Named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes, Sioux Falls is the state’s largest city. However the state is probably best known for Mount Rushmore, the 18 metre high sculptures of four American presidents and Custer State Park, which spans 71,000 acre where bison as well as swift pronghorns, elk and mountain goats roam and the curious prairie dogs poke their noses up from their dens. The Crazy Horse Memorial is still a work in progress and will be the world’s largest man-made mountain carving whilst you can make or lose your fortunes in the casinos of historic Deadwood.
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Why should I visit South Dakota?
Black Hills of South Dakota
The mountains and forests of the Black Hills include six national parks, 101 miles of National Scenic Byways and landmarks such as Deadwood and Wounded Knee. The most famous of the National Parks is undoubtedly the Mount Rushmore National Memorial; the heads of the four American Presidents are sixty feet high and would be 465 tall if the entire bodies had been sculpted. However there is much more to the Black Hills than Mount Rushmore. There is a plethora of historical stories; tales of the wild west, greed, dishonour and success.
The Badlands, so named by the Lakota Indians is full of sharp ridges, steep walled canyons, gullies, pyramids and knobs but what makes them unique are the colours: purples, yellows and reds all portray the different sedimentary layers. Badlands National Park also preserves the world’s greatest fossil beds of animals from the Oligocene Epoch of the Age of Mammals. The skeletons of ancient camels, three-toed horses, saber-toothed cats and giant rhinoceros-like creatures are among the many fossilized species found here.
Custer State Park, named after the famous cavalry officer George Custer, spans 71,000 acres and is home to over 1200 buffalo as well as swift pronghorns, elk and mountain goats. You can walk along the banks of French Creek, where Custer's expedition first discovered gold in 1874, before his disastrous last battle at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. This massive area is also brilliant for all sorts of outside activities such as hiking, riding and canoeing.
Unless you are a gambler in which case Deadwood is the place to be, Frontier America would suggest that you stay in either Rapid City, Keystone or inside one of the parks.
Holiday Itineraries for South Dakota
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