Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Family Vacation

  • 6 Days
  • 18 People Max

    14 people max

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Trip End: Rapid City, South Dakota
south dakota tour 2

Set out on a South Dakota family vacation to explore the prairies, pronghorns, and national parks in the spectacular Great Plains of South Dakota.

Experience the best of “the land of infinite variety,” from rolling prairies and glacial lakes to iconic American monuments, including Mount Rushmore and the ever-evolving Crazy Horse Monument. Explore the rambunctious wildlife, pine-studded Black Hills, and dynamic history of South Dakota. Step back in time to the Wild West as you bike, hike, and explore the dusty streets of Deadwood and Wind Cave National Park, one of the world’s most unique national parks. Enjoy the finest in regional accommodations and cuisine as you spend time creating unforgettable memories with the kids and fall in love with the outdoor treats and national treasures of South Dakota. Get to know the many spectacular wonders of this expansive state on this South Dakota family vacation, enjoying the simple pleasures of hanging out with your family and actively exploring its diverse and amazing lands.

Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Family Vacation ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Rapid City, South Dakota Trip End: Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Day 1Explore Bear Butte State Park

  • Day 2Bike Spearfish Canyon, explore Deadwood

  • Day 3Bike Mickelson Trail, visit Crazy Horse Memorial

  • Day 4Hike Little Devil's Tower, explore Mount Rushmore

  • Day 5Top rope climbing on the Black Hills, explore Wind Cave National Park

  • Day 6Transfer to Rapid City, farewell!

  • Day 1

    Explore Bear Butte State Park

    Begin your vacation by exploring Bear Butte State Park and summit the mountain trail yielding sweeping panoramic views for miles and miles. Experience the Old West and learn why Bear Butte is considered one of the most sacred lands by the Plains Indians. Afterward, we head over to the famous biker town of Sturgis for lunch at a local spot. Load up in the van to travel a short distance away to our home for the next couple nights, Deadwood. We’ll walk the same sidewalks as the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, and Buffalo Bill, to name just a few. If time permits we will explore the world of gold panning at Golden Boot. Tonight’s dinner is at the Deadwood Social Club. Packed full of history and surrounded by the wild west.

    Four Points by Sheraton Deadwood (All meals)

  • Day 2

    Bike Spearfish Canyon, explore Deadwood

    Today, we head over to the nearby town of Spearfish for a bike ride through a neat canyon. Enjoy a delicious guide-prepared lunch at a local park. Following lunch, we will walk to the Trout Hatchery where we can learn and explore the Von Bayer Museum or visit the Neo-Colonial Revival Booth House. This afternoon, enjoy some downtime or walk around the Mount Moriah Cemetery where Wild Bill and Calamity Jane were laid to rest; visit one of several of Deadwood’s museums, highlighting life in the days of outlaws, gold panning, and Native American skirmishes; or take an “old-time,” black and white photo at Woody’s Wild West. Dinner in Deadwood. Night on your own for dinner tonight.

    Four Points by Sheraton Deadwood (Breakfast, lunch)

  • Day 3

    Bike Mickelson Trail, visit Crazy Horse Memorial

    After a hearty breakfast, we head to one of the many trailheads of South Dakota’s Mickelson Trail to cycle the historic Deadwood to Edgemont Burlington Northern rail line, which serviced gold country for nearly a century. Regenerate yourselves with a lunch prepared by your guides. After lunch transfer to Crazy Horse for a tour. Still, in progress, the Memorial is destined to be some 10 times the size of Mt Rushmore. This is more than just carvings in stone; it is a compound that will eventually pay tribute to the American Indians and the great Indian Chief, Crazy Horse, housing the Indian Museum of North America, Indian University of North America, and a host of other properties.

    Sylvan Lake Lodge (All meals)

  • Day 4

    Hike Little Devil's Tower, explore Mount Rushmore

    Today, eat a big breakfast because we have an exciting day ahead of us! From Sylvan Lake, we’ll depart on a neat hike to Little Devil’s Tower. Snake through quaking aspen and Black Hills Spruce to make your way to the granite scramble at the base of the tower. The summit greets you with jaw-dropping views of the Cathedral Spires, Black Elk Wilderness, and the brick fire tower atop 7,242-foot Harvey Peak. This afternoon, we depart for a scenic tour of the Needles Highway on our way to explore Mount Rushmore. Dinner in the historic town of Keystone.

    Sylvan Lake Lodge (All meals)

  • Day 5

    Top rope climbing on the Black Hills, explore Wind Cave National Park

    This morning, we will partake in a beginner top rope climbing adventure on the Black Hills granite rock surrounding Sylvan Lake. You’ll have all of the equipment and instruction you need to feel comfortable and safe, even if you’ve never climbed before. Indulge in a delicious picnic lunch back at Sylvan Lake. This afternoon we will take in natural beauty as we transfer to Wind Cave to tour one of the most complex and longest caves in the world. End the afternoon by driving the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park on the lookout for bison, antelope, and wild burros on our way to our final night’s dinner at the State Game Lodge.

    Sylvan Lake Lodge (All meals)

  • Day 6

    Transfer to Rapid City, farewell!

    Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the dining room before loading up the van, luggage in tow. Say goodbye to the Black Hills and head back to Rapid City for our farewells.

    None (Breakfast)

Tour Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $3499/pp (+tax)

Our New Zealand trip fares are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST 15%)

11 Jun 2023
11 Jun16 Jun
Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Family Vacation 6/11/2023-6/16/2023
Departure Open Open
18 Jun 2023
18 Jun23 Jun
Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Family Vacation 6/18/2023-6/23/2023
Departure Open Open

Interactive Trip Map

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.


Useful Info

What's the maximum group size on this trip?

This trip has a maximum of 22 guests, plus 2-3 experienced guides. We tend to average between 12-18 guests on this trip.

Where does this trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Alex Johnson Hotel at 8am or the Hampton Inn at 8:20am. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Rapid City for your pre-night, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does this trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Rapid City Airport at 11:30am in time for flights below or at a hotel of your choice in Rapid City around 12pm.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Rapid City at least the day before your trip starts. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Rapid City after 1pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

Will I have contact with my guides before the trip starts?

Your guides will call your cell phone the night before your trip begins to touch base on the first day’s plan. If they don’t get through to you, they will leave a voicemail on your cell phone with all the details you need to plan for your first morning.

What should I bring with me on the first day?

When you speak with your guides the night before your trip, they will give you a detailed description of what to bring with you on Day 1. Typically, this includes a day pack with your rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, camera, etc. Anything you want easy access to during the day should go in your day pack as the rest of your luggage will go in the locked cargo trailer pulled behind the van. Your guides will provide you with a water bottle on the first morning of your trip and will always have water available for refills. There will be snacks available at all times in the van. Your guides will also have bug spray and sunscreen accessible for you to use.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size). We recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

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Why Travel With Us

benefit group size

Just-right group sizes allow you to get off the beaten path

With an average of 12 guests per departure and an industry-leading 6:1 guest-to-guide ratio, you’ll enjoy a highly personalized experience with the perspective of an insider.

benefit guides

Award-winning guides lead the way

It’s so much easier to relax and enjoy your adventure when you have fun, caring guides who know the land, are experts in motivation, sweat all the details and whip up incredible meals, too!

benefit inclusive

You’ll never need to sweat the details

When we say all inclusive, we mean it! Meals and snacks, activities, lodging, transportation, guiding services and more. Every detail is handled; all you need to do is show up!

benefit safety

Enjoy freedom to push your boundaries – safely

Every aspect of your trip is thoroughly considered for your safety, from highly vetted vendors and well-maintained equipment to extensively trained guides and our seasoned operations team at headquarters.

benefit family

Decades of expertise mean you’ll experience only the best

Family travel and North American National Parks are our specialty. We’ve perfected our itineraries and sustained relationships for decades, ensuring you'll experience your destination to the fullest.

benefit wow

"Wow Moments” take your trip from enjoyable to extraordinary

For us, the extra mile is never extra, it’s part of the way! Count on special touches throughout your trip that will amplify your experience. If we’ve done our job, they’ll have you saying “wow!”

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Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Family Vacation