Go to Another Vacation

Vacation - September 1998


September 2 - Fly to South Dakota

We found that there are no direct flights to South Dakota unless you live in Salt Lake City or Colorado, so we dealt with a four hour layover in Salt Lake City. For travelers that have more than two hours of a layover, there is a bus trip from the airport to the Mormon Temple. All you need to do is put your luggage in a locker and see the visitors counter for more information. Keep your flight ticket with you because they ask you for it to make sure you have enough time.

September 3 - Climb Devil's Tower

We rose early after a night of camping in Devil's Tower National Monument and drove up to the parking lot near the base of the tower. We spent the whole day climbing and were the only people to summit that day. we spent the rest of the evening cooking dinner and drinking plenty of water and Gatorade.

September 4 - Wind Cave National Park and Mammoth Graveyard

We needed a break from climbing and from the heat, so we drove out to Hot Springs, South Dakota to visit Wind Cave. In the cave it is always cool and comfortable. We took a walking tour with the ranger. It is important to arrive early in the day to sign up for your prefered tour. There is also above ground hiking in the park.

After the tour, we drove on to Mammoth Graveyard which was one of our favorite stops on this trip.

September 5 - Drive to Black Hills

We did a final walk around the prairie dog town in Devil's Tower, and packed up to drive to Custer State Park in the Black Hills of South Dakota. When we arrived in Hill City, we went to Granite Sports to get information about climbing in the area. They invited us to join them for a cook out and climb day the following day.

We found out camp site in Sylvan Lake Campground at Custer State Park and set up and unpacked. We then climbed near our camp site in the Outlets.

September 6 - Climb

We climbed in the Rushmore area for the Beans and Biners day with Granite Sports and had a great time. One person gave us a tour of the whole area.

We drove out to the Crazy Horse Monument to watch them blow up rocks in the evening. Remember to bring your left over canned good to this place before you leave. They collect food for the reservations in the area.

September 7 - Climb

We rose early in the morning to get out and climb at Tenpins. Tricouni Nail was an amazing climb! We also drove out to the Eye of the Needle to see what there was for climbing in that area. We saw a few climbers roping up with a large crowd around them, so we decided to pass on that climb for the day.

We continued on to the Rushmore area to climb Gossamer, which was a climb I had selected before we even flew out to South Dakota.

We capped off the afternoon with a drive through the Wildlife Loop at the park. We did not see any wildlife until we left the loop, which is where we finally saw bison.

We stopped for dinner at the State Game Lodge (605) 255-4541. The food is fantastic, but expect it to be expensive.

September 8 - Depart

We rose early so we would have time to drive along the scenic roads in the park. There was a little rain, so we saw plenty of rainbows. We also saw several different types of wildlife including mountain goats and bison. I was not ready to leave! We hope to go back to the Black Hills some time soon.