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October 2017

Florida
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October 2017

Planning a day visit first week of October to Rapid City and touring the surrounding areas. Coming from FL, so wondering how the weather usually is that time of year. Icy? Good fall leaf viewing? Amin also in the parks still out and about or hunkered down due to cold? Will not be driving, so would be using tours. Thank you.

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12 replies to this topic
Rockford, Illinois
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1. Re: October 2017

I guess my first question is, are there tours running at that time of year? A lot of things shut down shortly after Labor Day. Leaf viewing changes year to year, no way to know best time to see color change at this point. Weather also very changeable at that time of year, could see nice day in the 60-70 degree range, there could also be winter like temps with snow. Depends on what animals you are referring to, some are active year round but there's never any guarantees they'll be out and about when you are there.

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: October 2017

A huge blizzard struck the Black Hills in the first week of October in 2013. That's not common, but frigid temperatures and snow are not unknown even in early October.

But I think a bigger problem for you could be the lack of tours, which Dave referred to. If you won't be driving, be sure to find whether there are any tours operating before you book your flight to Rapid City. You don't want to find yourself stuck in a hotel for your entire visit if the tours aren't running.

And finally, you state you are planning a "day visit". If you are in Rapid City for only a day, you aren't going to see much of the Black Hills especially if you have to rely on tours. I would plan for at least 3 days in the area.

Edited: 20 July 2017, 23:30
Florida
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3. Re: October 2017

Oops. Meant a week visit. Thank you for the info. Seems dicey. Maybe will wait till spring.

Florida
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4. Re: October 2017

Good things to consider. Thank you for your input.

Arlington, Virginia
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5. Re: October 2017

If you wait to visit until spring, just don't come too early in spring. You'll encounter some of the same issues as an October trip--cold weather and a lack of tours/open attractions. The National Parks are always open, but some local attractions and tours might not open or operate until mid-May (or even until Memorial Day.)

Florida
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6. Re: October 2017

Thank you so much. Good advice. Living in the land of eternal sunshine I often underestimate how brutal weather is elsewhere.

northern ireland
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7. Re: October 2017

Having read all the comments above I'm thinking twice about travelling to South Dakota last week of September. We'd be making a long journey from Northern Ireland, so maybe next year in May / June would be a better time to visit. Any advice appreciated.

Maryland
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8. Re: October 2017

One unique advantage to going to Rapid City the end of September is the annual buffalo round up in Custer State Park, it's on September 29th this year (2017).

Pitman, New Jersey
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9. Re: October 2017

The Buffalo Roundup is a great point. It only occurs once a year, and you'd be there for it. Your weather could very well be fine. The earliest major snows that I am aware of occurred in early October. If you can get your time in the latter part of September, I think you just might be ok. However, I do understand your hesitation since you are travelling a long way. You just can't predict the weather. :(

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10. Re: October 2017

Our only window to see mt Rushmore is around October 20 25th.Bad idea or is there still time before snow?

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