakota. Drive time between Rapid City and Hot Springs: 1 hour. The Mammoth Site is located at 1800 US 18 Bypass, Hot Springs, South Dakota.
Website link: Mammoth Site. Take a guided tour of the active indoor dig site and see the bones of mammoths right where they were found. Great learning experience for kids and adults! Tours can be booked ahead of your trip or you can book when you arrive. Plan to spend two hours visiting the site. This is a National Natural Landmark.
⇒From Hot Springs take US Highway 385 north to Wind Cave National Park. Drive time between Hot Springs and Wind Cave National Park: 15 minutes.
Wind Cave National Park
- Website link: Wind Cave National Park.
- Cost: free, although guided cave tours have various prices, depending on the tour. Wheelchair accessible tours are also available. Click the link above for details.
- Hiking, biking, and horseback riding available in the park.
- Campground with seasonal restrooms. Backcountry camping allowed with a permit.
Many animals, reptiles, and birds call this park home. See how many you can find. We bet you’ll see one of these ↓
⇒Take US Highway 385 south to Highway 101, then east to Highway 79 north, back to Rapid City. Drive time: 1 hour.
⇒Recommended alternate route: Drive time: 1.5 hours. Take US Highway 385 north to Custer, South Dakota. Bonus stop: Jewel Cave National Monument. Several different cave tours available. Advance reservations recommended for the popular Scenic Tour. Many stair steps in the cave and children cannot be carried. Click here for information about the park: Jewel Cave National Monument.
⇒Stay on 385 to Crazy Horse Memorial. Bonus stop: Crazy Horse Memorial. Click here for information about the site: Crazy Horse Memorial.
⇒Continue on 385 to Highway 44 east to Rapid City.
Hopefully, the second day of your Black Hills vacation has been interesting and fun. We will cover Day Three next week, so stay tuned! Until then…
Travel safe, travel smart, and we will see you down the road.
Mike and Kellye
As always, we strive to be as accurate with our information as possible. If we made a mistake, it was unintentional. (Hey, we’re only human!) We aren’t paid for our recommendations, and we only recommend our own tried and true vendors and venues. Our suggestions are for places that we’ve heard good things about but haven’t visited personally, and our opinions are our own.