Traveling in South Dakota
South Dakota is probably one of the few states in the mid west that many American’s have on their travel list. The reason for this of course is Mt. Rushmore! On my first visit to South Dakota I made it to Sioux Falls and did a short hike in Sica Hollows in the east. On my second trip I was able to make it out west to Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore. On my third trip, I plan to go to the center which is where the capital of Pierre and Badlands national park are located.
Rapid City is South Dakota’s second largest city and is located at the foothills of the Black Hills mountains. Rapid City is known as the “City of Presidents”, and has dozens of sculptures for every president spread about the downtown area. Fort Hays is famous for the location of where Dances with Wolves was filmed, and has a Wild West ghost town, music festivals, and shows.
Mt. Rushmore is one of America’s most famous memorials. The sculptures of four American presidents that are roughly 65 feet (20 meters) in height have looked over the Black Hills since their completion in 1941. In addition Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills are famous for excellent hiking, the wind caves which are the densest in the world, and the current Crazy Horse Memorial; a gigantic 650 foot (200 meter) sculpture that will take decades to complete!
The largest city in the Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming, Sioux Falls should almost be considered the capital of the northern great plains. Sioux Falls is at least known as the ‘Gateway to the Plains’, and is the best place to experience any type of city life while traveling through the region. There are over 40 historic sites, one of the largest cathedrals in the Midwest, and all the entertainment you could expect in a city, not to mention the actual Sioux Falls themselves!
Sica State Park gets its name from its red tainted waters. Native American’s believed some of the creeks here to resemble blood and therefore be cursed. The state park is thick with woodlands and plenty of hiking trails. It’s deciduous trees certainly are unique when compared to the Black Hills in the west or the plains that make up the rest of South Dakota.