South Dakota - Rough Guides

Rapid City, South Dakota

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The wide-open spaces of the Great Plains roll away to infinity to either side of I-90 in South Dakota. Though the land is more green and fertile east of the Missouri River, vast numbers of high-season visitors speed straight on through to the spectacular southwest, site of the Badlands and the adjacent Black Hills – two of the most dramatic, mysterious and legend-impacted tracts of land in the US. For whites, they encapsulate a wagonload of American notions about heritage and the taming of the West. To Native Americans they are ancient, spiritually resonant places. The science-fiction severity of the Badlands resists fitting into easy tourist tastes. The bigger, more user-friendly Black Hills, home of that most patriotic of icons, Mount Rushmore, have been subjected to greater exploitation (dozens of physical, historical and downright commercial attractions, and the mining of gold and other metals), but encourage more active exploration (via hiking trails, mountain lakes and streams, and scenic highways).

South Dakota - Rough Guides Professional Review and Guide

"The wide-open spaces of the Great Plains roll away to infinity to either side of I-90 in South Dakota. Though the land is more green and fertile east of the Missouri River, vast numbers of high-season visitors speed straight on through to the spectacular southwest, site of the Badlands and the adjacent Black Hills – two of the most dramatic, mysterious and legend-impacted tracts of land in the US. For whites, they encapsulate a wagonload of American notions about heritage and the taming of the West.

To Native Americans they are ancient, spiritually resonant places. The science-fiction severity of the Badlands resists fitting into easy tourist tastes. The bigger, more user-friendly Black Hills, home of that most patriotic of icons, Mount Rushmore, have been subjected to greater exploitation (dozens of physical, historical and downright commercial attractions, and the mining of gold and other metals), but encourage more active exploration (via hiking trails, mountain lakes and streams, and scenic highways)."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Rapid City
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: All contact information for accommodations, dining, and activities is provided in the eTrail.
Driving Directions: Directions to South Dakota - Rough Guides

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May 2018