South Dakota: Great Faces. Great Places.

Friday, April 13, 2018

South Dakota is one of the states with a lot of Native American history. Lakota and Dakota Sioux tribes still compose a large portion of the population today, but more modern marks has been left in South Dakota, too.

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore is one of those major landmarks in the US that has gained a status of "must-see". Through exposure on the big screens of Hollywood, almost everybody has caught a recorded glimpse of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The real thing is just as you imagine it. Faces carved into a rock side. Nothing more, nothing less. Mount Rushmore is a bucket list thing, which means you shouldn't skip it, neither go back for a second visit.

Mountain Goats

While you're there, near Black Hills National Forest, keep an eye out for mountain goats. They roam the area and even climb on the hillside at Mount Rushmore. Some are more shy than others and if you find one, there are likely others nearby.


The deer population in South Dakota is quite massive and just driving around the state you're likely to run into (excuse the expression) some of the herds. The are curious, but wild, so keeping a distance and moving in slowly is your best chance of a good view.

Horse Theif Lake

The name of Horse Thief Lake is derived from a gang of horse thieves who operated in the area. Supposedly it's good for fishing (and especially ice fishing), we didn't have time to through a hook unfortunately. The lake is located very close to Mount Rushmore.


In the Black Hills area is a small local town, which goes by the name of Custer. Custer has a few motels, cozy restaurants, shops and  a 1881 bank turned coffee house. A great place to spend a night or two.

Crazy Horse Memorial

On the way to Mount Rushmore, you'll pass by the Crazy Horse Memorial. An Indian chief, who's head has been carved into a rock face (ring any bells?). The memorial has been made in recent times (read: after Mt. Rushmore) and the entrance ticket is more expensive than visiting Mount Rushmore.
I snapped a photo from the road, as we decided it wasn't worth the time and money. Judge for yourself.


If you plan to visit South Dakota during winter (or fall or spring really), you should be expecting a lot of snow. The weather can change rapidly. Clear and sunny one day, snow storm the next. No matter which it is, you will surely see some astonishing landscapes throughout this state.

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