South Dakota Off The Beaten Path

  • Wind Cave National Park
    Wind Cave National Park
    by meteorologist1
  • Boxwork in Wind Cave
    Boxwork in Wind Cave
    by meteorologist1
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
    Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
    by meteorologist1

South Dakota Off The Beaten Path

  • Harney Peak

    Harney Peak, rising to 7,242 feet above sea level, is the highest point in South Dakota and also the highest point in North America east of the Rocky Mountains. It is located in the Black Elk Wilderness Area of the Black Hills National Forest of southwestern South Dakota. The jutting rocky summit of the mountain is capped by an abandoned stone...

  • Find Shakespeare's home in the Midwest

    The Shakespeare Garden and Anne Hathaway's Cottage have been part of Wessington Springs since the 30's. An English teacher traveled to England and came back inspired. The cottage was built by looking at a picture postcard from Stratford-upon-Avon.North of I-90 on Highway 281, it's in the central part of the state. Worth a stop if you're passing by.

  • Crazy Horse

    Crazy Horse is a big rockcarving like Mt Rushmore. But this time the indian Crazy Horse is being cut out. You can see the work in progress. 'My lands are where my dead lie buried'-----Chief Crazy Horse

  • Why Orient?

    Why Orient, South Dakota? It's kind of on the way between Denver and Philadelphia. Well, that is if you want to drop by New Glarus, Wisconsin and wouldn't mind stopping in Badlands National Park. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt if you have a friend who has a farm in Orient and he promises you a ride in a tractor. I guess what it all boils down to is you...

  • There'a nice little nine...

    Disc Golf is a sport played much life ball golf. Instead of holes, there are chained baskets. Trees and water hazards work the same way. Instead of a ball and club, you throw flying discs which are smaller, heavier and more beveled than "regular Frisbees" so you can throw then a lot further. I was very into the sport in 1994 and visited over 100...

  • The Devils Tower National...

    Devil's Tower National Monument was established in 1906 to protect the monolith aptly called Devil's Tower. This striking sheer rock formation rises dramatically nearly 1300 feet from its surrounding plateau and sits at over 5000 feet above sea level. With the formation being made of dark red sandstone, it would be easy to construe that its name...

  • Cathedral on the Prairie

    Many people have heard or read or watched the old TV show "Little House on the Prairie", however how many have ever heard of the Cathedral on the Prairie. In the town of Hoven, South Dakota, population about 125 people they built a Cathedral. As the pictures show it is quite an impressive structure especially in the middle of the prairie. Hoven is...

  • Sitting Bull Memorial

    Across the Missouri River from Mobridge, South Dakota on a rural road is a monument to Sitting Bull. Although this part of South Dakota is very desolate driving through the area you can almost imagine life in the early 1800's when the Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled by this area.

  • Chapel in the Hills

    Ok...this is basically in a sub-division in someone's backyard, but if you feel like seeing something a little out of the ordinary, a little non-american, you could go and visit the Chapel in the Hills, which is a recreation of a Norwegian stave church.

  • Sleep under the stars with wild buffallo

    If you're on your way through South Dakota, drive the loop through the badlands. There is a small entrance fee for your vehicle, but it's well worth it. At the entrance you have the opportunity of taking a helicopter ride out over the badlands. If you've never ridden in a helicopter, it's fun, but the view is much better on the ground. The badlands...

  • Wounded Knee area

    This is also mentioned as must see but it is a bit out of the way to get to and there is not much else around it. This area is beautiful to drive through as there are many hills and forests that you will drive through. The Pine Ridge people are extremely friendly and it is amazing to hear the Lakota language being spoken by most of them. This...

  • Capture of McCall

    Jack McCall shot Wild Bill Hicock in the head while he was playing poker at the No. 10 Saloon in 1876. This is the place where McCall was arrested for his crime. It is along Main street but only a hanging placard marks the location of the event.

  • Washington Profile

    The Washington profile is quite stunning to see from the road. The mountain peaks around it, and pine trees. There is a small pull off parking spot that will give you good views.1/2 mile west on Hwy 244

  • Visit the top of the Black Hills

    Harney Peak is a wonderful hike in the Black Hills region. The most popular trailhead begins in Sylvan Lake, which has absolutely stunning scenery. It is a few miles from the lake to the summit, however anyone in decent shape will have no problem with this. At the top is an observation tower, where you will see an incredibly grand sight. The Native...

  • Bizarre Statues

    So it's barely "off the beaten path." Less than half an hour west of Sioux Falls on I-90, there is an artist's outdoor statue display. You have to pay to get in, but I admit I don't know much about it. Kind of a freaky looking thing along the side of the interstate. Keep your eyes peeled. Looking while traveling is good enough for me.I-90 Exit:...

  • Watch your gas gauge

    West River South Dakota off of interstate can be far and few between gas stations. Make sure you know where the next possible gas station is especially late at night.

  • US Highway 44, little-known but very...

    When driving between the Badlands and the Black Hills, forget Interstate 90, and use Highway 44 between Hermosa and Scenic instead. There's very little traffic, the road is splendid, and the views of the rolling prairies with their tall grasses and the Badland buttes are unparalleled. To my way of thinking, it's one of the great drives in the US,...

  • Four Mile Old West Town

    Ghost towns are such a big part of the history in the American West.... small towns that were once thriving due to economy (resorts, mines, railroads, industries, etc.) that are no longer thriving in that way and have as their greater part a significant number of abandoned remains. At "Four Mile Ghost Town" you can tour the historic town,...

  • Indian reservations

    South Dakota has a lot of Indian reservations. I drove through one north of Pierre, just across the Missouri river. I don´t know the name anymore. But don´t expect to see too much. It just looks like normal farmland.

  • Ski/Snowboard Crow Peak in the...

    Ski/Snowboard Crow Peak in the winter, or hike it during the summer. It is a beautiful area just outside of Spearfish, SD. This is a picture of my cousin, his friend, and myself getting ready for the descent of Crow Peak in December.

  • Jewel Cave National Monument -...

    Jewel Cave National Monument - Jewel Cave also has a nice tour, but there isn't much else to the park. Of course, standing in the parking lot staring at the beauty of the Black Hills is a good time in itself. See my Hill City, South Dakota page for more.

  • Geographic Center of the...

    Geographic Center of the United States - The geographic center of the United States is about an hour north of Spearfish. A sign warns of the turn, and a little drive leads to a parking lot. One can walk up a hill and have a nice view of miles of prairie grassland. A sign describes the point and mentions that the location of this spot changed...

  • Take the 30 mile drive through...

    Take the 30 mile drive through the Badlands National Monument. Its worth the time to see the view. I drove into it at night not exactly knowing where I was and the huge clay sculptures were kinda scary at first. But at sunrise, the Badlands has beautiful purple, pink and orange hues that reflect off of them.

  • Wall Drug is a famous tourist...

    Wall Drug is a famous tourist trap off I-90 25 miles east of Rapid City. It is an old fashioned western drug store. But it is catered to tourist. This is drug store has billboards on I-90 in Montana, Wyoming, and Minnesota. It also has a famous bumper sticker 'Where the heck is Wall Drug'

  • Mammoth Site in Hot Springs,...

    Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD....For more info, check out my Mammoth Site travelogue and the website listed above.

  • Maybe I should call this 'off...

    Maybe I should call this 'off the beaten path' but we almost didn't stop in Wall, South Dakota but we were so glad that we did. We saw signs on the highway for Wall Drug in South Dakota clear back in Wyoming! We thought that a bit odd...advertise for a drug store over 4 hours away! And as we got closer and closer there were more and more signs....



  • if you like to collect rocks...

    if you like to collect rocks as much as I do Take highway 44 to the west side of the Missouri River, Walk south on the banks of the river and keep your eyes peeled for some very unusual calcite crystals.

  • Storybook Land and The Land of...

    Storybook Land and The Land of Oz in Aberdeen. From the brochure, 'Storybook Land is an enchanted land of makebelieve and fun. Families will experience a world of imagination capturing all the myth and magic of your favorite nursery rhymes from Humpty Dumpty to Hickory Dickory Dock. Slide down Jack and Jill's hill or visit Goldilocks and the Three...

  • Spirit Mound northwest of...

    Spirit Mound northwest of Vermillion, visited by Lewis and Clark. The local Indians believed it was inhabited by little people, mischevious evil spirits. Their belief is not just a thing of the past. My friend told me about the time he was doing a sweatlodge. All the hot rocks were in the lodge and the people were in the lodge, ready for the water...

  • Badlands National Park - in...

    Badlands National Park - in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The Badlands Wilderness Area covers 64,000 acres and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most...

  • Mobridge, SD on the Standing...

    Mobridge, SD on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation is one of the spots that claim to be the final resting place of the Lakota Leader, Sitting Bull. There is a monument to Sitting Bull on a scenic overlook on the banks of Lake Oahe (a wide spot on the Missouri River). If you want to go to Mobridge, it is on Highway 12 in the North Central South...

  • The petrified wood park in...

    The petrified wood park in Lemmon, South Dakota. The farmers around the town of Lemmon had an abundance of petrified wood in their fields, so someone had the idea to create castles and towers and all kinds of 'art' out of it in the town's central park. Okay, it doesn't really sound that exciting, and it's not if you are an adult, but please, don't...


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South Dakota Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of South Dakota off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for South Dakota sightseeing.
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