South Dakota March 08, 2017
8 Epic Things You Never Thought Of Doing In South Dakota, But Should
Trips to Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and the Badlands are all worthy excursions, but I want to shine a light on the not-so-well known adventures you can have in South Dakota. Some of these adventures will get your blood pumping, others will make for a post worthy photo, but all are guaranteed to be one thing… epic.
I know what you’re thinking, "Crazy Horse is well known. It doesn’t belong on this list." I know, I know, BUT have you heard of the Volksmarch? Twice a year, visitors can hike 6.2 miles of rough terrain with some steep inclines to the world’s largest mountain carving in progress. One of the epic highlights for most hikers is getting to walk out on Crazy Horse’s arm.
2. Kayaking & Canoeing at Split Rock Creek
Grab your kayak or canoe and catch some white water rapids at Split Rock Creek. After a heavy summer rain or during high water flow in the spring, it’s one of the best streams for white water paddlers. If you are not a seasoned paddler, this is not the stream for you. Some stretches can be hazardous.
3. Kayaking & Canoeing Calmer Waters
If you're not an experienced white water paddler, don't fret. There are plenty of calm waters in South Dakota to choose from. If you’re looking for a leisurely experience, invite your friends and family to kayak or canoe the James River. You could also slather on some SPF and enjoy the navigating the Big Sioux.
4. Rock Climbing at Palisades State Park
Some of the best rock climbing in South Dakota can be found outside the town of Garretson. The 50 foot high quartzite cliffs found in Palisades State Park are a rock climber’s dream. Split Rock Creek is sandwiched between the cliffs which makes for an epic view.
5. Cliff Jumping at Hippie Hole VIDEO Located South of Rockerville in the Black Hills of South Dakota is a place that is as beautiful as it is dangerous. The hike to Hippie Hole is a bit treacherous, but for that reason, the area is secluded and serene. For the adrenaline junky looking for an uncrowded, less-touristy cliff jumping spot, Hippie Hole is perfect. Cliffs range in height with the most popular spot being 20 feet high. Dive, flip, or jump on in.
6. Buffalo Roundup at Custer State Park
Feel the ground rumble as cowgirls, cowboys, and park crews herd nearly 1,300 buffalo. Held the last Friday in September, this even is open to the public. BONUS: The event is free and a park entrance license is not required for the day of the Buffalo Roundup.
7. Fly Fishing in Deadwood
If you ever find yourself in Deadwood, take a break from the casinos and wild west reenactments to catch some beautiful trout. With Montana and Wyoming so close, many don’t think of South Dakota as a prime area for trout fishing, but they should. Try your luck in Whitewood Creek and Rapid Creek. The water runs clear in both of these creeks, and fishy-looking pools and riffles are plentiful.
8. Paddle Boarding One of South Dakota’s Stunning Lakes
With the landscape of the Black Hills as your backdrop, stand-up paddle boarding in Sheridan, Deerfield, or Pactola Lakes is a breathtaking experience. Don’t worry if you’ve never stand-up paddle boarded before. Most are able to catch on quickly.
If you don’t have the equipment for some of these activities and are just looking to try them out, look for rentals in your area. What you need to bring along most to make memories of epic sized proportions in South Dakota are your sense of adventure, a camera, and some quality SPF.
What are some epic adventures that you’ve taken in South Dakota?