Get there first for presidential-style perks— and none of the usual tourist-traffic. Kick back, stretch out and soak up the scenery with this seriously spacious, do-big-things experience.
Cold-weather cabin fever got you feeling a bit…cramped? While we love to see the summer crowds at Mount Rushmore after a winter spent mostly indoors, many people prefer a getaway that doesn’t involve long lines or wait times. If you’re looking for an adventure with a little legroom, South Dakota’s spring season invites visitors to enjoy extra personal space at the region’s national parks, room to flex those photography skills and clear, crowd-free views for that picture-perfect experience of Rushmore’s incredible presidential heads. Enjoy monumental one-on-one time with our four favorites, and beat the summer rush to Mount Rushmore with an unforgettable, open-air spring vacation in Rapid City.
Welcome to the world. Experience the spirit of spring, and meet some of South Dakota’s adorable, new additions to the wildlife community.
Born To Be Wild
In addition to all the extra space that comes with springtime’s slightly-more-private experience of South Dakota, visitors can also enjoy access to Mother Nature’s mini-miracles throughout the region. A springtime visit to Custer State Park offers an exclusive introduction to its newest residents. Look for baby bison and burros, as well as a variety of other newborn wildlife as you enjoy the incredible natural scenery of spring in Custer State Park.
After opening for the spring season in March, visitors to Rapid City’s Reptile Gardens will be able to meet its newest family member, Fluffy. But don’t be fooled, Fluffy isn’t your average fur-baby. What this tiny gator lacks in cuddly softness, he definitely makes up for with striking scale patterns and rough gator attitude. Feel free to enjoy a hands-on visit with Fluffy and hang out with a few other furless friends at the Guinness World Records Largest Reptile Zoo.
If you’re craving some post-winter warm-fuzzies, shake off the hibernation and head over to Rapid City’s Bear Country USA. Featuring the world’s largest collection of black bears, this drive-thru wildlife park is dedicated to providing the ultimate springtime experience— along with some unbearably cute, cuddly seasonal perks. Bear Country’s Cub-Fest, the annual, mid-April opening celebration, invites guests to visit the park’s new baby bears, with the option to pet (yes pet, with your hands!) the bear cubs— with some assistance from the staff.
Ah, the great outdoors. The Rapid City reality check. Unplug, unwind and take time to recharge as you explore the breathtaking, natural landscapes of these head-up, hands-free Rapid City adventures.
Disconnect from the digital space and take your spring adventure beyond the small screen. A Rapid City vacation puts you right at the heart of incredible attractions, adventures and experiences; each with a variety of exciting ways to explore. So, forget the phone and do yourself the favor of taking time to discover a few of these breathtaking destinations, hands-free.
Bring On The Badlands
So beautiful, you won’t want to blink. Even though this Rapid City adventure is full of nature’s contradictions, there’s nothing quite like experiencing the beauty and grace of spring against the jagged backdrop of Badlands National Park. Discover the strange and striking combination of wild spring blossoms and the bold, rugged peaks that form the park’s iconic ridgeline along otherworldly trails and hikes. Ditch the phone, disconnect and soak up the incredible spring landscape with a daring trip through South Dakota’s Badlands.
Take On The Top 5
Looking to relax and recharge? Explore a variety of breathtaking trails throughout the Black Hills and enjoy the unforgettable, all-natural views waiting just beyond Rapid City. Take a hike in the shoes of a Rapid City local and follow her footsteps along our Top 5 Trails— just steps away from Rapid City. Keep your phone for the camera, but we guarantee our spring scenery is much easier on the eyes than social feeds.
Discover Rapid City’s adventures together with these family-focused, springtime experiences. We’ll take care of the big things, so you can focus on enjoying the ones that matter most.
Free, Family Fun
If the winter holidays have your wallet feeling a bit overworked, save yourself some stress with a trip to Rapid City’s Outdoor Campus West for some free, family fun. From kayaking, canoeing and wildlife educational programs, Outdoor Campus West offers a vibrant selection of free experiences for a worry-free wallet and quality family vacation.
Bring home some big memories on your family’s spring vacation! Make your way to the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs for an unforgettable, fossil-focused experience. Boasting the world’s largest concentration of mammoth remains onsite; this prehistoric bone yard puts you and your family right in the middle of South Dakota’s very own, active paleontological dig site. Journey across thousands of years of science and history and discover America's Ice Age Treasure on this larger-than-life family adventure.
If your Rapid City Spring vacation includes a weekend or two, get ready for a high-adrenaline adventure steps away from one of South Dakota’s most iconic monuments. Rush Mountain Adventure Park promises a weekend full of action-packed family adventure with fun for all ages. Discover a mountainside ride that puts you in the driver’s seat and take a spin on the park’s newest attraction, the Rushmore Mountain Coaster. Or, journey into Rushmore Cave and explore the park’s underground network of caverns and natural tunnels. From gemstone mining to interactive, virtual reality rides, Rush Mountain Adventure Park’s exciting attractions, activities and experiences bring full-throttle, family fun to any Rapid City adventure.
Spring offers room for all including group tours, conventions and reunions. These attractions are perfect for groups of 30-1,000 people. Call ahead for the best deals and accommodations for your unique gathering.