Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Vacations You Should Take: The Black Hills

In 2008 Brahm and I went on a road trip down to the Black Hills in South Dakota.  It's about a 10-hour drive from Saskatoon, so doable to get down there in one day.  We camped at a KOA Kampground in Rapid City and had tons of fun seeing all the lame touristy sites, and lots of not-lame scenery like the Needles Highway.

This was a very inexpensive vacation because we camped and bought most of our food from grocery stores and then cooked it on our campfire, so a good choice for the poor university students that we were at the time!  I'd definitely recommend doing this trip sometime because you'll never run out of things to do down there.  We took Brahm's Smart car too, so if anyone ever says you can't pack enough stuff for a camping trip into a Smart car, guess what - YOU CAN, WE PROVED IT.  Also, at that time, people in the midwestern US did not know what Smart cars were so a lot of rednecks were very interested in it.

Corner Gas was just wrapping up filming its final season, but we got to stop by the set on the way down to the border!
 I think this is supposed to be the geographic centre of the US (including Alaska and Hawaii or something).
 There are TONS of cave tours down there - very cool!
 Mount Rushmore.
 Lame tourist thing - one of those "mystery spots" that appears to defy gravity but really is just optical illusions.
 Reptile Gardens.
 The Mammoth Site - an in-situ dig of an ancient sinkhole that a whole bunch of mammoths fell into!
 Lots of wildlife preserves with bison.
 The Needles Highway - skinny highway with neat rock formations!

 I think this was the set of Dances with Wolves but it's now a Western Revue type show with rope making demonstrations and a meal of beans and meat and stuff.  It was fun.  But also bizarre because you'd think it was for tourists, but there appeared to be a lot of local rednecks in attendance too.  They must love having a redneck dinner theatre in the area.
At the end of the show they did this big tribute to America and all the rednecks stood up and pumped their fists and sang along.  It was so patriotic.

You should do this trip!  It was fun!  And it's easily accessible from Saskatchewan, which you can't say about most fun vacation spots.


  1. We are so glad you enjoyed your trip! It looks like you visited many of the fun attractions and saw the beautiful scenery in the Black Hills. We'd love to have you visit South Dakota again. Feel free to check out for more information.

  2. It looks like you had a very full trip to South Dakota! So much has changed in Rapid City since 2008, including the upgraded Downtown area with our addition of Main Street Square. Many new stores and restaurants have been added making the City of Presidents an awesome place to visit. We can help you plan your trip back to Rapid City and the Black Hills if you would like :) Check us out at to start planning!