Ready for an experience that’s more than a stop-and-go highlight tour? Rapid City, the gateway to the Black Hills, is perfect for groups of all sizes and boasts access to countless big adventures in the city and in the Hills. Check out our picks for experiential tours that will transform your group’s upcoming itinerary into a bucket-list event.
1 - Crazy Horse Memorial
Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest mountain carving in progress since 1948, pays homage to the culture and tradition of Native American people. Observe the legendary Native American leader from the viewing deck or take a bus to the base of the memorial. Pair the experience with a trip to the onsite Indian Museum of North America for further exploration. During the summer months, enjoy storytelling, round-style dances performed by Native American dancers. Seasonally, May through September, witness the Legends in Light Laser Show, a 500-foot laser light experience illuminating cultural diversities and similarities in a stunning performance.
2 - Black Hills Gold Factory
There’s gold in the Black Hills! During the only public factory tour available and the only place where Black Hills gold jewelry is handmade, you’ll get the unique opportunity to see how this signature souvenir is created. Watch how diamonds are cut with precision and learn about the iconic pink, green and yellow grape leaf designs.
3 - Reptile Gardens
Reptile Gardens, the world’s largest reptile zoo, takes fun to a whole other level. Located just outside of Rapid City, this educational experience involves exotic birds, snakes, giant tortoises and a seasonal gator show. You’ll love wandering through the beautiful Botanical Gardens featuring over 50,000 flowers and visiting the iconic three-level Sky Dome featuring flora and reptiles from exotic locations across the world. Guests are also welcomed to get down to prairie dog eye-level and experience Prairie Dog Town, a maze of underground tunnels home to these cute and social creatures.
4 - Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour
Open-air, custom-built Jeeps are ready to take you on an off-roading adventure through Custer State Park. The Buffalo Safari Jeep Tour wanders off the beaten path right into the herds during this up-close and personal experience. Learn the history of the park from knowledgeable guides and travel to lesser-known scenic spots accessible by Jeep only. Beyond iconic buffalo sightings, don’t miss other park inhabitants such as deer, elk and the famous Begging Burros.
5 - Bear Country USA
At Bear Country USA, you’ll find the largest collection of privately owned Black Bears and over 20 other North American wildlife animals in the Black Hills. Enjoy up-close views of wildlife right outside your window during a two-mile drive through tour of the 250-acre park. Groups can request a step-on guide for an exciting and educational experience explaining the surrounding landscapes and animals. After completing the tour, hop off the bus and stroll on foot through Wildlife Walk where you can discover smaller park animals, and if you’re lucky, the newest bear cubs!
6 - The Journey Museum & Learning Center
At the The Journey Museum & Learning Center immerse yourself in the +2.5-billion year old history of the Black Hills and Badlands region. In addition, there’s optional programming available ranging from Native American culture, Geology/Paleontology, Wild West history, and more! Looking for a unique dining setting? You can also book this one-of-a-kind venue for an unforgettable dinner event.
7 - The Outdoor Campus West
Experiencing the outdoors in Rapid City is an easy feat. The Outdoor Campus West offers over 1.5-miles of nature trail an outdoor interpretive facility and a 4,600-gallom freshwater aquarium. Give your group a chance to experience archery, kayaking, cooking, rock-climbing, scavenger hunts, nature talks/walks and so much more.