Rapid City, South Dakota was named for a limestone spring stream that passes through the area. A group of prospectors came to the Black Hills area hoping to find gold in 1876. John Brennan, Samuel Scott, and a small group of men decided to settle at the site of present-day Rapid City. The center six blocks of the town were designated as the business area. Once this district was plotted, a committee was left in charge of bringing merchants and other family members to the settlement.
Even though Rapid City was considered a prime location, the population was only a little under 100 people six months after the business district was established. The founders decided to take a different approach and advertise the city as the "Gateway to the Black Hills," a nickname still used today. The first few decades of the new establishment saw various successful and unsuccessful seasons. However, it continued to grow steadily over the years. The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology opened its doors in 1885 and quickly became one of the nation's most highly acclaimed technical institutions.
After the automobile was invented, Rapid City's leaders decided to build a system of roads and highways unlike any others at the time. They knew taking advantage of the new auto technology would be the key to increasing their tourism industry. In 1927, Gutzon Borglum began working on Mount Rushmore. Even before the monument officially opened in 1941, it attracted a staggering amount of visitors.
Currently, Rapid City has a population of over 81,000 and is one of the most popular destinations in South Dakota. Besides Mount Rushmore, you will want to be sure to visit Bear Country, USA; Reptile Gardens; and Storybook Island.
Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup - At the end of September, you can experience the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. During this three-day event, cowboys and cowgirls round up and drive over 1,300 buffalo.
Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo - Enjoy rodeos, concerts, horse events, and much more at the end of January during the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo.
Black Hills Powwow - Every October, visitors can experience the premier cultural event, Black Hills Powwow, where dancers, artisans, and singers gather.
At only 43 miles away, Wind Cave National Park is the closest national park to Rapid City. This park is one of the oldest national parks. While visiting, you have a wide array of activities to choose from, including watching wildlife, camping, and hiking. You won't want to miss one of the longest caves in the world, Wind Cave. With over 28,000 acres of wildlife sanctuary, you will surely see a wide variety of wildlife in their natural habitat.
Rapid City is lucky to have another national park only 62 miles away. Badlands National Park's geological formations bring visitors from around the world. The unique landscape of this park must be viewed on foot, so be sure to enjoy one of the various available hiking trails. You can also enjoy bicycling, backcountry camping, and stargazing. You will want to visit the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and the Fossil Preparation Lab.
Theodore Roosevelt National Park can be found only 236 miles from Rapid City. This national park recognizes Theodore Roosevelt's efforts to conserve nature's beauty. This 70,446-acre national park is the only one named after a single individual. While in the park, you can walk to the spot where Roosevelt once stood. This park allows an individual to explore the area with two scenic drives.
Located in the heart of the Black Hills area, Custer State Park is a must-see. It was named after Colonel George Armstrong Custer and is South Dakota's first state park. While in the park, you have various activity options, including hiking, fishing, and swimming. You will want to drive down Needles Highway to check out the Bison and Needles Eye Tunnel.
When you reach the summit of Bear Butte in Bear Butte State Park, you can appreciate the stunning views of four states. This area is more than a state park to the indigenous people. The mountain is considered a place of worship, meditation, peace, and prayer. While pets and horses are not allowed, you can explore the area on foot on one of the many hiking trails.
Because Keyhole State Park sits on the Keyhole Reservoir, it is known for being the home to some of the biggest fish in Wyoming. Besides fishing, you can also enjoy hiking, bird watching, swimming, and waterskiing. You may also like to picnic or play at one of the playgrounds.
You can find a variety of landmarks and monuments in South Dakota. One of these landmarks is Mount Rushmore. Be sure to visit this massive granite carving and walk the 0.6-mile Presidential Trail.
Another nearby must-see is the Crazy Horse Memorial which is an ongoing project. You can take a bus ride from the Welcome Center to the base of the mountain or a van to the top.
The third longest cave system in the world can be found at Jewel Cave National Monument. With over 200 miles of passages, you will have a blast exploring.
When looking for campgrounds and RV parks near Rapid City, check out the Rapid City RV Park, which includes RV sites with both 30- and 50-amp hookups. The Lake Park Campground and Cottages offers full hookups, showers, and beach activities. The Rapid City/ Black Hills KOA enhances the area's surrounding beauty with an inviting garden.
On average, the price to rent a motorhome is $120-200 per day, $360-600 for three nights, and about $800-1,400 for a week. Some owners will give you a discounted price the more days you rent. Check the listing details or ask the owner directly if you plan to book a longer stay.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Rapid City, SD RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance and free towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Rapid City, SD?
Rapid City, SD, has plenty of freeway access to make RV driving a breeze. The city is a good base camp for exploring the national forest and many monuments, natural spaces, and tourist attractions. The city is also known as a gateway to Mt. Rushmore. Be sure to visit the Reptile Gardens, Story Book Island, Chapel in the Hills, and Journey Museum.What are the RV rental requirements in Rapid City, SD?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites. if you are unsure about traveling there and any regulations they may have, double-checking with the state will provide some peace of mind!What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Rapid City, SD?
Renting in Rapid City, SD, means rugged landscapes surrounded by charm and culture. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of food before you hit the road. You'll find plenty of RV campgrounds with pools and other fun amenities, along with showers and laundry facilities. Busy season is in the summer so book early to get your spot, or visit during the off-season to avoid crowds.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Rapid City, SD?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Rapid City, SD RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Rapid City, SD?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Rapid City, SD RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Rapid City, SD?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.