Guided Adventures You Can Book From Rapid City
The Rapid City area is made for adventuring. Surrounded by 1.2 million acres of national forest and surreal national parks, state parks, memorials, monuments and more, there’s a lot of ground to cover during your vacation. So, let a local expert be your guide! Rapid City tour companies know the area like the back of their hand and love sharing that knowledge. Check out this sampling of great guided tours offered in the Rapid City area that can be part of your adventure filled vacation!
The Badlands Region
See the best of the Badlands regions when you book with a local tour guide! All the companies listed below offer a variety of tour options to this region. Browse the selection and pick the one that best fits the adventure you’re seeking!
Tour Companies: Affordable Adventures, Black Hills Adventure Tours, Black Hills Aerial Adventure Tours, Black Hills Open-Top Tours, Black Hills Tour Company, GeoFun Trek Tours, My XO Adventures, Tatanka Rez Tourz
- Scenic Drives: a Badlands region must-do. The 60-minutes from Rapid City to Badlands National Parks offers stunning and dramatic landscape changes that are breathtaking to witness, and that’s before you even enter the park. Scenic tours through the Badlands include wildlife sightseeing, some of the most astonishing scenic overlooks, and layers of Badlands goodness.
- Hiking or Biking: stretch those legs and lungs with an adventurous tour through the Badlands on bike or on foot. Hikes will take you deeper into the lunar-like terrain for more incredible views. Biking allows you to soak up your surroundings with nothing obstructing the incredible views.
- Wall Drug: You’ve probably seen the billboards, heard about the maple donuts, or you’ve watched the movie Nomadland. Either way, a visit to the Badlands region for many isn’t complete without a stop at the famous Wall Drug Store. If that rings true for you, make sure to book a tour that includes this stop!
- Minuteman Missile National Historic Site: A shocking history unfolds during a visit to Minuteman Missile and visiting with a local guide with only heighten the information you absorb during a visit. If you are fascinated with history especially in the military genre, consider this stop a must for your tour.
- Pine Ridge Reservation: Experience the Pine Ridge Reservation with a hop on tour guide from Tatanka Rez Tourz. They’ll share the demographics, history, values, stories, and culture of the Lakota people for an in-depth experience of the reservation.
- Unique Tours: Sunset, sunrise, and under a starry sky are incredible times to visit this park. Some of our local tour companies offer unique tours to help you experience the Badlands during these breathtaking moments. You can also get a unique perspective of the park by taking to the skies with a helicopter tour from Black Hills Aerial Adventures.
The Northern Hills Region
Iconic locations stand in the northern hills region of the Black Hills. Take a deep dive into history, natural formations and more with a tour company that knows the area. Browse these local tour offerings so you can plan for an even more memorable visit!
- Deadwood: Known for it’s gold rush history and lawless early citizens like Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane, this small mountain city makes a great stop for those who love the wild west, history and gambling.
- Spearfish Canyon: One of our area’s favorite scenic drives includes the views of towering limestone walls, waterfalls, and wildlife. Let a local expert take the wheel so you can focus solely on the views within this canyon.
- Devils Tower National Monument: An hour and forty-minute drive from Rapid City lands you in our neighboring state of Wyoming looking up at the mesmerizing formation of Devils Tower. Book a tour to this iconic spot to check off another national monument while you’re in the area.
The Southern Hills Region
Discover more mountain towns, world famous carvings, and a state park that rivals most national parks when you tour the southern hills region. Book a tour from Rapid City where you’re just a short, beautiful drive from these amazing locations.
Tour Companies: Affordable Adventures, Black Hills Above and Beyond Tours, Black Hills Adventure Tours, Black Hills Aerial Adventure Tours, Black Hills Balloons, Black Hills Helicopters, Black Hills Open-Top Tours, Black Hills Tour Company, GeoFun Trek Tours, Mount Rushmore Tours, My XO Adventures
- Mount Rushmore National Memorial: The draw for many to our area is the shrine of democracy, Mount Rushmore. While the carving was completed in 1941, the memorial has added more to the experience over the years with museums, trails, and park programs. Take it all it with the help of a local guide and make it an extra special by booking a full day tour that also hits the next two locations.
- Crazy Horse Memorial®: Crazy Horse is one of the most recognized Lakota war leaders who will now live on forever in stone. The memorial is still actively being carved, but when it’s complete it will be the largest mountain carving in the world. Visit the campus to learn more about the life of Crazy Horse, the people who made this memorial a reality, and learn more about the Native American culture through the museums, speakers, and performers.
- Custer State Park: Feast your eyes on the beauty of Custer State Park. Home to sparkling bodies of water, wildlife, towering granite pillars, and rolling green hills. If wildlife viewing is your goal, grab a tour that travels along Wildlife Loop Road. To view the park in all its splendor get a tour that cruises the curves of Needles Highway. Many tour operators offer a package tour that hits Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial®, and Custer State Park, find the one that brings them together the way you want!
*Added bonus if your tour group connects Custer State Park to Mount Rushmore with Iron Mountain Road so you can get a monumental view.
- Mickelson Trail: Bike or hike a trail that leads into the heart of the hills. The Mickelson Trail is a converted railroad track that weaves from Deadwood to Edgemont for 109 miles. Most of the trail doesn’t exceed a 4% grade, so it’s great for all skill levels.
- Flume Trail: During the height of the Black Hills Gold Rush the Rockerville Flume carried water for almost 20 miles and enable miners to take over $20 million in gold. Today, you can retrace the steps of the flume with this trail and witness historic artifacts, informational plaques, and pieces that remain of the flume from the 1880s.
- Pactola Lake: Spend some time on the cool waters of picture-perfect Pactola, the largest and deepest reservoir in the Black Hills with a stand up paddle board tour.
- Attractions: Get a guided tour to must-see southern hills attractions like the 1880 Train, Mammoth Site, and Rush Mountain Adventure Park so you don’t have to worry about getting from Point A to Point B and can just enjoy the experience.
Special Events and Out of the Box Tours
Certain times of the year or special interests can call for unique tour offerings and the Rapid City tour companies always deliver. Explore the below and plan a special tour for your vacation!
- Ghost Towns, Gold Mines, and the Theon Stone: To understand one, you’ve got to know about the other. Let a local guide share the story of the Black Hills Gold Rush with you and how it changed our area.
- Dinosaurs and More: From the bones of the Badlands to the green giants overlooking Rapid City, our area makes it pretty obvious we love paleontology. Embrace our passion and book a Dinosaurs and More Tour to round up some of the best places to discover fossils.
- Beer & Wine Tours: Get a taste of what’s brewing in Rapid City and Black Hills with a Beer and Wine Tour that takes you around to the locally owned crafters so you can find a favorite.
- Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup: Once a year the bison herd consisting of over 1,400 bison in Custer State Park has to be rounded up, sorted and vaccinated for park management. Most of the herd is corralled by horseback riders that can be witnessed by spectators. Snag a guided tour to experience the wildness of this event.
- Stratobowl: The history of the Stratobowl is legendary. Celebrate this event in September in style by booking early to be one of the lucky individuals in a hot air balloon.
- Mount Rushmore Evening Lighting Ceremony: The number one attended program in the national parks is the Evening Lighting Ceremony at Mount Rushmore. The ceremony takes place every evening from late May to the end of September. Book a local tour and join others in what is sure to be one of the most memorable nights of your vacation.
- Winter Tours: With the help of a local expert, your winter experiences will be unforgettable. Imagine having Mount Rushmore to yourself or picture the snow dusted buttes of the Badlands.