I just returned from South Dakota last night. We left Saturday morning and drove to Custer State Park. We camped in Custer State Park for 3 nights and then headed home. We visited several sites in the area. Since the Sturgis Bike Rally officially starts next week, everything was very crowded.
Custer State Park is near the town of Custer. It is a nice park with decent camping facilities. If you want to camp there, I recommend that you make reservations in advance, because it is very popular. The park is large, and there is an unbelievable amount of wildlife within it. We were able to see buffalo, deer and antelope on the wildlife loop inside the park.
The city of Custer is small, about 1800, but is very clean and has a real old west feel to it.
We visited the Crazy Horse memorial just outside of Custer. The memorial is still under construction and will probably not be finished for quite some time. When it is complete, it will be an incredible monument.
We took a ride on the 1880 Train from Keystone to Hill City. It is a steam engine that burns recycled oil for fuel. It smells pretty bad, basically just like a car engine that has the rings going out, but it is a cool ride. The restortation job on the passenger cars is very impressive.
Keystone is a nice small town, a lot like Custer, but much more crowded due to its proximity to Mt. Rushmore. If you drive to Keystone from Custer State Park, do not take the mountain pass route. There are so many 10 and 15 MPH areas and switchbacks that it takes forever to get there. Take the highway route by Crazy Horse from the city of Custer.
On the way home we took the scenic route through the badlands. It is a very scenic place and would be great to ride through on a horse, or even to hike through.
Our total driving distance was about 1700 miles/2700 Kilometers. I will put up pictures later this week.