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Trip Report South Dakota's Black Hills For Families

We spent a week in the Black Hills and it was one of the best family vacations we ever took. We found that by flying into Rapid City we could limit driving to just an hour or two a day and still see so much. We started by heading up to Deadwood where we spent two nights enjoying all the street life and Wild West re-enactors. We saw Wild Bill get killed several times and even participated in the trial of his murderer! While in the area we visited the Broken Boot Mine in Deadwood and the Homestake Mine in Lead - both were very cool.

Next we headed off to Mount Rushmore which we enjoyed. Take time to stroll the Presidential Trail. We then spent several nights at Custer State Park where we got to see bison, begging burros, pronghorn, and many other wild animals on the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Drive. We took the 1-mile hike around Sylvan Lake and a few of us hiked the 7,000+ foot Haney Peak - which was a real sense of achievement for a 10 year old.

From our base camp at Custer State Park we also visited Wind Cave and Jewel Cave, both of which are worth the drive. We then went back to Rapid City, stopping at some great roadside attractions like Reptile Gardens and the Cosmos Mystery Hill. From Rapid City we took a day trip to the Badlands, with a stop at Wall Drug. Both are amazing. Our last night in Rapid City we attended the Central States Fair and Rodeo.

For a family used to suburban living on the East Coast this was a great trip to give the kids a sense of the West and lots of adventures without having to devote tons of time to driving everyday.

Our blog has lots more pictures, details and links if you want to check it out. http://bit.ly/c9gCQW

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