Click on the name of each run to open the google map
If you would like turn-by-turn directions, please click on the name of the run which will take you to the Google Maps version of the trip. From there you can send directions to your phone, or click on the link for “DETAILS” which will provide you with the turn-by-turn directions for printing.
Garmin maps will be available on September 1, 2019 for download.
Garmin maps are less than perfect and all devices do not read them the same way. You may have to restart your route along the way to clear waypoints that the device thinks you missed.
All but one of the routes (Devils Tower) start by heading south out from the hotel on Lacrosse Street over the interstate. About 1.7 miles south of the hotel the routes take SD-44 (Omaha Street) either east (Badlands Run) or west for the other runs to Spearfish Canyon, Custer State Park (Needles Highway), Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse.
Mileages and durations shown are approximate. Durations are provided as a drive time and total time. Drive time is actual behind the wheel driving while total time includes stops for sightseeing, lunch (for some outings) and restroom breaks.
Please be in the parking lot approximately 15 minutes before the start of each run for a pre-departure briefing. Our volunteers will be available to help you get in line. Key things to have:
A full tank of gas.
A bottle of water (or two).
Sense of Adventure!
SIGN UP FORM AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RUNS PAGE
Mileage: 55 Miles (88 km)
Drive Time: 1:24 Total Time: Dependent on your time at Mt. Rushmore
A must see whether you are American or Canadian. The size and process alone is worth the stop. The southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest is the site of four gigantic carved sculptures depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. The visitor center boasts short films, a bookstore and even a place to grab a bite to eat (and ice cream!). You can also take a short hike under the sculptures (well worth the walk and time.) Note: There are several stairs to navigate.
Considering that people will have different desires to spend time at Mt. Rushmore this trip is self-guided. It is an easy drive up to the visitor center and you may spend as much time as you desire taking the short walk up to and under the carvings, spending time at the bookstore and you may wish to see some of the films at the museum portion of the park.
Note that this route uses one of the backroads on the way back from the monument just to provide a little sightseeing. The main road can be used both up and back at the driver’s discretion. Also, the Garmin and Google maps differ somewhat for the return trip. The backroads are NOT recommended after dark if you decide to stay late and see the Mt. Rushmore after dark show which begins at 8:00 PM.
There is a $10 parking fee that is good for the day of and remainder of the calendar year.
Mileage: 83.3 Miles (134 km)
Drive Time: 1:57 Total Time: Dependent on your time at Crazy Horse
The Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument under construction on privately held land in the Black Hills, in Custer County, South Dakota, United States. It will depict the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing into the distance. The memorial was commissioned by Henry Standing Bear, a Lakota elder, to be sculpted by Korczak Ziolkowski. It is operated by the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
Similar to Mt. Rushmore, this is a self-guided drive. Folks can take as long as they want to see the sights at Crazy Horse and along the way.
Mileage: 165 Miles (265 km)
Drive Time: 3:45 Total Time: 6:45
You will see sites like no other on this run! The Lakota gave this land its name, “Mako Sica,” meaning “land bad.” Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. Our cruise will take you through some of the most scenic areas with stops along the way for viewing this amazing park.
As noted in the introduction to this section the run starts out heading south on Lacrosse and then heading east on SD-44.
The first stop is about 30 minutes out at the Country Corner gas station for a 15-minute stop. Please stop in and buy a soda, water, snack, etc.
About 45 minutes you’ll stop at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center for 30-minutes. To get to the visitor center you will pass the road out through the Badlands, you will retrace a couple of miles to get back to the viewpoints.
You’ll then head to the following scenic overlooks (or trailheads) for photos, each planned for about 15 minutes which will put you at Wall Drug in time for lunch around 12:30 PM:
Big Badlands Overlook (after this you will actually reverse direction on the tour heading back in the direction from which you came, sorry but in order to see as much as we think you’d like…no way around it…you’ll love the scenery going BOTH ways – it is about 4 ½ miles each way and worth the excursion).
Fossil Exhibit Trail Head.
White River Valley Overlook.
Panorama Point Scenic Overlook.
Ancient Hunters Overlook.
And all of the other ones are at the discretion of the run lead and participants.
You then head to Wall Drug for lunch (and don’t forget to get your 5 cent coffee!) and then back to the hotel along I-90.
Note, due to limitations of Google Maps, the final leg along I-90 is NOT shown in the route link.
Mileage: 215 Miles (345 km)
Drive Time: 3:45 Total Time: 5:45
Don’t miss this run; so much to see! The igneous material that forms the Tower is a phonolite porphyry intruded about 40.5 million years ago, a light to dark-gray or greenish-gray igneous rock with conspicuous crystals of white feldspar. As the magma cooled, hexagonal (and sometimes 4-, 5-, and 7-sided) columns formed, each about six feet in diameter.
The route takes you along I-90 to Sturgis, we thought it might be nice just to drive through town. Although only about 35 minutes down the road we included a 15-minute stop at McDonalds for a restroom break.
Next, you’ll cross under I-90 and along the south frontage road for a few miles, it is just a nice road that gets you off of I-90 before heading out into the country.
The next stop it the Tri-State Visitor Center for 30 minutes, it is the geographical center of the United States (if you include Alaska and Hawaii). Get some photos, use their nice restrooms and buy a book.
You get to the Visitor Center on 5th Avenue, you will leave town on that same road in the opposite direction. But as you leave the parking lot use 6th Avenue to go two blocks, turn right on State Street, then left at the light to get back to 5th. Too much traffic to just try to get back out onto 5th without the help of a light.
After you pass through the little town of Hulett, you’ll climb to the top of a pass, at the pass is a pull-out. Stop there for your first glimpse of Devils Tower in the distance.
Next stop is the Devils Tower Trading Post (see the bullet below about visiting the site).
On the way out make sure to look behind you for some good views.
The last stop is the Conoco in Sundance just before returning to I-90 for the drive home. If you don’t like 80 mph wind, take a moment to put up your top for the drive back to the hotel.
The Conoco Station is essentially the end of the run.
This is a “Snacks Only” run.
The destination is the Devils Tower Trading Post where you can grab something at the snack bar which features delicious hamburgers, hot dogs and more to satisfy your hunger.
There is also a little restaurant at the KOA across the street from the Trading Post with a bit more variety. Both places have ice cream, but different flavors.
Visiting Devils Tower
The stop at the trading post is for 60 minutes to allow participants to grab a bite to eat and/or to drive into the monument grounds and stop at the visitor center.
Due to the parking constraints it is up to individual drivers as to whether they wish to enter the monument grounds and try to find parking.
The drive to the Visitors Center is about fifteen minutes including finding a parking spot.
You can drive out to the Visitors center, look around for about 20 minutes, stop along the way to take photos of prairie dogs and get back in about 45 minutes so use your time wisely if you need to grab a bite to eat.
Devils Tower has a $25 entry fee if you choose to enter the park, some drivers may wish to simply spend an hour outside the park at the trading post. It is no additional cost for those with National Park passes.
spearfish canyon Scenic Byway (outbound)
Mileage: 140 Miles (225 km)
Drive Time: 3:45 Total Time: 5:45
Spearfish Canyon is an exhilarating; yet gentle; 19-mile drive meandering past lofty cliffs and dense forests through the deep but narrow gorge carved by Spearfish Creek located in Lawrence County, South Dakota, U.S., just south of Spearfish. The canyon is located within the Black Hills, located on the northern edge of the Black Hills National Forest. The trip out and back with take you through lovely picturesque farmland with some twisty roads thrown in for fun.
On the way out and back use Lacrosse to get to Route 44 the Garmin may try to find a quicker route, but the simple route is to just use Lacrosse.
Parts of the route are used out and back, for example, you run down and back up Spearfish Canyon, so don’t let that confuse you. Part of US 385 is also used both ways.
On the way out you go through Deadwood, on the way back you come through Central City.
Lunch – Latchstring Restaurant
Reservations are for 12:30-1:30 so be aware of your time. You will pass the restaurant on the way DOWN the canyon and on the way back up. The 2nd pass on the way back up is the intended lunch stop, but stop before heading down the canyon if your arrival is about lunch time.
The Garmin wants to go to the Lodge rather than the restaurant so you’ll have to clear that stop.
Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway (inbound)
Make sure to take the Nemo road to Nemo rather than the unpaved road about 1.5 miles earlier. Your Garmin may try to take you down the unpaved road.
(needles highway/Iron Mountain Road)
Mileage: 104 Miles (167 km)
Drive Time: 3:00 Total Time: 4:30
If you are picking only one run to go on; THIS IS THE RUN! The trip takes you through Custer State Park with a portion of the highway called the Needles Highway due to the tall granite peaks aka needles. It’s 14 miles long with tons of granite needles, sharp turns, and low rock tunnels. It’s located only 30 miles from Rapid City and 35 minutes from Mount Rushmore. You’ll also drive the Iron Mountain Road (http://www.ironmountainroad.com) which is 17 miles long with 400 turns a tunnel or two and 22 switchbacks.
This is a bit of an odd run in that there really isn’t any place along the way to plan for a lunch. Consequently, you should have a hearty breakfast. There are a couple of stops with restrooms before getting into the windy roads and scenic areas, but you should be prepared for a couple of legs of the trip approaching of 60 minutes.
The run heads out towards Mt. Rushmore from the hotel with a stop at the Conoco station along US 16. This leg will take about 35-40 minutes and the stop will be about 15 minutes.
The next leg takes you past Mt. Rushmore National Memorial past Horse Thief Resort to the intersection with SD 87 which is the entrance to the Needles Highway. The resort is simply a waypoint, but if you wish you may stop for a quick look around. There is a little store.
The Needles Highway
The entry fee if $20 per car.
Just after entering through the gate is the next stop at the trading post on the left. They have excellent restrooms. This stop will be about 15 minutes.
You will then CAREFULLY travel the Needles Highway. It is narrow at points and sometimes on-coming vehicles will NOT be in their lane so you need to be extra careful. Also, if you are the first car through a tunnel, honk as you enter.
There will likely NOT be anywhere to stop 8-10 cars. The run lead may wish to allow cars to travel the highway at their own pace and regroup at the next stop.
The next stop on the loop with facilities is the Custer State Park Visitor Center. The stop is to be about 60 minutes, take the time to see their film, it is a very nice 18-minute presentation about the park.
You’ll then drive what has got to be one of the most entertaining twisty drives in the country, that being Highway 16A. Stop along the way for some photos if you get a chance.
The run continues through the park back to the Keystone Phillips 66 along US-16A for one last stop.
The stop at the Phillips 66 is basically the end of the run. The group is welcome to stop in Keystone and grab lunch individually or just head back to the hotel.
Run Captains** -
Note: **Daily assignments of run captains will take place closer to event date (Example table below)
Use the below form for run signups:
NOTE: Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse are SELF-GUIDED runs only. No need to sign up for them.
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