South Dakota is a magical place filled with sweeping landscapes and majestical animals. I first spent a night in Hot Springs before heading North and driving through the Wind Cave National Park and through the Black Hills National Forest. After one night in Hot Springs it began to snow. The only road to Mount Rushmore was this highway that ran through Wind Cave and into the Black Hills into the Rushmore area. Unfortunately, the parks department does not plow nor salt this road. Therefore, with someone with rear wheel drive it caused much danger. What should have taken me 45 minutes to drive took me over 2 hours! Besides skidding and sliding on the roads I had to also dodge Bison left and right. It was definitely an adventure that was for sure!
Wind Cave National Park
I didn’t have too much time to explore Wind Cave as i was focusing on driving through it safely but it was STUNNING. After the snow fell it was like a magical place where you would see mountains, greenery and tons of bison playing in the roads. Bison are so beautiful and I have only seen them form a distance in grassland area I have never driven literally next to them. This just makes you realize how large they are.
Black Hills National Forest
The Black Hills National Forest was unbelievable. It was stunning! With every turn of the road you it became more and more stunning. The rocks and mountains were jaw dropping. I just wish it was summer so I was able to enjoy rock climbing on these unique structures. I can’t imaging myself climbing these towers. I guess that means that I will just need to come back again.
Mount Rushmore is beautiful! It’s exactly what you think it is. As you park walk up and see this amazing creation carved into the rock. The drive up to mount Rushmore was stunning and the higher you make it up this mountain until you see the famous presidents facing starring at you. Definitely worth the trip!
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park has to be one of my favorite National Parks that I have been too. I mean I have never gone to a National Park and said boy that’s a waste of soil. But there was something very special about the Badlands. I went off season so there may have been 5 cars in the entire park! It was freezing and windy and raining but that made it all the more beautiful. All of the rock formations that would protrude into the sky was amazing. I kept filming videos out the drivers side window since the drive felt like I was in a dream.
Before I made my way to North Dakota I stopped at Standing Rock. The drive from the Badlands to Standing Rock was insane and I saw that in a good way! The rolling hills and green pastures lasted for almost the entire drive. I can’t even imagine never seeing this in my life that’s how pretty it was. Another good thing about driving vs flying! I stayed by the Grand River Casino Lodge. Since this entire area is Indian Reservations it limits where you can go and stay. I saw ALOT of Hunters in this Casino as they come from all over to hunt on the Sioux land.