Wed, July 5: Arrive in Rapid City, South Dakota. Visit The Journey Museum to take an incredible trek through time, from the violent upheaval that formed the mystical Black Hills to the continuing saga of the Western Frontier. Discover fossils and dinosaurs then experience the lives and listen to the legends of the Lakota Sioux people, and follow in the footsteps of pioneers and gold miners. Continue to the K Bar S Lodge in Keystone and check in. Enjoy a reception and Welcome Dinner, with the rest of the evening at your leisure. (Meal: Dinner)
Thu, July 6: Board the 1880 Train for a narrated ride to Hill City. Glide over the rugged landscape aboard a vintage steam train, like those that helped settle the Great American West. Visit the world’s largest mountain carving, Crazy Horse Memorial, and take a ride to the bottom of the monument for a unique view. Continue to Custer State Park for an off-road wildlife Jeep tour followed by an authentic chuck wagon cookout in secluded Parker Canyon, complete with entertainment. Custer State Park is the second largest state park in America and encompasses 71,000 spectacular acres of prairies, pine trees, and unique pillar-shaped, slender granite outcroppings called “Needles.” The park is home to many animals including elk, deer, mountain goats, mountain lions, pronghorn antelope, wild turkeys, bighorn sheep and over 1,300 bison – one of the largest herds in the world. (B,L,D)
Fri, July 7: Travel to Badlands National Park to see the chiseled spires, deep canyons and jagged buttes that millions of years of wind, water and erosion have created. Stop at America's favorite roadside attraction, Wall Drug Store, for shopping and lunch on your own. Started in 1931, Wall Drug has evolved into a 76,000-square-foot wonderland of attractions. Back in Keystone spend the remainder of the day exploring Mount Rushmore. View the unforgettable evening lighting program, an inspirational program focusing on the presidents, patriotism and the nation's history, culminating in the lighting of the memorial. (B)
Sat, July 8: Check out of the hotel and transfer to the Mount Rushmore Black Hills Gold and Diamond Factory and watch skilled craftsmen carry out detailed, delicate work of making jewelry from Black Hills gold. Transfer to the airport and fly home. (B)
K Bar S Lodge, Keystone, South Dakota
Nestled in the Black Hills, this family-friendly lodge is situated in a wooded valley with a view of Mount Rushmore. Highlights: spacious guestrooms with air conditioning • in-room coffeemaker • complimentary high-speed wireless Internet access • bar/ lounge • fitness center.