There’s still ample time to book a well-deserved, last-minute autumnal escape to South Dakota’s sprawling, awe-inspiring Black Hills, home to Rushmore Express, an idyllic basecamp near Mount Rushmore National Memorial. To ensure that your fall-focused getaway to picturesque Keystone, SD, is nothing short of fabulous, we’ve pieced together an autumn adventure travel guide, complete with a bevy of quintessential pursuits. Don’t forget that Rushmore Express is centrally located near all of the best natural attractions, hiking trails, and guided excursions!
An Autumn Hiking Guide
As can probably imagine, there’s no shortage of autumnal hiking opportunities in the Black Hills’ vast, 1.2-million acre woodland wonderland. During fall’s peak, the rugged, densely-thicketed forestry transforms from a deep green to marigold, kelly, and, occasionally, amber. Much like the Rocky Mountains, the Black Hills’ beloved “gold season” is quite the draw, as self-proclaimed autumnophiles flock to the region in hopes of capturing the vivid quaking aspens. A few months back, we mapped out our five favorite hiking trails, including treks to the Cathedral Spires, Black Elk Peak, and Roughlock Falls. Meanwhile, Hell Canyon, Lovers’ Leap, and Bear Butte see much less foot traffic and equal beauty.
Eye-Popping Fall Drives
Custer State Park’s Wildlife Loop remains the premier fall drive in South Dakota. Not only will you motor past buffalo herds, chatty prairie dogs, and majestic pronghorns, but the valley is spattered with vibrant aspens. Meanwhile, Needles Highway is can’t-miss popcorn entertainment, unless you’re driving, of course. Spearfish Canyon Highway is breathtaking in every sense of the word. Lastly, a southbound drive through historic Deadwood is an all-time visual delight.
The Black Hills: Family Adventure Travel at Its Finest
When it comes to fall-engulfed adventure travel, you’ll feel right at home here at Rushmore Express. Our rustic, yet modernized Mount Rushmore lodging is minutes from countless outdoor pursuits, many of which are guided. Backcountry ATVing is a preferred method of transportation for many. Otherwise, fly fishing enthusiasts will discover a seemingly endless landscape, dotted with idyllic trout honey holes. Don’t forget to read the latest fishing report, curated by Spearfish Creek Fly Shop, a local establishment that also offers guided tours. Sylvan Lake is a popular destination for those aiming to kayak or paddleboard for an hour or two. Frequent travelers gush about the five-hour Pactola Lake expedition led by Black Hills Adventure Tours.
Countless Natural Attractions
No South Dakota adventure travel guide would be complete without mentioning the area’s prized natural attractions, such as Devils Tower National Monument, Badlands National Park, and a trio of underground safaris (Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, and Rushmore Cave). Although, during autumn’s peak, Mount Coolidge’s lookout is nearly impossible to top (and it’s free).
The perfect place to start and fishing each day of fall-inspired exploration is Rushmore Express, a quintessential adventure travel destination. With Mount Rushmore just down the road (as well as numerous shops and restaurants), we’re expecting a full house this fall. So, please check availability at your earliest convenience by clicking on the Book Now button at the top of your screen. You can also call us directly at 800-323-6476.