Day 1

Starting in Rapid City, depart on Highway 16 south to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. View America’s most famous faces covered with a dusting of snow.

The next stop is Crazy Horse Memorial, the largest sculptural undertaking of its kind, where you can also visit the Indian Museum of North America and the sculptor’s studio. Custer makes a good lunch stop, and then head to the Wildlife Loop Road in Custer State Park to watch for buffalo, elk, deer, antelope and burros. From there, travel south on Highway 385 through Wind Cave National Park to Hot Springs. Take a dip in the natural, indoor warm-springs swimming pool. Overnight in Hot Springs.

Day 2

Tour The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, where Columbian mammoths fell into a sinkhole 26,000 years ago. Their bones are preserved where they fell. Depart north on Highway 79 for Rapid City. Tour a Black Hills gold manufacturing plant. Shop in charming downtown Rapid City, known as the City of Presidents, or at the mall. Then it’s off to Deadwood to try your luck at gaming or learn about the history of this gold rush town. Overnight in Deadwood.

Day 3

Today, ride snowmobile through the northern Black Hills, where you can tour scenic Spearfish Canyon and Roughlock Falls Nature Area. Or, visit one of the "Dances With Wolves" filming sites. Another option is a ski trip to one of the ski areas for downhill and/or cross-country skiing. After skiing, it’s back to Deadwood for more evening excitement. Overnight in Deadwood.

Optional Day

Head to Pierre to experience Christmas at the Capitol. Each year, the Capitol Bulding is filled with nearly 100 evergreen trees, decorated with handmade ornaments and trimmed in various themes. Christmas at the Capitol runs from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Visit the Cultural Heritage Center or South Dakota Discovery Center and Aquarium. Overnight in Pierre.

Next Up: Southeast Region