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Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

new york
Level Contributor
130 posts
51 reviews
Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

After research and tips on TA forums, I think this is our itinerary family with preteen and young teen) for mid July- open to suggestions.

Day 1- AM start to Custer State Park Visitor Center, Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center, Wildlife Loop drive. Lunch in Custer or at Blue Bell Lodge. Wind Cave 1:30-3:30 Candlelight tour (already reserved). Add drive on Iron Mt Road here?? To see Mt Rushmore through tunnel frame.

Day 2- Jewel Cave 10:00 tour (already reserved) Crazy Horse Memorial (lunch here), Wades Gold Mill (2:00 guided tour? and gold panning) Mount Rushmore

Day 3- AM-Needles Eye Tunnel. Hike Black Elk Peak. Then zip line tour at Rushmore Tramway

Day 4-Badlands

Thanks in advance.

Edited: 04 July 2018, 15:22
7 replies to this topic
The Black Hills...
Level Contributor
977 posts
1. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

Do the Wildlife Loop as early as possible while the animals are out. You can check in at the visitor center 1st thing at 8:00AM and then drive across the highway to the start of the loop.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
6,378 posts
61 reviews
2. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

You could definitely add Iron Mt Rd on day 1. Just don't spend a huge amount of time at the Visitor's Center before driving the Wildlife Loop.

You could also add Iron Mt Rd to day 2 after Wade's, but I think ultimately it will make more sense on day 1. I would try to make a stop at Sylvan Lake if at all possible. I would allot 5 full hours for the Black Elk Peak hike.

new york
Level Contributor
130 posts
51 reviews
3. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

Thanks for all the feedback!

2 posts
4. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

We just got back from our trip there 6 days ago! While you are on your way into or out of (depending on which entrance you use) to the Badlands, make a stop at Wall Drug. Your preteen and young teen will enjoy it! If you are looking for typical souvenirs (tshirts, mugs, magnets, etc.), go to the discount shop across the street and down a few doors (next to the post office). Everything in there is $5.99, we would have saved ourselves a bundle of money had we known about it first! Have fun, this seriously was one of our favorite trips...ever!

new york
Level Contributor
130 posts
51 reviews
5. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

Getting excited! Thanks- will definitely check them out.

1 post
6. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

I read somewhere they are strict about not wearing clothes and shoes from one cave to the next to prevent the spread of fungal(?) disease among the bat population so have an extra set of shoes and hoodie for everyone.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
6,378 posts
61 reviews
7. Re: Our Family Itinerary- Suggestions?

The disease Kendall is talking about is White Nose Syndrome which mainly affects the bat population. I see that both Wind & Jewel Caves have warnings about not allowing shoes (especially) or clothing worn in other caves. I have been in many caves, and a lot of places will sometimes offer to clean shoes that have been worn in other caves. We have had this done at Carlsbad Caverns. The rangers took care of it. I see that Wind Cave offers "shoe covers" to those who fall in this situation. There's no mention of this at Jewel, but I am wondering if they might offer to clean shoes or provide protective covers if Wind is doing it.

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