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Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD

Jun 2 - Jun 10, 2018 -- $1350 ★★★


Adjacent to the legendary South Dakota badlands, lies a multi-faceted wilderness area known as the Black Hills. The Black Hills are home to Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park, Harney Peak (at 7244' the highest mountain in South Dakota and the tallest peak east of the Rockies), the Black Elk Wilderness, Custer State Park and the Centennial Trail, all of which we'll traverse at least in part.


Although best known for herds of roaming bison, prairie dogs and ubiquitous Ponderosa Pines, the Black Hills also feature elk, mule deer, coyote, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, eagles, hawks, osprey, fox and peregrine falcons.


Our trek begins in Wind Cave National Park with a short caving expedition (no experience necessary). From there, we'll start hiking on the Centennial Trail, hiking through Wind Cave National Park and into Custer State Park. We'll enter the French Creek Natural Area, and eventually visit the Black Elk Wilderness, where we'll summit Harney Peak, the highest point in South Dakota. In fact, there is no higher point East of Harney Peak all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. Our hike will end by walking into the inspirational Mt. Rushmmore National Memorial.


Why not start your summer early by visiting beautiful South Dakota, get a jump on your fitness level and lose some weight (or more accurately, improve body composition)?



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 60s and 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s. However on the 2011 trip, temperatures hit 100 on one day and brought a hailstorm on the next. So be prepared for great fluctuations. Here is the historical June weather Bring lots of sun protection and water containers that add up to 8 liters of capacity.



Trip Leaders

Holly Chambers
Danielle Piscatelli

Cost

$1350 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Rapid City (RAP), personal equipment, any restaurant meals eaten off the trail and gratuities for guides.


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, campground fees, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from the parks, park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and awesome guides.



Note

The trails through the Black Hills often have good footing with moderate elevation changes of less than 1000' per day (except summitting Harney Peak and leaving French Creek Natural Area). Distances will be kept below 10 miles per day. We have deemed this a 3-star difficulty trip because water can be scarce in June and you may have to carry more, but it should be less strenuous than that most of the time.


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Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Itinerary


Saturday, June 2, 2018

Fly into Rapid City Airport (RAP) or drive into Rapid City. The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM, although there are limited flights arriving every day. If you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving an hour or two later or earlier, then do so but let us know beforehand.


Call for free hotel shuttle to AmericInn Lodge & Suites Rapid City, 1632 Rapp Street, Rapid City, SD, 57701, 605-343-8424


Equipment shakedown. We go through everything you brought and make sure you're properly outfitted.


Trail mix distribution


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Go to Take A Hike, 318 Mount Rushmore Road Rapid City, South Dakota 57701 - (605) 342-0608, Scheels, 1225 Eglin St., Rapid City, SD 57701, 605-342-9033 or Cabela's, 3231 East Mall Drive, Rapid City, SD 57701, (605) 388-5600 for forgotten and last minute equipment purchase


Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (Dinner cost not included in trip price)



Sunday, June 3, 2018

Second set of "before" measurements taken


All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.


Complimentary Breakfast at the hotel


Shuttle to Wind Cave National Park


Take the 9AM cave tour. The 1-2 hour tour requires no spelunking experience


Road walk up Route 87 to the Centennial Trailhead and begin hiking, elevation 4250'.


Hike 6.2 miles to Highland Creek


Camp Southwest of bison corrals at Highland Creek, elevation 4300'.


Miles today: 6.2. Total miles: 6.2


Possible bailout: Route 5


Monday, June 4, 2018

Hike 10.3 miles on Centennial Trail through Custer State Park to Highland Creek in the French Creek Natural Area.


Dispersed Camp at French Creek practicing Leave No Trace ethic, elevation 4700'.


Miles today: 10.3. Total miles: 16.5


Possible bailout: Route 87, Route 5, Route 4, or Wildlife Loop Road


Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hike 4.2 miles to Legion Lake Frontcountry Campground


About 1.5 miles of this is a long, strenuous uphill


Camp at Legion Lake, sites LL01E & LL02E, showers, swimming, and water available, elevation 5200'.


Miles today: 4.2. Total miles: 20.7


Possible bailout: Alt 16


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hike 6.3 miles to Iron Creek


Hike over hill past horse camp to the Black Elk Wilderness


Hike 1.0 miles on Centennial Trail to trail #1


Hike 2.0 miles on the Grizzly Bear Creek Trail (trail #1) to unmarked pond on the left


Camp at unmarked pond, elevation 5000'


Miles today: 9.3. Total miles: 30.0


Possible bailout: Route 87, Alt 16


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hike 0.7 miles on Grizzly Bear Creek Trail #1 to the Grizzly trail #7


Hike 3.3 miles on Grizzly Trail #7 to trail #4


Hike 0.4 miles on trail #4 to trail #9, the Lost Cabin Trail


Hike 3.6 miles on Lost Cabin Trail #9, to Sylvan Lake


Hike 0.5 miles to Sylvan Lake Campground, elevation 6000'


Camp at Sylvan Lake Frontcountry Campground, Sites 18 & 20, running water, showers, laundry, store available


Miles today: 8.5. Total miles: 38.5


Possible bailout: Sylvan Lake


Friday, June 8, 2018

Hike 0.7 miles on the road the the trailhead of trail #4


Hike 0.5 miles to trail #4B


Drop packs and day-hike 1.5 miles round trip to the summit of Little Devil's Tower


Pick up packs and hike 1.5 miles on trail #4 to trail #9


Hike 0.2 miles on Trail #9 to the Harney Peak Trail


Drop packs here


Day-Hike 1.0 miles to the summit of Harney Peak, elevation 7244'


Hike 2.5 miles to trail #5, Willow Creek Rushmore Trail


Hike 0.9 miles on trail #5 to unmarked campsite just inside wilderness boundary making sure to get water along the way. The campsite is dry, but there is water about halfway


Camp at unmarked site inside wilderness boundary, elevation 5250'


Miles today: 8.8. Total miles: 47.3


Possible bailout: Route 87 or 244


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Hike 1.0 mile to Centennial Trail


Hike 3.0 miles to Mt. Rushmore


Miles today: 4.0. Total miles: 51.3


Possible bailout: Mt. Rushmore


Shuttle back to Rapid City and check into Foothills Inn, 1625 N. LaCrosse Street, Rapid City, SD, 57701, 605-348-5640


After measurements taken


Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip price)


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Sunday, June 10, 2018

Free hotel breakfast


Take Free Airport Shuttle


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