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Old 01-07-2008, 10:06 AM
 
152 posts, read 436,307 times
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Hello Everyone

I've just started plaining my summer vacation and one of the things i was looking at was Black hills Area. I have a few questions that are hard to get answers from websites and the like, so i thought i would go straight to the source. AKA you guys and gals

I was Plaining for the week after labor day to help cut down the the amount of people, Will that work? what is the weather typical for then? is there a better time?

Another question: what would you recommend I don't miss there? any good day hikes? and of course any other info you think will help

almost forgot hows camping there? and do I have to look out for snakes? ( I hate snakes!)
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Old 01-07-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: So. Dak.
13,495 posts, read 35,933,284 times
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Average Weather for Rapid City, SD - Temperature and Precipitation

Zed, it's so cool that you've chosen the Hills for your vacation. It really is beautiful out there.

The above site should give you a bit of an idea of the weather, but I've got to tell you that our weather is unpredictable. It could be pretty chilly to camp if you're coming out after Labor Day, but you never know.

The number one "must see" thing is Mt. Rushmore. It is awesome. Here are just a few other things that we like when we go out there, but I'll let the details to the members who actually live there.

1. Mount Rushmore

2. Sylvan Lake

3. Spearfish Canyon

4. Deadwood

5. Custer State Park

6. The Cosmos

7. Deadwood

8. Evans Plunge in Hot Springs

9. Wall Drug at Wall (depending on if you're coming from the east)

10. The Badlands

There are a few rattlesnakes out in the Hills, but I've personally never bumped in to one of them. We also have the little yucky garter snakes or whatever they're called here. I also hate those awful hissers. Oh and a word of advice-you will probably want to skip Reptile Gardens in Rapid. Many people like it and the gator wrestling is cool, but it may not be a place that you'll feel comfy.
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Old 01-07-2008, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 14,108,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedzul View Post
Hello Everyone

I've just started plaining my summer vacation and one of the things i was looking at was Black hills Area. I have a few questions that are hard to get answers from websites and the like, so i thought i would go straight to the source. AKA you guys and gals

I was Plaining for the week after labor day to help cut down the the amount of people, Will that work? what is the weather typical for then? is there a better time?

Another question: what would you recommend I don't miss there? any good day hikes? and of course any other info you think will help

almost forgot hows camping there? and do I have to look out for snakes? ( I hate snakes!)
Hey there! I live in Rapid City and I do outdoor activity in the Black Hills year round so I'll give you some pointers. Labor Day weekend is when the "off season" begins so rates are much lower throughout the Black Hills and Rapid City. It is still pretty hot that time of year, but depending on where at in the Black Hills you are it can get chilly at night. I often wear a winter coat camping up there in July! So bring them just in case!

Unfortunately if you come after Labor Day many attractions are closed and festivals are over. But it is the best time to avoid the crowds and high rates.

Storm Mountain, The Mickelson Trail, and Harney Peak are amongst my favorite hikes. If you hike Harney Peak, you are the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and the French Alps so that is always fun. Also, don't miss Cosmos. It's my favorite tourist trap!

Snakes are common around the Black Hills but they usually stay on the prairie. The Black Hills are too high and rough for them to build burrows on. I hiked Bear Butte one time and came face-to-face with a rattle snake.

NOT FUN!!!
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:44 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,601,131 times
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Danny Banany, is May or September a good time to go to the Black Hills? I want to go there when the weather is more predictable and nicer, but I do not want to pay the sky high prices that are charged during the peak tourist season. Plus, I want to go there when it is not overrun by lots of tourists and bikers. I went there in late May and it was nice, 70s during the day and 40s/50s at night with the drier air. Ooooh, so nice and refreshing.

I was going to go about a month ago and started a thread and had to call it off twice due to the unpredictable weather. I decided to postpone making a couple-day stop there until either this spring or fall when I go to either Las Vegas/Colorado (to visit relatives) or the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 01-07-2008, 09:48 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,601,131 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedzul View Post
Hello Everyone

I've just started plaining my summer vacation and one of the things i was looking at was Black hills Area. I have a few questions that are hard to get answers from websites and the like, so i thought i would go straight to the source. AKA you guys and gals

I was Plaining for the week after labor day to help cut down the the amount of people, Will that work? what is the weather typical for then? is there a better time?

Another question: what would you recommend I don't miss there? any good day hikes? and of course any other info you think will help

almost forgot hows camping there? and do I have to look out for snakes? ( I hate snakes!)
I would agree with Danny Banany with his suggestion. I would think that going through Spearfish Canyon, Custer State Park, Badlands, Wind Cave, and Jewel Cave are good options. Deadwood is nice if one wants to have a night on the town. Lots of history there. I find the architecture neat in Deadwood with the ornate and taller brick buildings.
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Old 01-08-2008, 12:14 PM
 
41 posts, read 251,425 times
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My husband and I vacationed in the Black Hills in late September. We had just one rainy/foggy day, otherwise the weather was superb. Not that that would always be the case of course.

The other posters gave excellent suggestions. We traveled alot of the "back roads" and enjoyed that very much. Since you asked about rattlesnakes, I must tell you that we saw two the week we were there. One was on a trail somewhere near Silver City; the other was crossing the highway on the Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park. I stepped within a foot of the one on the trail. Having never seen a rattler *up close & personal* , we weren't sure what kind it was until my !#$%^ husband grabbed a really long stick and stuck it in the snake's face. (yeah, WHAT was he thinking???) The snake coiled up and let us hear it's famous rattle. Sort of exciting, but I couldn't get back to the truck fast enough. My husband said it's the first time I've ever walked faster than him. Well, duh!

Some day, we want to hike up Harney Peak &/or Bear Butte. Whenever you go, you are bound to have a great time! We liked September because of the lower hotel rates and alot less tourists.

I posted some pictures (pages 8 & 9) on the "South Dakota pictures" thread.
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:32 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
3,940 posts, read 14,108,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris19 View Post
Danny Banany, is May or September a good time to go to the Black Hills? I want to go there when the weather is more predictable and nicer, but I do not want to pay the sky high prices that are charged during the peak tourist season. Plus, I want to go there when it is not overrun by lots of tourists and bikers. I went there in late May and it was nice, 70s during the day and 40s/50s at night with the drier air. Ooooh, so nice and refreshing.

I was going to go about a month ago and started a thread and had to call it off twice due to the unpredictable weather. I decided to postpone making a couple-day stop there until either this spring or fall when I go to either Las Vegas/Colorado (to visit relatives) or the Pacific Northwest.
If you have been here in May you know kind of what it is like. I remembered it snowed in Deadwood on Memorial Day a few years ago, so weather is all but predictable! September might be a good time to come see the leaves turn and see Spearfish Canyon and Nemo Road. Tourists tend to pick up mid-May and die out mid-September. Sometimes they're a pain in the rear, but they're what the Black Hills survives on!
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Long Beach Peninsula, WA
205 posts, read 695,989 times
Reputation: 278
We live just off U.S. Hwy. 101 on the Central Oregon Coast and are inundated with tourists almost year around. We have never found the Black Hills to be as "touristy". There is a calm that we do not experience here. We were still tent camping when we visited in September a few years ago, and it started to snow. We drove through Spearfish Canyon which was a beautiful sight, but we did head for home.
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Old 01-08-2008, 11:57 PM
 
Location: South Dakota
1,961 posts, read 6,601,131 times
Reputation: 1010
Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBanany View Post
If you have been here in May you know kind of what it is like. I remembered it snowed in Deadwood on Memorial Day a few years ago, so weather is all but predictable! September might be a good time to come see the leaves turn and see Spearfish Canyon and Nemo Road. Tourists tend to pick up mid-May and die out mid-September. Sometimes they're a pain in the rear, but they're what the Black Hills survives on!
Thanks. I might ask more questions or comment once the time gets closer.
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Old 01-09-2008, 10:03 AM
 
393 posts, read 1,024,742 times
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to add to Jammies list:

1. Mount Rushmore, Must see but if you like that and have any interest in American Indian art/culture, you need to go to Crazy Horse too.

2. Sylvan Lake, most beautiful place I've ever seen.

3. Spearfish Canyon, Truly awesome. If you liked "Dances With Wolves", they filmed the winter scenes at the end of the film there.

4. Deadwood is cool to spend one day walking the historic streets.

5. Custer State Park, Seeing a wild herd of Buffalo grazing is an amazing sight.

6. The Cosmos, been there too. Pretty interesting and entertaining.

7. Bear Country USA is a neat wildlife drive through park. Worth doing at least once.

8. Evans Plunge in Hot Springs would be fun, but if you appreciate Mammoths, the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs is great. If you have children, don't miss that.

9. Wall Drug at Wall (depending on if you're coming from the east), yep gotta see that at least once. Also, I really appreciated the Pioneer Auto Show in Murdo. That place has some cool old cars and atiques to see.

10. The Badlands, no place like it.
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