South Dakota Journals

More Than Just Badlands

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A July 2012 trip to South Dakota by MilwVon

Badlands National Park Photo, Badlands National Park, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: During my "Road Trippin' Across America's Heartland" I spent a full day exploring some of South Dakota's more well known attractions. There is more to see and do than one might expect!

Badlands National Park

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Sunrise, Wildlife and Springsteen!"

Badlands National Park Photo, Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Quote:
Having driven over 750 miles my first day out of Milwaukee, I was hopeful to make it midway through South Dakota before stopping for the night. I was pleasantly pleased that thanks to my Bruce Springsteen CDs, I was able to push on all the way to the Badlands before having to stop. It was as he blasted into a live version of the song of the same name, that I reached MM131 and the exit for the park. Badlands in deed! I was happy to have made it.It was just after dark and there was nobody at the entrance gate; the sign said to pay upon exit from the park. I continued in on the park road to the Cedar Creek area where their campground and a lodge are located. I was able to pull in and p...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2012

Badlands National Park
25216 Ben Reifel Road
Badlands National Park, South Dakota 57750
(605) 433-5361

Custer State Park

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Attraction | "Nice State Park - Quite a Bit of Wildlife"

Custer State Park Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
I am going to have to start out with an apology here, as my review will no doubt suffer a "Halo Effect" given that I did this at the start of an eight day driving/camping adventure that culminated in four days in Yellowstone National Park.I thoroughly enjoy any opportunity that I have to drive (or ride) through nature's playground, observing wildlife in their natural habitat. During my full day in South Dakota, I would have time in two diverse landscapes to see animals . . . the harsh Badlands and the lush Black Hills. My morning in Badlands National Park started early and lasted the better part of the morning on two circuit loops via the park roads.From the last part of the ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 22, 2012

Custer State Park
13329 US Hwy 16A
Custer 57730
(605) 255-4772

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

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Attraction | "Surprising Historical Gem In The Middle of Nowhere"

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site Photo, Philip, South Dakota
Quote:
Imagine my surprise when I could not find this US National Park Service Historic Site here in the IgoUgo database! Admittedly, it is one of the newer sites only offering tours since 2004. For anyone making the drive to Badlands National Park or venturing west on I90 to Wyoming (Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons), I highly recommend taking the time to stop by this site that represents such historical significance to any baby boomer who lived through our cold war with Russia.Much of the United States' defenses against nuclear attack were grounded throughout the Midwest, and especially in South Dakota. Our Minuteman II missiles were strategically placed in this are where as to provide an rem...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on July 22, 2012

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
21280 SD Hwy 240
Philip, South Dakota 57567
(605) 433-5552

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

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Attraction | "See It At Least Once In Your Lifetime"

Custer State Park Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
Mount Rushmore was originally named for an attorney from New York named Charles Rushmore back in 1885. When sculptor Gutzon Borglum envisioned the granite peak with its memorials to four of America's greatest Presidents, it was a vision that would take many years to complete due to a number of setbacks, most notably were the financial concerns.The memorial was dedicated in 1927 with the commencement of work on the first head to be completed - George Washington. After much effort and the financial support of the US Congress, the head was finished and dedicated in 1930. Subsequent profiles were completed over the next several years: Jefferson in 1936, Lincoln in 1937 and Roosevelt in 1939...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 22, 2012

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

Wall Drug

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Attraction | "The "South of the Border" of the Midwest"

Wall Drug Photo, Wall, South Dakota
Quote:
For those of you who have lived or traveled the east coast of the US along the I95 corridor, you have no doubt seen all of the "Pedro" signs for South Carolina's "South of the Border" . . . a tourist trap extraordinaire. Growing up in Virginia and as a young adult, I can remember many family road trips that included the mandatory stop at South of the Border. Well South Dakota's "Wall Drug" is right up there as a highway oasis of shops and restaurants, and other ways to separate you from your hard earned money!I have driven across this part of the county a couple of times, but never made the stop. On this trip I wanted to stop by on my way west to Wyoming but I just couldn't seem to fit ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 22, 2012

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

Enjoying My Day in South Dakota

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Story/Tip

Badlands Flowers Photo, Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Quote:
Monday July 9thIt was fortunate that I was able to make it all the way to the Badlands National Park and able to find a camping spot in their Cedar Creek Campground near the main visitor center. I was in bed and asleep by 10:00pm MDT and up before sunrise the next morning. My plan was to find a scenic location to catch the sunrise for what I hoped would be lovely photos. From my pre-trip research, Norbeck Pass seemed to fit the bill, so that was my first destination on my drive of the park. With a 5:15am sunrise, I was ready with time to spare since it would take some time for the sun to clear the craggy peaks located along the Fossil Trail. In the meantime, I spotted my first wildlif...Read More