Rapid City Journals

Mt. Rushmore, Custer and the Badlands, SD 2004

Best of IgoUgo

A September 2004 trip to Rapid City by Jehcekah

Black Hills Needle Highway Photo, Rapid City, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: A stay in Keystone, SD, just miles from Mt. Rushmore, lends itself to adventurous hiking, sightseeing, and historical landmarks.

Mt. Rushmore, Custer and the Badlands, SD 2004

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Black Hills Needle Highway Photo, Rapid City, South Dakota
Quote:
When you live in Minnesota, your impression of South Dakota can often be one of expansive, boring farmlands. This could not be further from the truth. The state is divided between landscapes that look like they could be from another planet and rich, deep green forests. While visiting South Dakota, you could keep yourself busy for days while visiting tacky Roadside America sights like the Mitchell Corn Palace or Wall Drug, or historical monuments like Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse, or historical recreations like Deadwood and Native American museums. Outdoor enthusiasts will be very pleased to see the challenging trails in Custer National Park and the abundant wildlife throughout the forests. ...Read More

Holiday Inn Express Keystone

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel

Quote:
We made reservations online for the Mt. Rushmore Econolodge Hotel before leaving on our road trip. Since we spent all day driving from Minnesota and stopping at Wall Drug and the Badlands, we didn't arrive in Keystone until after 9pm. During my attempt to check into the hotel, I was told that the Travelodge had been overbooked and we were moved to the Holiday Inn Express down the road ("A FIVE-star hotel, you'll be very comfortable there! I chose the best hotel in town for you!"). Since we didn't really care where we stayed, we weren't too put out. We got back into the car and drove down to the Holiday Inn. I can't verify the five-star rating that the Econolodge claimed that they had, bu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Holiday Inn Express Keystone
321 Swanzey Street
Rapid City, South Dakota
(605) 666-4925

Econo Lodge Mt. Rushmore

Hotel | "Econolodge Mt. Rushmore"

Econo Lodge Mt. Rushmore Photo, Rapid City, South Dakota
Quote:
I booked two nights at the Econolodge Mt. Rushmore Memorial Hotel through their website using my corporate discount. The room rate was $59.00 per night for a room with two queen-size beds. We were surprised to find that the hotel had been overbooked for our first night, so we were transferred to the Holiday Inn Express, which was a far superior hotel. We stayed at the Econolodge for our second night, and we were placed in the Washington Suite. It sounds fancy, but it really was just a slightly bigger room with a couch. The hotel needs to be updated, as its decor is quite old and has a lot of wear and tear. Amenities include a pool (not heated, brrr) and whirlpool, which were bot...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Econo Lodge Mt. Rushmore
908 Madill Street
Rapid City, South Dakota SR 40 E
(605) 666-4417

Firehouse Brewing Company

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Quote:
We arrived in Rapid City sometime after 7pm very hungry. We are not familiar with the city at all, so trying to find somewhere to eat was a like a treasure hunt, and the treasure we found was the Firehouse Brewing Company on Main Street. The thing that drew us to this restaurant was its semi-outdoor seating inside what used to be the garage for firetrucks. It looked like a hip place to go, so we parked our car and went inside. Since it was Saturday night, the joint was jumping. We had to wait about 10 minutes for a table outside, but indoor seating was immediately open. While waiting for our table, we ordered drinks from the bar. They serve some very unique hand-crafted beers on draft and in...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Firehouse Brewing Company
610 Main Street
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
(605) 348-1915

Wall Drug

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Wall Drug Photo, Wall, South Dakota
Quote:
"You HAVE to go to Wall Drug when you visit South Dakota. It is a must."This is what everyone told us before leaving on our vacation. We couldn't resist. After seeing Wall Drug on the Travel Channel and other tv shows and movies, we had to stop.I had heard stories about the numerous signs along Interstate 90 for the tourist attraction, but it was more than I could have imagined! Every few miles, and even few feet, as you get closer, the store advertises their, "Free Ice Water," or how they have been, "Featured on NBC's Today Show." It is hillarious! The signs not only dot the South Dakota countryside, but they are also in the London Underground, Paris, and no...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 7, 2004

Wall Drug
510 Main Street
Wall, South Dakota 57790
(605) 279-2175

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mt Rushmore Memorial"

Mount Rushmore National Memorial Photo, Keystone, South Dakota
Quote:
First of all, let me just clarify something that is very misleading. There is NO free parking at this monument any longer. They closed this lot after September 11, 2001. You MUST pay the $8 parking fee in order to get into the monument. However, the admission fee is good for the entire calendar year (like anyone not from South Dakota actually uses that benefit). You will see recent brochures and maps all over this area that still feature the free parking. Ignore these documents, as they are false! After driving all over trying to find the free parking (my husband refuses to pay for parking), we finally gave up and went to the car entrance line. The woman working at the booth informed ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Mount Rushmore National Memorial
13000 Highway 244
Keystone, South Dakota 57751
(605) 574-3171

Harney Peak

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Harney Peak Hike"

Harney Peak Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
There are two trails that lead you to Harney Peak. Trail number four leaves from near the Sylvan Lake day-use area and also connects with Little Devil's Tower. Trail number nine is the easiest trail to Harney Peak and also leaves from the Sylvan Lake day-use area. We decided to take Trail number four in case we wanted to also climb to Little Devil's Tower. The trail starts out on a flat forest bottom and begins to climb after about one mile. We encountered some fellow hikers, who I think were from Spain, who said that they lost the trail and had to turn around. This made us a bit nervous, but we kept on hiking anyway. We never strayed off of the trail and found our way to the summit qui...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Harney Peak
Black Hills of South Dakota
Black Hills, South Dakota

Cathedral Spires Hike

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Cathedral Spires Hike Photo, Rapid City, South Dakota
Quote:
When we stopped by the Custer State Park Visitor's Center, we asked the man and woman behind the desk if they had any recommendations for trails. Because they were so enthusiastic about their state park, the ended up telling us about all of the trails. When they explained Cathedral Spires, the man pointed to a huge picture on the wall of rocks in the shape of, well, cathedral spires! They looked so beautiful that we couldn't resist doing this trail. The trailhead is along the Needles Highway, about 2.5 miles from Sylvan Lake. There is a small parking area at the trailhead. The trail begins a semi-steep climb up the hill, where it leads you to a walk between two sets of the spires. It do...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 15, 2004

Cathedral Spires Hike
Custer State Park
Rapid City, South Dakota