Picture of Painted Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. There are numerous hills with lines of color in greys, pinks, and oranges. They also have bushes and trees dispersed amongst them with the top of the hills having more greenery in density. The sky is bluish pink with a few clouds as it is late in the day.

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If you would like to hear more- click the links to see posts about the individual stops

If you would like to hear more about a destination- click the link to see the corresponding post about the individual stops

1. Falls Park in Sioux Falls, South

A side view of the waterfalls at Falls Park in South Dakota. There are tons of reddish rocks and boulders along both sides of the river. There is green grass on both sides of the river and rocks. There are decorative lamps  throughout the park. You can see a path across the river weaving away and many tall trees in the distance.
Falls Park was an awesome stop with nice paths and beautiful views. It also had a little gift shop and was a great stop to stretch the legs and run after spending so much time in the car.

2. Petrified Gardens in Kadoka, South Dakota

Largest Petrified Log found in this area of the Badlands on display outside in Petrified Gardens. There is a sign in front of the log with this information.
Petrified Gardens was a cute little family owned stop and a nice introduction to the area of petrified wood, fossils and other mineral rocks.

3. Badlands National Park; South Dakota

Looking off into the distance from Door trail in the Badlands National Park. The famous rock structures found in the Black Hills are as far as they eye can see.
Badlands National Park- a must see if you go the Black Hills Region!! Check out the post about Day 2 of the trip to find out which hikes you absolutely have to do if you are in the area.

4. Wind Cave National Park-Hot Springs, South Dakota

Close-up of the box work cave formations that Wind Cave is famous for.
Wind Cave is famous for the Boxwork formations in the cave. The tour was entertaining and educational!

5. Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota

Close up of a skeleton partially uncovered in the pit in the middle of the active dig site at Mammoth Site.
Mammoth Site provides the chance to see an active dig site and tons of fossils while learning about the history of dinosaurs in the area.

6. Custer State Park in Custer, South Dakota

Several smaller boulders with large logs on their sides to the left of a dirt path. There are some more boulders to the right of the path farther ahead. There are a line of trees between the path and the side of a mountain on the right.
Custer State Park has a ton of memorable hikes but my favorite is Black Elk Peak.

7. Crazy Horse Memorial in Crazy Horse, South Dakota

Crazy Horse Memorial. The face has been chiseled out from the mountain and part of his arm. The sky is light blue.
Crazy Horse Memorial was one of my favorite stops on the trip. Depending on when you go, you can learn and watch tribal dance demonstrations and even be taken up to the hand of Crazy Horse. Don’t forget to eat at the restaurant!

8. Jewel Cave National Park– Custer, South Dakota

Close up view of an interesting cave formation in Jewel Cave. There are two fissures side by side. Inside the fissures are tiny black 'dots' for lack of a better term.
Jewel Cave was another cave tour that I would recommend. The different formations we saw in this cave were exceptional.

9. Museum of Geology in Rapid City, South Dakota

A Brontops (dinosaur) skeleton in a display case in the Museum of Geology. The skeleton is on sand and the back wall of display case shows scenery from the black hills. The top left corner has a sign that shows the skeleton and gives information about Brontops.
Museum of Geology is the FREE place to go if you have real interest in minerals, fossils and rocks. I learned so much there!

10. Prairie Edge Trading Company in Rapid City, South Dakota

Up close shot of a dream catcher with brown and white feathers
Prairie Edge Trading Company is not only a store filled with many items like herbs and Native American pieces in addition to more touristy things like shirts and keychains, it also contains an art gallery for your enjoyment.

11. Storybook Island in Rapid City, South Dakota

A statue of 3 men in a tub in the middle of a river. A baker to their left, butcher on the right side, and candle stick maker in the middle. On the far side of the water you can see a park with numerous other statues in Storybook Island.
Storybook Island is a cute park full of statues to take you down your childhood’s memory lane.

12. Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota

Area where you first walk into the Sky Dome at Reptile Gardens. There is a wall of palm fronds, ferns and orchids of many colors (pink, purple, red, yellow). There is a yellow sign that has blue writing that says "Reptile Gardens". There is a Red and blue parrot on a branch in the top center of the frame.
Reptile Gardens is the World’s Largest Reptile Zoo according to the book of Guinness World’s Record.

13. Mount Rushmore National Park in Keystone, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore with a blue sky in the background. Presidents are seen clearly on the mountain with a line of spruce type trees lined along its base.
Mount Rushmore- need I say more?

14. Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota

Two women sitting on top of a large grey Jack-o-lope statue with brown antlers. Woman in front has a green t-shirt and grey pants. Woman in back has a grey shirt and khaki shorts.
Wall Drug is one of the best known roadside attractions. It is filled with stores and restaurants and photo opportunities. Everyone should go at least once!

15. Minuteman Missile NHS in Philip, South Dakota

Visitor Center for the Minute Man Missile Silo NHS. The building is mostly made up of rectangle panels (blueish/brown). The writing on the building is white with the NP emblem next to it. The roof is white and there is a white overhang to the left of the building covering the walkway to the entry door.
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is made of three separate areas. The visitor center where you can watch a video, learn through the exhibit area, and speak to volunteers (many of which had worked the sites when they were active). There is also the Delta-9 missile silo and the Delta-1 Launch Control Facility. If you want a tour of Delta-1 make sure to book it months in advance as it fills quickly.

16. Petrified Wood Park in Lemmon, South Dakota

A teepee like structure made up of petrified wood. There are 4 'towers' evenly spaced also made out of petrified wood.
Petrified Wood Park had an eclectic museum along with a small park of full of beautiful creations made from Petrified Wood.

17. Theodore Roosevelt Park; North Dakota

View of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The right side of the frame are mountains with trees spotted throughout them but they are mostly grey in color. The left side of the frame is more flat with grass and more trees dotted throughout the landscape.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park where you can see wild horses, buffalo and many other types of wildlife while exploring beautiful hiking trails.

18. Tribute to Medora by Theodore Roosevelt in Medora, North Dakota

A Theodore Roosevelt impersonator dressed in a dark suit is standing in the middle of two women. All are smiling at camera. Woman on the right is wearing  a 3/4 length sleeve shirt (white body, maroon sleeves), grey shorts and a maroon baseball cap. Women on right is wearing pink sports tank tops and khaki shorts.
Theodore Roosevelt Show- this was another favorite of mine. This man did an amazing job bringing Teddy Roosevelt to Life and everybody should see him perform!

19. Medora Musical in Medora, North Dakota

Close up of the brochure for Medora Musical 2019. It has a cartoon man and woman dressed as cowboy and cowgirl with a ribbon that is red and blue with stars on it weaving around them.
The famous Medora Musical which is different every year. A nice evening show in town.

20. Fort Union Trading Post NHS in Williston, North Dakota

A view of a storage room set up like it would have been when the Fort Union Trading Post was in use. There are 3 barrels that descend in size from left to right on the back wall. The left one says coffee, middle says sugar, and black pepper on the right. There is an open book to record all transactions. The wall on the left have containers with unknown goods in them. The floors and walls are made of wooden planks.
Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trade post in the area in the mid 1800’s. They have reenactors in different parts of the site to educate you how trades would happen back then along with life in general at that time. They also have a nice little shop area filled with cool souvenirs to buy.

21. Knife River Indian Village NHS in Stanton, North Dakota

The inside of an Earth Lodge. There is a fire pit in the center and 4 large tree trunks as support beams evenly spaced around the pit. The walls are in a circular shape and made of wooden planks. There is an area with cooking equipment and another where clothes appear to be drying.
Knife Indian River Village has several trails you can walk where you can see imprints and other signs left from different Indian villages. The museum has several exhibits where you can learn more about the history of the Native Americans in the area. There is also a reconstructed Earth Lodge that you can explore.

22. Wally the Walleye “World’s Largest Walleye” in Garrison, North Dakota

Wally the World's Largest Walley is suspended over a black sign that says "Welcome to Garrison, ND" The Walleye statue is green on top, white belly, and has yellow fins. There is a woman with a white t-shirt and grey shorts smiling at the camera underneath the fish. There are trees and a park shelter behind the fish and woman.
“Wally” is a nice stop to stretch the legs while on a road trip.

23. Salem Sue “ World’s Largest Holstein Cow” in New Salem, North Dakota

The World's Largest Holstein Cow statue on a hill. The hill continues to rise a bit more behind the cow. The Cow has white legs and a black body with small horns on its head. View is from the front of the statue looking up so you can see the whole thing.
“Sue” is at the top of a decent hill so you can get a nice little cardio session to break up the road trip.

24. Sandy the Sandhill Crane “World’s Largest Sandhill Crane” in Steele, North Dakota

Sandy, the World's Largest Sandhill Crane statue. The bird is white with black legs. It is in a grass field with two trees behind it and one to the right. There is a sign in near the photographer that points the direction to an ideal spot to take a picture.
“Sandy” has some nice spots marked to ensure you get the best pictures.

25. World’s Largest Buffalo”/National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown, North Dakota

The World's Largest Buffalo statue on pavement. There is a woman standing in front of the right, front leg of statue. Statue is black. There is a green grass and bushes around the the pavement. There is sign close to the photographer that says "Jamestown, MD  World's Largest Buffalo 1959".
World’s Largest Buffalo and a fun museum all in one stop!

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About Author

Animal and wildlife enthusiast that currently owns four dogs, loves to travel, and try new things while saving as much money as possible!

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