Rapid City Car Rental

Old Jan 27th, 2022, 07:40 PM
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Rapid City Car Rental

Two questions regarding car rental specifically at Rapid City, SD.

1. Is it worth it to try to rent outside the airport? I have read it is less expensive this way, even if you have a to take a cab to get away from the airport.
2. Is it possible to return a rental car before a 630am flight? We would have to return the car at 5-530am and I'm assuming it will be closed.

If you have visited RAP I would love some advice about how you rented a car.

Thank you in advance!
mrsJuiceS is offline  
Old Jan 28th, 2022, 07:51 AM
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My research found that all Rapid City hotels were from 6 to 9 miles from the airport. One rental car company at the airport is several dollars cheaper per day (Hertz) than the Enterprise downtown. Check with your hotel to see if they have a free shuttle to/from the airport. If you rent from the airport, return the car there before 11PM the day before and use a shuttle if available. There are a few places that allow before/after hours rental car return but you are sti8ll on the hook for any damages to the car that they discover when they inspect the car soon after they open in the morning. Check by phone with the rental counter about their policy on car returns outside their regular hours 8AM-11:59PM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 10:34 AM
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tomfuller thank you so much for the advice! I think we might just spend our last night at a hotel near the airport. Return the rental car the night before, take the airport shuttle. Sounds so much less stressful. Pls do let me know if you have any advice on which airport hotel is best in Rapid City.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 10:55 AM
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At 6+ miles from the airport, I wouldn't call any of them "airport hotels". Choose one with good reviews that does have an airport shuttle. The one time that we stayed near Mt. Rushmore we were driving our own car from PA all the way to Seattle. Depending on what else you want to see in the region, you might want to fly to another bigger airport and go from there (MSP?)
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 11:08 AM
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The Black Hills are actually small mountains (7,242 feet is the highest point). There are lots of things to see and do there: Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Monument, Wind Cave National Park and east of the Black Hills is Badlands National Park.

Spearfish Canyon. Home to Bridal Veil Falls which is the easiest of the three waterfalls and Roughlock Falls Nature Area.

Mickelson Trail. This rail-trail runs through the heart of the Black Hills, connecting Deadwood with Edgemont 114 miles to the south. The trail incorporates nearly 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 tunnels, and goes through ponderosa pines and along a rushing stream.

Custer State Park. A state park of national park quality with bighorn sheep and bison. It has winding mountain roads and Sylvan Lake, the jewel of the Black Hills.

Iron Mt. Road. Iron Mt. Road (16-A) is an incredible 17-mile experience with 14 switchbacks, three pigtails and three tunnels. It starts at Hwy 16 and goes south to Hwy 30.
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Old Jan 28th, 2022, 03:03 PM
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Thank you tomfuller and PrairieHikerII ! I should have clarified before. We are travelling to SD from Boston and will be staying for six nights - seeing all the sights in the area! We have rented an Airbnb in Custer and I was worrying that trying to get to the airport and return a rental car all before a 6:30am flight would be too intense ( esp with three kids !) so I am changing our plans to stay just five nights in Custer and spend the last night closer to the airport! It looks like there are several that offer free airport shuttles so I just need to figure out which one. Thanks for the tips about Spearfish Canyon and Mickelson Trail, those were not on my list yet!!
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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 07:42 AM
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mrs.JuiceS. You are staying in the right town. Custer is the best base for seeing the sights. I hope you enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 29th, 2022, 09:33 AM
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You'll easily be able to enjoy your day and have your evening meal in Custer (or general area) before checking into final lodging and dropping the car. There's a by-pass that routes around RC to make travel easier/faster after you've seen the attractions; it's easy to drive & find. The areas within the Black Hills are generally from Deadwood (North) to Hot Springs (South) with areas that "loop" back to where you started. We've taken several long weekends relaxing there over the past decade - you'll find plenty to do!
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Old Jan 30th, 2022, 06:10 PM
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2 years ago we found the best car rates at https://www.blackhillscarrental.net
Definitely drive thru Spearfish Canyon, as suggested above.
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