To reserve a seat for this tour you must pay a $250 non-refundable deposit per person. Remaining balance is due latest Aug. 16th. 2021, if the remaining balance is not received on that day, the reservation will be considered cancelled with loss of the deposit. Reservations for this tour made after Aug. 16th. 2021 must be paid in full at time of reservation. (If seats are still available)
The following is included in the price:
Airfare roundtrip from NYC
3 nights accommodations at a 2-3 Star comfortable hotel
3 Breakfasts at the hotel
Sightseeing & activities every day
All local transportation w. private van
Mount Rushmore National Memorial entrance fee
Badlands National Park entrance fee
Custer State Park entrance fee
Crazy Horse Memorial entrance fee
Bear Country USA entrance fee
Tour leader accompanying you for the entire tour from NYC.
1 personal item and 1 carry on bag for the flight
All taxes and fees
Not included in price:
Any snack between meals
Any bags you have to check in ($35 each way)
Optional bus/van ride to the base of Crazy Horse Memorial ($4)
Gratuities for your guides/driver (Tipping your tour guide is left to your discretion)
We will meet at LaGuardia Airport; our flight is at 6:15 am. We recommend that you arrive 4:15 am to check and walk through security. You should be at the gate at 5:30 am, here you will meet with your tour coordinator from Hines Tours.
We will arrive in Rapid City, South Dakota at 10:53 am, from here we will leave to pick up a van that we will use for the duration of the tour.
Flight info United Airlines:
Sat. Sept. 18th LGA 6:15 am to 8:22 am Denver (#UA1475)
Sat. Sept. 18th Denver 9:45 am to 10:53 am Rapid City (#UA5487)
Tue. Sept. 21st Rapid City 2:55 pm to 4:11 pm Denver (#UA5316)
All our activities and attractions for this tour will take place in South Dakota. South Dakota is an expansive, sparsely populated Midwestern state and it is also part of the Great Plains region where rolling prairies give way to the dramatic Black Hills National Forest.
Black Hills is home to 2 historical monuments carved right into towering granite peaks: Mt. Rushmore, the iconic depiction of 4 revered U.S. presidents, and Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to the storied Native American tribal leader, we will visit both.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered on a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills in South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum created the sculpture's design and oversaw the project's execution from 1927 to 1941 with the help of his son Lincoln Borglum.
The sculpture is a tribute to four presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and their invaluable contributions to the United States. The sculpture is 60 ft tall and is 5,725 feet (1,745 m) above sea level.
You will get amble time to explore the visitor center, museum and even some hiking trails around the sculpture.
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires.
The park is very isolated; you can look for miles and see no sign of civilization. The land has been ruthlessly ravaged by wind and water which has made it very unique and picturesque.
The Badlands are a wonderland of bizarre, colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes and deep gorges. The Lakota Indians gave this land its name, “Mako Sica,” meaning “land bad.”
The Badlands preserves the world’s greatest fossil beds of animals, permitting scientists to study the evolution of some animal species.
The Badlands have the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States.
Wildlife roams the park's boundaries as well. Bison, pronghorn, mule, deer, prairie dogs, coyotes, butterflies, turtles, snakes, bluebirds, vultures, eagles and hawks are just some of the wildlife that can often be seen by visitors in the park.
Custer State Park
Custer State Park is South Dakota's largest and first state park, named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer.
The park and Wildlife preserve is home to a famous herd of 1500 free roaming bison. The park is also home to Elk, coyotes, mule deer, white tailed deer, mountain goats, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, river otters, pronghorn, cougars, and feral burros.
The burros are also referred to as donkeys or “begging burros”, they earned this nickname as they for many years approach various passing cars through the park begging for food.
During our tour, we will most like see lots of prairie dogs. Prairie dogs are a type of ground squirrel found in North America. Adults usually grow to be 12 to 16 inches long and weigh between one and four pounds. They are mainly herbivores and will eat grasses, seeds, fruits, and insects. Despite the name, they are not related to any type of dog. The name was given to them for the sounds they make. Prairie dogs live in large colonies or "towns" and can span hundreds of acres.
Sylvan Lake is located in Custer State Park. It was created in 1881 when a dam was built across the Sunday Gulch Creek.
If you fell like it you can hike the short loop trail (1 mile) around the lake, about 2/3 of the trail is very easy and flat gravel trail at the lake’s edge. The other 1/3 is rocky, with a few steep inclines/declines and you must climb over the giant granite outcropping to complete the loop.
We will be driving on some of the most scenic byways in the US, including the Iron Mountain Road and this one, the Needles Highway
Crazy Horse Memorial
Crazy Horse is the world's largest mountain carving, located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It is considered The Eighth Wonder of the World in progress. Polish-American sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began the carving in 1948. Members of his family and their supporters are continuing his artistic intent to create a massive statue that will be 641 feet (195 m) long and 563 feet (172 m) high. To give that some perspective, the heads at Mount Rushmore National Memorial are each “only” 60 feet high.
When the carving of Mount Rushmore began in 1927, the local Lakota Indians objected loudly. The Black Hills of South Dakota, by treaty, belonged to them. But rather than simply protest, Chief Henry Standing Bear wrote to Korczak Ziolkowski, who had assisted in the carving of Mount Rushmore, and asked him to help the local Native American tribes etch their own heroes into rock. The sculpture will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. Crazy Horse took up arms against the U.S. Federal government to fight against encroachments on the territories and way of life of the Lakota people. Crazy Horse died battling the United States government at the turn of the 19th century. The monument is still far from completion, but the work completed today is still very impressive to see. When the weather permits it they have a bus/van which takes you to the bottom of the mountain, there is a $4 surcharge for this ride.
In addition to the mountain carving, the memorial also includes an Indian Museum of North America, and a Native American Cultural Center. The museum is huge and is home to a large collection of art and artifacts reflecting the diverse histories and cultures of over 300 Native Nations. The memorial is a non-profit undertaking, and does not accept federal or state funding. The Memorial Foundation finances the project by charging fees for its visitor centers, earning revenue from its gift shops and receiving contributions.
Bear Country USA
We will visit Bear Country USA which is part a drive-thru wildlife park and part a regular zoo featuring North American wildlife. This spectacular wildlife park is nestled on 200 acres of the Black Hills region.
Bear Country USA is a sanctuary for orphaned wildlife that typically will not make it on their own, giving the animals both a vast place to roam and safe place to live. During the drive of the wildlife loop, we will experience the largest amount of privately owned blacks bears in the world.
From the comfort of our vehicle we will observe black bears, elk, mountain lions, buffalo, reindeer and other wildlife in their natural environment and afterwards we will get out and take a wildlife walk around the area where we will experience offspring’s and smaller animals.
Close to Rapid City we will hike a relative short (1.7 mile RT) and flat trail to a spectacular viewpoint.
To make this tour affordable for everyone, we will choose a basic but comfortable 2-3-star hotel with a minimum Google & TripAdvisor guest rating of 3.5 (on a 1 to 5 scale). You room will have private bath, a refrigerator, microwave, coffee maker, Flat screen HDTV and comes with free Wifi.
At the hotel you will also find a fitness room.
Food Included in price
Day 1: Lunch and Dinner
Day 2: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3: Breakfast and Lunch
Suggested Packing List - South Dakota
BAGS: We will fly with United Airlines; they allow one carry-on bag (Max length 22" including wheels and handles, width 14", and height 9", no weight limit, plus one personal item which has to fit underneath the seat in front of you. (We highly recommend that as a personal item you bring a backpack you can use for our day tours (Max 17” x 10” x 9). Since we have limited space in our transportation vehicle, we suggest that you don’t bring more than that. If you feel the need to bring a bag to check in (up to 50 pounds) you will have to pay an additional $35 each way. For your carry-on bag, please make sure that any liquids containers are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 ml)
□ A valid government issued identification (Very important, you need this for the flight)
Dress in layers, the average temperature in September for South Dakota is from 50 to 75 degrees.
□ Underclothes and socks
□ Long thermal underwear
□ Light / Fall Jacket
□ Hiking Pants
□ Hiking Boots / Sneakers with good traction
□ Rain Gear
□ Phone and charger
□ Camera, charger and maybe extra memory & Battery
□ Allergy medicine if needed
□ Pain relievers
□ Motion sickness medicine if needed
□ Any prescribed medication
□ Toothbrush and Toothpaste
□ Travel-sized lotion, shampoo, and body wash
□ Contact lens case and solution
□ Insect repellant
□ National Park Passport (If you own one)
□ Small collapsible cooler for a lunch pack
□ Cash and Credit Card
(We will pay for the hotel room, but you will have to give the hotel your Credit Card info which only will be used for incidentals such as long distance phone calls or if you damage the hotel room)
MULTI DAY FLYING TOURS Cancellation Fees (Per Person)
30 days or more before departure - Loss of deposit
15 – 29 days before departure - 50% of tour price
14 days or less before departure - No refund or tour credit.
If you are concern about losing money due to illness or other unpredictable matters, we highly recommend buying a travel insurance. We can recommend www.insuremytrip.com (Hines Tours is not affiliated with this site in any form)