Things to see around Keystone, South Dakota. Part 2.

Keystone Town, South Dakota

To enjoy the little town of Keystone, you will need at least 3-4 days, maybe even a week. 

What else can you explore there? 

Here are some ideas for you. 

Crazy Horse Memorial  

Crazy Horse National Monument, Black Hill, South Dakota.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is another remarkable monument carved into the Black Hill Mountain.  

Cowboy and manager of the WS Ranch James Cook planned to build a monument at Fort Robinson, Nebraska, in honor of Henry Standing Bear’s maternal cousin, Crazy Horse (he was killed at Fort Robinson in 1877).

Oglala Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear contacted to James Cook and proposed the idea of carving a Crazy Horse in the sacred Paha Sapa – Black Hills. Lakota leaders also supported the concept.

After reaching an agreement, Henry Standing Bear invited Polish-American sculptor to a dedicated memorial to honor his people. Korczak accepted the invitation, and the work began. 

In 1948, 27 km west of Mount Rushmore, construction started on the Crazy Horse Monument, and Korczak worked on the project until his death on October 20, 1982, at age 74.

After Korczak passed away, his wife Ruth Ziolkowski and the children continued the work on process the monument, and only in 1998 was the 26-meter head of the Crazy Horse finished. 50 years of work! 

Work on the memorial is still in progress, but after completing, it’s going to be the grandest monument in the world. Powerful, impressive and breathtaking! 

Admission:

May 27 – September 30, 2022 

$15.00 1 person in a vehicle 

$30.00 2 people in a vehicle 

$35.00 3 or more people in a vehicle 

$10.00 Per person on a motorcycle, bicycle, or walking 

No parking fees. 

Travel time from Keystone: 40 min.

Travel timr from Rapid City: 55 min.

In addition, I advise you attend the nightly laser-light show “Legends in Light” at the Crazy Horse Memorial. 

“Legends in Light” a Crazy Horse Memorial

“Legends in Light” is a spectacular show with animation, sound effects and dynamic music. It tells the story of the historical heritage, cultures and contributions of Native Americans to our society. 

The show runs from Memorial Day weekend through September 30th. 

Cosmo mystery 

24040 Cosmo Road, Rapid City 

This is a definite fun place to visit. Don’t skip it! 

In 1952, two college students were looking for a suitable spot for a summer camp and discovered this unique and mysterious place. 

Cosmos mystery is located at 24040 Cosmo Road, Rapid City, and it is only an 10-minute drive from Keystone Town 

Admission: 

$12 adult

$6 children age 5-11

Free children under 5

I recommend you to take 40 min tour
 

Travel time from Keystone: 10 min 

Travel time from Rapid City: 30 min 

Caves  

The caves are another delightful place to explore and good choice for adventure.  

You can find several caves around Keystone.   

Here are my suggestions:   

Black Hills Caverns  

2600 Cavern Road, Hwy 44 West Rapid City 

Black Hills Caverns

Black Hills Caverns is an exciting underground landscape, and it has been a great attraction for the tourists since 1939. 

The Caverns were formed roughly 60 million years ago, but was discovered only in 1882 by gold miner. 

Every year million of tourists visit this cavern, where they can see the natural beauty and unique formations like crystals, stalactites and stalagmites. 

Admission: 

$16.95 Adults  

$10.95 Children 6-12  

Free children 5 and under  

This complete tour usually takes 1 hour

Travel time from Keystone: 40 min 

Travel time from Rapid City: 15 min 

Jewel Cave National Monument  

11149 US-16 B-12, Custer, SD

Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave is the third longest cave system in the world and was named after beautiful jewel-like sparkling calcite crystals discovered by brothers Frank and Albert Michaud in 1900.  

On February 7,1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the cave as a national monument.  

Now the cave stretches out over 210 miles through fascinating underground passages and rooms covered with rare, fragile formations of crystals, dogtooth spar and cave popcorn. 

Jewel Cave is a great attraction to explore where you can have unforgettable experiences. 

Admission 

There several different guided tours available with price range from $6 to $45

Travel time from Keystone: 50 min 

Travel time from Rapid City: 1hr 20 min15 min 

Custer State Park

Needles Highway 

Custer State Par

Custer State Park is another wonderful landscape to explore. This beautiful Needles Highway attracts roughly 300,000 people annually. 

Custer State Park is the largest state park where people can discover lots of activities, like camping, hiking, biking, swimming, fishing, or just relaxing and admiring the outstanding beauty of nature. 

If you drive through Wind Cave National Park and Custer State Park, you will enjoy the Highway Scenic Overlook (Needles Highway or the Scenic Wildlife Loop). This is an absolutely breathtaking journey with stops where you can appreciate the stunning scenery. 

Admission  

 $20 per vehicle for 7-Day License 

Travel time from Keystone: 40 min 

Travel time from Rapid City: 40 min 

Badlands National Park 

Badlands national Park

Badlands National Park is a mysterious landscape of layered rock formations, eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires on the Black Hills. These impressive canyons attract people from around the world.  

Are you intrigued why the Badlands are called bad? 

A long time ago, the Lakota residents have named this area “Mako Sica”, which translates as “bad lands.” The cause of that name was rocky ground, shortage of water and extreme temperatures, which have made it challenging to pass through.  

These days, the Badlands are a worthy place for hiking, spotting wildlife and taking a scenic drive. 

The Badlands Loop Road (highway 240) goes through spectacular scenery, with lots of viewing points, where you can look at the formations up close. The panoramas are absolutely stunning. 

For a day trip, the Badlands are a great place to explore. 

Admission

 $30.00 per vehicle and passengers for 7 days 

$15.00 for individual that is hiking, bicycling, etc… for 7 days 

 $25.00 motorcycle and passengers for 7 days 

Travel time from Keystone SD: 1hr 20 min 

Travel time from Rapid City: 1  hour 

Deadwood  

Deadwood Town

Deadwood is a small town on the northern side of the Black Hills National Forest, known for its gold rush history. The city of Deadwood is defined by its picturesque surroundings and the history of the Wild West. 

Deadwood became known for lawlessness. Murders were common, and justice wasn’t always fair.  

James Butler Hickok, known as Wild Bill, was an American Old West folk, famous for his life on the frontier as a soldier, scout, lawman, gambler, showman, and actor. Wild Bill was involved in many famous gunfights. 

The town gained even more notoriety when gunman Wild Bill Hickok was murdered on August 2, 1876. 

The grave of Wild Bill Hickok lies beside the frontierswoman, sharpshooter and companion of Wild Bill’s real-life Martha Jane Cannary, known as Calamity Jane.

In Deadwood, tourists can discover lots of things, like a historic 1880 steam train and have a scenic ride on it, experience a different era of history at Pump House, and learn about Tatanka, where a bronze sculpture of bison and Native American hunters commissioned by Kevin Costner. People can visit Native American and Western history at the Days of ’76 Museums. Also, there is the world’s largest slot machine at Bodega Casino and the historic Saloon No. 10, where you can see a re-creation of the shooting of Wild Bil. The show runs several times a day. 

This combination makes for an exciting place to visit and it is good for a one day trip

Travel time from Keystone: 1 hour

Travel time from Rapid City: 45 min 

Bear Country USA, Family Fun Adventure

13820 US-16, Rapid City, SD

Bear Country USA

 Bear Country USA is the largest collection of privately owned black bears in the world.  

From your vehicle, you can observe black bears, elk, mountain lions, buffalo, reindeer and other wildlife. 

Admission

These rates are per person in the vehicle, if the amount hits our Maximum per vehicle then you only pay that Maximum.

$20 adult

$15 children 5-12

Free childre under 5

$75 maximum per vehicle

Travel time from Keystone: 15 min 

Travel time from Rapid City: 12 min 

Plan and enjoy your trip !

11 thoughts on “Things to see around Keystone, South Dakota. Part 2.

  1. Your post shows how much I missed when I was there! If I had realised how much more there was to see, perhaps I would have planned a longer trip. Interesting to see the progress on the Crazy Horse monument. It will be wonderful when completed but I doubt I shall be around to see that! The Cosmo house seems like fun but it’s always animals that win my attention. As always, lots of great info.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As always, so much great information. When I visited we had nothing like enough time and I see from your post how much we missed. Would love to see the finished Crazy Horse monument but I doubt I shall be around for that! What a stunning part of the planet. Makes me want to do another road trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We were really surprised when we discovered all these attractions.
      Badlands were amazing. We even saw the tornado over there, of course from the distance 🙂 but it was mesmerizing.
      I wish I would see complete Crazy Horse Monument, but……. hard to say…… the progress is really slow. But the idea and job just unbelievably great!

      Like

  3. We wanted to tour the caverns when we were there in 2018, but they were already closed for the season. A great place to visit with lots if history and scenery. Thanks for sharing Angela. Allan

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure!
      I’m sure you will enjoy it too.
      We discovered these places on the way and were surprised at how much we can see there. It is really interesting places and the trip can be both educational and entertaining at the same time. We really loved it! 🙂

      Like

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