The 10 Best Guided Tours in South Dakota!

In the warmer months, tourists flock to South Dakota to see the awe-inspiring Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial, the extreme landscape of the Badlands, and the wild animals like buffalo and mountain goats. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, a great way to experience the state is on an informative guided tour. Check out the 10 best guided tours in South Dakota to learn more about this amazing state!

1. Mount Rushmore Tours, Rapid City, SD

On these tours, you’ll make amazing memories like eating cowboy food off a tin plate, live music, tour famous locations and learn their histories. They will do all the driving for you, so you can just relax and enjoy the scenery. Tours include Chuckwagon Supper & Cowboy Show, Dances with Wolves Film Set, Cowboy “All You Can Eat” Breakfast, Mt. Rushmore Tour Package, Mt. Rushmore Sightseeing Tour Only, 1880 Train Tour, and more. The tour guides are friendly, knowledgeable, and entertaining. Through this company, you can get an inside look at Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Needles Highway, and more. 

2. 1880 Train/Black Hills Central Railroad, Hill City, SD

On this tour, customers experience the beautiful Black Hills on a vintage steam train. The two-hour ride travels 20 miles in a roundtrip through Hill City and Keystone. The train travels through National Forest Service land, and passengers will be able to see the remains of historic mines, canyons, and Battle Creek. The entertaining and knowledgeable tour guide will narrate the trip with history and fun information. Be sure to visit the South Dakota State Railroad Museum located right next to the Hill City Depot. 

3. Sylvan Rocks Climbing School, Hill City, SD

For a more adventures and hands-on tour, head to Sylvan Rocks Climbing School. Experienced guides teach customers of all skill levels climbing knowledge. Families and beginners are welcome. You have the option of rock climbing in Palisades State Park, Custer State Park, Devils Tower National Monument, or Mount Rushmore National Memorial. All the necessary equipment is provided. Packages include the Discover Climbing Adventure, Six Hour Rock Climbing Day, Eight Hour Guided Climbing Day, Devils Tower Climbing Options, Youth and Large Group Options, and Palisades State Park. 

4. GeoFunTrek Tours, Keystone, SD

GeoFunTrek Tours specializes in high-quality day-long guided tours of the Black Hills, Badlands, and more. You can have unique experiences like the Sunset and Stargazing Tours of the Badlands, Dinosaur and Fossil Tours, Mining History Tours, and Winery and Art Gallery Tours. The featured tour is the Three National Treasures. On this tour, visitors can see the three most popular destinations in the Black Hills: Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and Custer State Park. 

5. Rushmore Tramway Adventures, Keystone, SD

Unlock your adventurous side with Rushmore Tramway Adventures, a TripAdvisor top-ranked tour in Keystone. There is something for everyone from the alpine slide to the aerial park to the chairlift with views of Mount Rushmore. Attractions include the Aerial Adventure Park, alpine slide, scenic chairlift, 800-foot zip line, jump tower, and Mountain Top Grille. This is a great option for tourists with children and teenagers. 

6. City of Presidents Walking Tour, Rapid City, SD

Rapid City, the most patriotic small town in the United States, has bronze statues of 42 presidents on busy downtown street corners. Head to the City of Presidents Visitor Center to get information and start the tour. Follow the interactive walking tour to learn about the lives of these great men. 

7. Mt. Rushmore Black Hills Gold Factory Tour, Rapid City, SD

Take this fascinating tour inside the factory to learn about the history of Black Hills Gold. The tour guides are informative and guides you through the history and the stages of jewelry-making. You can see jewelers working on the jewelry right in front of you. Tour guides can answer any questions you possible have about the creation process or the history. 

8. Blacktail Horseback and Walking Tours, Deadwood, SD

The two-hour ride starts at the top of Bessie Gulch, continues through the Black Hills forest, and ends back at the ranch. While on the ride, a tour guide will give riding instructions and talk about the history of the area and the historic Homestake Goldmine. Children over five and beginners are welcome. 

9. Candlelight Cave Tour, Wind Cave National Park, SD

With an experienced guide, tour the unique Wind Cave, one of the longest and most complex caves in the world! This tour is by candlelight, which adds an extra element of excitement and adventure. The tour goes through a less developed and unlighted section of the cave. 

10. Bison Express Tours, Hot Springs, SD

Take Bison Express Tours for an exciting wildlife experience with stops in Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the State Game Lodge, Custer State Park Wildlife Loop, and Mount Coolidge. There are also evening tours available which include wildlife scouting in Wind Cave National Park for animals like bison, antelope, deer, and elk.

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