After the first half of our awesome road trip to Rapid City, South Dakota, I thought we had hit our peak and the rest would just be okay. Boy, oh boy, was I wrong! If you need to get caught up on the first three days of our road trip head here.
Rapid City Itinerary
Day 1 – Drive to Casper, Wyoming
Day 2 – Devil’s Tower, Drive to Rapid City, South Dakota
Day 3 – Keystone, Mount Rushmore, and Crazy Horse
Day 4 – Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens
Day 5 – Storybook Island and Mammoth Site
Day 6 – Independence Rock, Martin’s Cove, and Devil’s Gate, Home
There are TONS of things to do and places to experience in Rapid City. There was no way we were going to be able to do all the things. So, we decided to do the things that our young kids might enjoy the most.
These things ended up being amazing for the whole family!
Day 4: Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens
Bear Country USA
As I was looking in to Bear Country USA the more, I learned about it the more I wanted to go. Forget what the kids wanted… haha!
Bear Country USA is a drive through wildlife park. There are certain areas that are home to different animals. After you drive through, which takes about an hour, you park and walk through a little zoo area.
We saw wolves running around and playing or messing with each other. The number of bears roaming around was amazing! Some walked right by our car. One bear was scratching it’s back on a post. Others were playing in the water. There were literally dozens of bears.
Some other animals we saw were bison, cougars, reindeer, more wolves, bighorn sheep, elk, rocky mountain goat, and more!
In the walk-through part of Bear Country USA, we saw the cutest three bear cubs. Two were wrestling with each other and were so playful.
The red fox was taking a nap in the shade. That was until the hat our 7-year-old was wearing got blown off her head and into the red foxes home. We had to get help getting it back.
We loved being able to be up close and personal with so many beautiful animals.
After lunch we went to Reptile Gardens. It was an afternoon packed with more animal fun.
We were able to see a fun snake show and the kids touched a snake. We walked around with huge tortoises. One was over 100 years old! The prairie dogs were funny the way they snuggled together. There was a wide range of reptiles to watch and learn from.
We were even around to see and hear a worker slip into a little pond and soak himself, poor guy!
We found a fun ice crem place and it ended up being in downtown Rapid City by some fun water fountains. Eating ice cream for dinner and playing in the water was a great end to our day.
Day 5: Storybook Island and Mammoth Site
Our last day in Rapid City we got all packed up and headed out to a great kid friendly place. Storybook Island! This amazing free playground is the mother of all playgrounds.
There were many themed areas to play and explore on. The park was huge! We paid the few dollars to have our kids ride the train. Of course, they wanted to do it again and again. But once was all they got.
Because we let them play on all the different play areas. The kids were running around, getting themselves tired out!
After a few hours of playing, we got back in the car to head to the Mammoth Site. It was mostly on our way, and something Eddy really wanted to do.
This is such an amazing active dig site for mammoth bones. The pictures do not do it justice. I’m so glad we went a tiny bit out of our way to Casper to make the trip to this museum. So worth it!
We got to Casper, Wyoming with time to eat dinner and get into bed.
Day 6: Independence Rock, Martin’s Cove, and Devil’s Gate
Our last day! We hit the pool and got packed to make the 6ish hour drive home. It always is a bummer to be on your last day of a trip.
We tried to make the best by hitting some historical sites on the way home. These are placed that none of us have been to before, which was fun to experience together.
We first stopped at Independence Rock. We walked the little path from the rest stop to the rock. It’s a much bigger rock than I expected it to be.
Our next stop, which was about a 5-minute drive from Independence Rock, was Martin’s Cove.
This is an important Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints site. Anyone was visit it and spend time there. It is a place that the pioneers stopped, and some incredible things happened here or nearby at Devil’s Gate.
There are many couple missionaries that serve at Martin’s Cove. You can visit the visitor center/mini museum, watch a very emotional short movie, see the bunk and wash houses that were used years after the pioneers went through and it was a ranch, and walk a path with your own mini handcarts.
We were not prepared to do the hikes; they were longer than we excepted. It was also an extremely hot day. So, we decided to plan a trip to return and do the hikes.
After filling our waters, we got back in the car to drive to Little America. This is the same place we stopped on our way out to Rapid City. This time we got food at the restaurant. It was good food and plenty of it.
Since I was almost done with our trip, I decided to take full advantage and get myself an ice cream cone one more time. It was such a good twist (chocolate and vanilla) in a big waffle cone. Totally worth it.
It would be time to get back on track to the foods my nutrition coach had given me. 😊
It felt so good to be on a fun adventure again! I sure missed being able to travel and explore this wonderful part of the world with my family.
Stay tuned (at some point in the future) for me to talk more about each of these activities and places we explored on this road trip.
What have been some of your favorite road trips?