National Parks, Monuments, and Historic Sites

National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites Sample Tour Itinerary

Duration: 2 days

The Black Hills are home to one of the largest concentration of national and public parks in the country. Take a few days and see them all.

Day 1

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Approx. 25 minutes north of Custer

Start your National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites tour off at the Shrine of Democracy—Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The best light on the mountain is in the morning when the faces are fully lit. Be sure to stop at the Lincoln Borglum Museum and Sculptor’s Studio to learn all about this magnificent mountain carving. After your tour, enjoy breakfast with the presidents at the Carvers Café.

Crazy Horse Memorial
approx 23 minutes south of Mount Rushmore

While Crazy Horse Memorial is not part of the National Parks system is a monumental experience you can’t miss in the Black Hills. The ongoing mountain carving is the largest in the world. While at the Memorial be sure to stop by The Indian Museum of North America. This museum houses a collection of artifacts, clothing and artwork from tribes all across North America. Enjoy lunch at the Laughing Waters Restaurant where you can dine on Tatanka (buffalo) Stew or Native American Tacos.

Wind Cave National Park
Approx 23 minute from Crazy Horse Memorial

Wind Cave National Park, one of our nation’s oldest national parks, is spectacular both above and below the surface. Above the ground you can explore one of the few remaining mixed-grass prairies as you wander along 30 miles of hiking trails. Below the surface you can tour the complex passageways and rare boxwork of the world’s fourth longest cave. Ranger guided cave tours vary in length and difficulty so give yourself plenty of time.

Crazy Horse Memorial “Legends in Light” Laser Show
Cap off day one of your National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites tour with a return to Crazy Horse Memorial for a spectacular laser light show presented nightly from Memorial Day to Native American Day weekend in October.

Day 2

Jewel Cave National Monument
Approx 15 minutes west of Custer

Start day two of your National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites tour off at Jewel Cave National Monument. The cave is named for the sparkling calcite “jewels” that adorn its narrow caverns. At just over 144 miles long, Jewel Cave is the world’s second longest cave and researchers continue to map new passageways all the time.

Badlands National Park
Approx. 120 miles from Custer

Grab your hiking shoes and a cold drink for a car ride to Badlands National Park. With its moon-like surfaces, jagged spires and sharply eroding buttes, the Badlands are a place like no other on earth. Antelope, Bighorn Sheep and the endangered Black Footed Ferret all reside within the park’s boundaries.

Minuteman National Historic Site
South entrance to Badlands National Park

Stand in the launch room of a real Cold War era nuclear missile with a visit to the Minuteman National Historic Site. This unique park has preserved both a missile silo and launch room dating back to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Tours have limited space so be sure to plan ahead for this attraction.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Lighting Ceremony
End your Black Hills National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites tour with a return trip to Mount Rushmore National Memorial for the nightly lighting ceremony. A moving and patriotic ceremony is held nightly from Memorial Day weekend to late September. This is one of the National Parks systems most popular programs.


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