Spirit of the American West: Explore America's West as you travel through the vast landscapes of our beautiful country. Enjoy the stunning beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota and venture into Wyoming!
Journey to patriotic Mount Rushmore and renew your patriotism as you take in the majestic 60-foot faces of four of our U.S. presidents standing as a symbol of American Democracy. Gaze at the fifth face that has emerged in the Black Hills, Crazy Horse Memorial, which is the largest sculptor undertaking anywhere in the world and a tribute to the Native American hero. Take a step back in time with a narrated ride on a 1880's train. Watch for America's first National Mammal, the majestic American Bison roaming free on the plains of the Wildlife Loop in the rolling grasslands of Custer State Park. Hold onto your hats and head into the hill for a Buffalo safari. Sip a cup of 5 cent coffee and enjoy that infamously advertised free cup of "ice" water at the nostalgic Wall Drug and be prepared to get lost in the layers of beauty and ruggedness of South Dakota's Badlands National Park.
Stroll through Rapid City, the "City of Presidents" and Main Street Square as it comes alive at our Main Street Square "Summer Nights" where you'll enjoy local fare, brews and live music. Experience South Dakota's wild, wild west in the old mining town and the resting place of outlaws such as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, Deadwood! Try your luck at a card table, slot machine or belly up to the bar at the Saloon.
Venture into the "Cowboy state" of Wyoming and experience the wide-open spaces where cows outnumber people 3 to 1. Take a stroll around Teddy Roosevelt's first appointed National Monument, or perhaps more familiar from "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" Devils Tower National Monument, a true natural phenomenon.
Revel in our first class service, from complimentary snacks and water to wine and beer included at dinner. Delight in the knowledge, passion and experience of your local Tour Directors and their enthusiasm for this area of our country. Sit back and relax in a modern, comfortable Motorcoach and sink into bed each night in modern, clean comfort at your Rapid City hotel.
Re-connect and renew your patriotism and be prepared to have a journey of a lifetime.
We will take care of all the details!
We have carefully planned each fun-filled day with numerous outstanding destinations, unbelievable photo ops, local meals and amazing sightseeing opportunities! Your typical day will start around 8:00 a.m. and will usually return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Activity Level: Moderate
This is a moderately paced tour, with frequent stops and opportunities to set your own pace. You can choose to walk a few miles each day or enjoy yourself while people watching on a bench. Up to 2 miles per day of walking, standing and using stairs is standard. You should be in good health and able to keep pace.
Day 1- Rapid City, South Dakota
Welcome to the Spirit of the American West Tour! Join us at your hotel for a reception beginning at 6:00 p.m. where you will meet your fellow travelers, Tour Director and prepare for your big adventure! Welcome Dinner follows at 7:00 p.m. (D)
Day 2- Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore & 1880's Train, Keystone to Hill City
Today’s adventure begins with a journey into the Black Hills and to the colossal Crazy Horse sculpture the world’s largest carving and an impressive work in progress. Crazy Horse is the largest sculptural undertaking ever. In 1939 when Mt. Rushmore was nearly complete, Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear invited sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to carve an Indian memorial in the Black Hills to represent Native American heroes, a challenge that Ziolkowski accepted in 1948 and which continues by his children and grandchildren to this day. Crazy Horse Memorial draws well over one million visitors a year and when completed will be several times larger than Mt. Rushmore.
The journey continues through the scenic backdrop of the Black Hills to a true shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The majestic 60-foot faces of four U.S. presidents gaze over South Dakota’s Black Hills. Recognized worldwide, they stand as a symbol of American democracy. This national treasure tells the story of the United States’ rich history, rugged determination and lasting achievement. From the Grandview Terrace take in the spectacular views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln and then walk the half-mile Presidential Trail that loops along the base of the mountain. Discover why the four presidents were selected, see how the mountain was carved and learn about sculptor Gutzom Borglum and the workers who brought Mount Rushmore to life. Stroll the charming streets of the old 1880's mining town of Keystone, where you'll delight in old fashioned fudge, taffy and ice cream shops or find that perfect souvenir. "All aboard!" Now board the 1880's train for a narrated 10-mile trip between Keystone and Hill City where you'll view vistas of Black Elk Peak, mining encampments and participate in good old-fashioned fun. Trains follow the original route of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad laid down in the late 1880’s to service the mines and mills between Hill City and Keystone.
Peruse the many art galleries by local artisans and western shops in South Dakota's oldest city, known as the "Heart of the Hills," Hill City. (B,D)
Day 3- City of Presidents, Custer State Park & Buffalo Safari
Start the day with the Presidents as we tour historic downtown Rapid City, the "City of Presidents", where a series of life-size bronze statues of our nation’s past presidents reside along the city’s streets and sidewalks of downtown Rapid City.
The City of Presidents’ project began in 2000 to honor the legacy of the American presidency and part of the reason why Rapid City has been named most patriotic best small town in the United States. Off to where the Buffalo roam, Custer State Park, covering 71,000 acres, it is one of the largest state parks in the nation. Keep an eye out for the majestic bison during your Buffalo Safari. Through the beauty of the park, the tour will take you off-road with a trek through the park in an open-air Jeep. Along the way, your guides will share historical and educational facts about the park and wildlife of the largest publicly owned bison herds in the country. Pronghorn, mule and whitetail deer, burros, prairie dogs, coyotes, wild turkeys, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and golden eagles all share this habitat. Return through the Black Hills to Rapid City for dinner. (B,L,D)
Day 4-Badlands, Wall Drug & Downtown Rapid City Summer Nights
Today it’s time to head to the Badlands! Badlands National Park preserves 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in America. Without a doubt, a hidden gem in the national park system, the unique beauty of the Badlands landscape is like no other. Sightseers as well as scholarly scientists are attracted to the area for its astounding beauty and the opportunity to peek into an ancient world. And no trip to the Badlands would be complete without a stop at famous Wall Drug, which became known for offering free ice water to thirsty travelers in the 1930s and is today one of the top roadside attractions in the country. Complete with souvenir shops filled with Black Hills Gold, Western art and wear and locally made fudge.
Thursday is here and that means downtown Rapid City's "Summer Nights"! Rapid City's downtown comes alive with outside live entertainment featuring local musicians, a vibrant crowd with food vendors and beer tents. Grab a bite to eat from one of the delicious vendors and check out the heart of the city on the lawn at Main Street Square or choose from a variety of local restaurants, including the historic Rapid City Firehouse restaurant and brewery and Firehouse Cellars and don't forget ice cream on a hot day at the Silver Lining Creamery, which features fresh, small batch, premium ice cream. (B,L)
Day 5- Devils' Tower, Wyoming, Deadwood & Farewell Dinner
Today, ride off into the rugged wide open spaces and "Cowboy Country" of Wyoming. Enjoy the beautiful landscape of prairie lands to the infamous Devil's Tower.
In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower the first national monument. Seeing the Tower up close, you may be reminded of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 science fiction movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Walk around the base of the soaring, seemingly magical tower and imagine what the early Native Americans and pioneers must have thought when they first glanced at this spectacular, mammoth volcanic-like formation jetting from the wind swept prairie. See if you can spot one of the thousands of rock climbers who journey from across the world to scale this stunningly unique national monument. We're on the road again and headed straight for the city of outlaws, gunslingers and gamblers- Deadwood, South Dakota.
Enjoy a narrated tour of historic Deadwood where the discovery of gold in the southern Black Hills in 1874 set off one of the great gold rushes in America. In 1876, miners moved into the northern Black Hills. That’s where they came across a gulch full of dead trees and a creek full of gold and Deadwood was born.
The gold camp boomed into a town that played by its own rules, it attracted outlaws, gamblers and gunslingers along with the gold seekers. Wild Bill Hickok was one of those men who came looking for fortune. But just a few short weeks after arriving, he was gunned down while holding a poker hand of aces and eights – forever after known as the Dead Man’s Hand. Today, after receiving world wide notoriety from events such as the nearby Sturgis Motorcycle Rally and HBO’s series, Deadwood, the town is once again booming with shops, casinos and pubs. Let loose while you walk in the footsteps of American legends in Deadwood. Travel back to Rapid City for a farewell dinner at the hotel. (B,L,D)
Day 6- Rapid City, SD
Thank you for traveling with us and letting us share this beautiful part of the country with you. Until next time, Happy Trails! (B)
Book your fun-filled adventure on line or if you prefer, please give us a call and we’d be happy to help! Some tours sell out very quickly, so you may want to hold a space. PST is glad to hold a space for you for up to three days with no obligation.
Deposit: 50% deposit is due the day of booking.
Final payment: Due 60 days prior to the start date of the tour. If full final payment has not been received by the due date, Prairie Spirit Tours may cancel the reservation without notice. Please see our Terms and Conditions policy for detailed refund information.
Either book on-line using a credit card or call to reserve your space and Send Payment to:
Prairie Spirit Tours
211 Founders Park Drive,
Rapid City, South Dakota 57701
Pay by check, Visa, Mastercard, AmEx