South Dakota

Ex­plore the de­lights of the real Wild West

Better Homes and Gardens (Australia) - - Contents -

south Dakota is the stuff of wild-west leg­end and great­ness. Awe­some mon­u­ments, scenery and at­trac­tions to dis­cover, mak­ing mem­o­ries to trea­sure. Add these to your bucket list.

GLAMP­ING AT MOUNT RUSHMORE

A na­tional mon­u­ment to democ­racy, the huge faces of four US pres­i­dents – Wash­ing­ton, Jef­fer­son, Roo­sevelt and Lin­coln – are in­tri­cately carved into the moun­tain­side. Glamp­ing with Un­der Can­vas and tour­ing with a lo­cal guide are in­sider tips to best en­joy and un­der­stand this Amer­i­can must-see. un­der­can­vas.com

CRAZY ABOUT CRAZY HORSE This will be one of the world’s largest rock carv­ings when fin­ished. Work started in 1948 on the mon­u­ment to the great Na­tive Amer­i­can peo­ple and Chief Crazy Horse of the Oglala Lakota na­tion. A visit to the Black Hills site in Custer

County of­fers a chance to delve into the cul­ture of the Plains In­dian tribes and mar­vel at the scale and ded­i­ca­tion of this in­cred­i­ble project. Or join the next Volks­march, a bian­nual hike, to be held this June.

JOIN THE BUF­FALO ROUND-UP

This an­nual event takes place in Custer State Park each au­tumn and is a great chance to see the largest, privately-owned herd of 1200 buf­falo thun­der by as they are rounded up by cow­boys on horse­back. Part of a week­end fes­ti­val not to miss.

JEWEL CAVE, WIND CAVE Above and be­low ground, these caves are nat­u­ral won­ders, with ranger-led tours avail­able for both. Ex­plore Jewel Cave, the third-long­est cave in the world, and en­joy the park with na­ture trails above. Wind Cave is the first cave des­ig­nated a na­tional park and of­fers the world’s largest col­lec­tion of rare box­work for­ma­tions and a wildlife sanc­tu­ary above ground.

GAM­BLING, GUNSMOKE AND GOLD MIN­ING

Visit Dead­wood’s at­mo­spheric Mt Mo­riah ceme­tery, where Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and other fa­mous western char­ac­ters are laid to rest. This his­toric min­ing town will take you back to the law­less days of the wild west, com­plete with ac­tiv­i­ties. dead­wood.com

DRIVE THE BLACK HILLS

Base your­self in Rapid City, City of Pres­i­dents, and shop for na­tive Amer­i­can art and jew­ellery. Take the famed Nee­dles High­way through the Black Hills on a Harley mo­tor­bike, or by car, for an un­for­get­table scenic drive of dis­cov­ery. Con­tinue through Spearfish Canyon to see where scenes from Dances

with Wolves were filmed. And don’t for­get your cam­era. black­hills­bad­lands.com

ALONG THE WIDE MIS­SOURI The mighty Mis­souri River cuts through the state and five dif­fer­ent na­tive tribal lands, along the route of ex­plor­ers Lewis and Clark. It of­fers boat­ing, fish­ing and recre­ational op­por­tu­ni­ties in an un­beat­able nat­u­ral set­ting, served with a wild-west his­tory les­son on the side.

GOOD TIMES IN THE BADLANDS Nat­u­ral ero­sion over thou­sands of years has carved a spec­tac­u­lar swathe through the land­scape, cre­at­ing gorges, coloured canyons and lay­ers of sed­i­men­tary rock now pre­served as Badlands Na­tional Park. See di­verse wildlife and fos­sils, take a hike, or stay overnight in cab­ins in the park to cap­ture some of the most photo-fab­u­lous sun­rises and sun­sets you’ll ever see.

BOOK IT

What: A fly/drive itin­er­ary to South Dakota, USA When: Sum­mer, May-oc­to­ber

More info: trav­el­south­dakota.com; greatamer­i­can­west.com.au Book: Plan your itin­er­ary via Ad­ven­ture World Travel,

ad­ven­ture­world.com.au

Hike the canyons to see fos­sils, wildlife and spec­tac­u­lar sun­sets

Drink in the sight of Syl­van Lake in Custer State Park.

Be awed by the mon­u­men­tal Mount Rushmore.

Meet a real cow­boy!

Watch a herd of buf­falo be­ing rounded up.

Visit the grave of folk hero Wild Bill Hickok.

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