Visit South Dakota, Great Plains with Mighway

Rent an RV in South Dakota


Take a step back into America's Old West by visiting South Dakota. You will be amazed by the striking South Dakota landscape of buttes, canyons and the majestic Missouri River. Your visit wouldn’t be complete without a trip to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial that features presidents Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum chose those four men because to him, they represented the “birth, growth, development and preservation of this country”. The monument is open 365 days a year, features a museum and walking trails, and is surrounded by great RV parks and hotels. After Mount Rushmore, travel to other great Western destinations by RVing on the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway to explore the stunning South Dakota landscape. Stop at the 244,000 acre Badlands National Park to explore skeletons of saber tooth cats and other prehistoric remains. It’s a great place for camping and hiking, too. You won’t want to miss the beautiful Crazy Horse Memorial, begun in 1948 and currently under construction for completion. The mountain carving is a tribute to the famed Lakota leader. Learn more about the Native American history of the Lakota and Dakota Sioux tribes in pine forested mountains of the state’s southwestern Black Hills region. Take a trip back to the 19th century with a visit to the town of Deadwood for a glimpse into what this gold rush town was like in the days of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. There are so many other great places to visit in South Dakota, like the 71,000-acre Custer State Park with its bison, elk and antelope herds, or the Jewel Cave National Monument, which is the third-longest cave in the world. There are very few unspoiled and untamed wilderness areas left in America, and South Dakota’s picturesque beauty is a stunning reminder of what this great land was and is today.

Places to Visit near South Dakota


Mount Rushmore

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres and is 5,725 feet above sea level. South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region.  Robinson's initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles site because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from environmentalists and Native American groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national focus, and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. After securing federal funding, construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum's death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941. The U.S. National Park Service took control of the memorial in 1933, while it was still under construction, and has managed the memorial to the present day. It attracts nearly three million people annually. National Treasure 2 might have been a complete fabrication of American history, but Nicolas Cage was right about one thing: there's a secret room hidden away in Keystone, South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.. and it's filled with awesome stuff! 

Badlands National Park

People are drawn to the rugged beauty of the Badlands National Park. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today. Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires surrounded by a mixed-grass prairie ecosystem. The mixed grass prairie is a transitional zone between the tall-grass prairie to the east and the short-grass prairie to the west. Learn about the numerous plants and animals that thrive here. The Badlands were formed by the geologic forces of deposition and erosion. Deposition of sediments began 69 million years ago when an ancient sea stretched across what is now the Great Plains. After the sea retreated, successive land environments, including rivers and flood plains, continued to deposit sediments. Although the major period of deposition ended 28 million years ago, significant erosion of the Badlands did not begin until a mere half a million years ago. Erosion continues to carve the Badlands buttes today. Eventually, the Badlands will completely erode away. One of the most complete fossil accumulations in North America is found within the park. The rocks and fossils preserve evidence of ancient ecosystems and give scientists clues about how early mammal species lived. 25% of Badlands National Park is a designated wilderness area. Established in 1976, the Badlands Wilderness Area consists of 64,144 acres of the largest prairie wilderness in the United States. Administered in two units, Sage Creek and Conata Basin, the area is open for backpacking and exploration. Filming location for both Dances with Wolves and Armageddon. 

Custer State Park

The clear mountain waters are inviting, and the open ranges are waiting to be discovered. Bring your family to Custer State Park, and let yourself run wild.Custer State Park in the Black Hills encompasses 71,000 acres of spectacular terrain and an abundance of wildlife. Within the park, you'll discover a world of adventure! A herd of 1,300 bison roams freely throughout the park, often stopping traffic along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. The herd is one of the largest publically-owned herds in the world.Bison can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds. Historically, the animal played an essential role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who relied on the "tatanka" for food, clothing and shelter.Besides bison, the park is home to wildlife such as pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and a band of friendly burros. Custer State Park boasts several scenic drives that explore the diversity of the area. From the granite spires of Needles Highway to the bison along WIldlife Loop Road.

1880 Town

South Dakota's Original 1880 TOWN has more than 30 buildings from the 1880 to 1920 era, authentically furnished with thousands of relics, historical accounts and photographs, a Casey Tibbs exhibit, Dances with Wolves movie props, and fun activities for kids. Walk down Main Street of this 1880 town and explore more than 30 buildings authentically furnished with thousands of relics.  Enjoy the rolling terrain of a sprawling homestead and envision life on the prairie.  While at the 1880 town, you can also view memorabilia from the late Casey Tibbs, a champion rodeo bronc rider, and many props that were used in filming the movie “Dances with Wolves”. When Richard Hullinger bought 14 acres at Exit 170 back in 1969 he had no plans for an attraction. In 1972 a gas station was built at this location along with forming an idea of an old west attraction. Later, an additional 80 acres was purchased. About that time a movie company came to a small town nearby to film an 1880 era movie. A main street set was constructed from old buildings and a number of Indian relics and antiques were borrowed from Clarence Hullinger, Richard’s father. Winter set in and the filming was abandoned. The movie company returned home giving the main street set to Clarence for the use of his artifacts. The movie set was moved to the 80 acres and the 1880 TOWN was born! Along with the beginning of the 1880 TOWN began years of collecting what is now an authentic 1880 to 1920 era town from buildings to contents. Clarence and Richard have kept historical value on an equal balance with public appeal, choosing buildings that not only interesting to look at but are also historically correct for an early South Dakota town. The displays and buildings range from Indian relics from the 1970’s to the fourteen-sided barn built in 1919. The tour of the town begins here. The barn boasts an automated hay and manure handling system. It took three days and thousands of dollars to move the barn the 45 miles from its original location south of Draper, SD. In the barn you will see fine antique buggies, toys, stalls with horses in them and a working, turn of the century, coinola, saloon piano from Deadwood. From the barn, the whole town lies before you in a beautiful panoramic view! The first building on the north side is the Vanishing Prairie Museum. The museum was built to house the more valuable collections, many from the General Custer period. Items displayed are a pair of boots and an old army saddlebag from the Custer battlefield that were found at an Indian campsite, parade helmets worn by U.S. Cavalry Indian Scouts with the crossed arrow insignia, Indian dolls, arrowheads, a complete authentic cowboy outfit, photographs and selected interiors of fine Dakota homes. The collection also includes Buffalo Bill items and a tribute to the late Casey Tibbs, 9 time World Champion Rodeo Cowboy. The Dakota Hotel was moved from Draper, SD. Built in 1910, it still carries the scars made by cowboys’ spurs on the staircase. The Gardel & Walker Livery Barn holds a variety of early engines and two wagons from the Indian war era. On an open lot next to the livery is the antique machinery display. St. Stephan’s Church, built in 1915, was moved from Dixon, South Dakota, with everything intact, from the stained glass windows to the bell (which along with the school and fire bell, you are free to ring). The C&N Depot, Express Agency, and Telegraph Office was relocated from Gettysburg, SD. It is filled with railroad equipment right down to a piece of wood with “Tex K.T.” carved by the king tramp in 1927. The town hall which came from Belvidere was renovated in 1984 and the film “Love for the Land” can be seen throughout the day. Step inside the back door to see the Mayor’s office. Next door are the lumber yard and pioneer home. The one-room schoolhouse will bring back many memories for those who were lucky enough to attend one. Ring the bell and step inside to see the ink-well desks, textbooks, reciting bench and roll-up maps. Up front by the blackboard sits the huge stove that never did heat the back of the room and the view through the windows is still the same beautiful prairie that lured the attention from many young students’ studies. About a quarter of a mile east of the town is a homestead complete with windmill, corrals, barn, house and of course, outhouse. This history of the 1880 TOWN is just a snap shot of what you’ll see and experience while visiting our attraction. We are constantly updating and adding items and buildings to the collection so make sure and plan to visit us soon!

Campgrounds and RV Parks near South Dakota


Sylvan Lake

Perfect place to kick back and day dream

Sylvan Lake, known as the "crown jewel" of Custer State Park, is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Created in 1881 when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch, it offers picnic areas, rock climbing, small rental boats, swimming, and hiking trails. It is also popular as a starting point for excursions to Harney Peak and The Needles. A hotel was operated on the shore of the lake in the early 20th century.

Visit Sylvan Lake

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

nothing but beauty

Lewis and Clark Lake, near Yankton, is one of the state park system's most popular resort parks. Three separate campgrounds comprise this modern recreation area, attracting visitors from throughout the Midwest. Modern resort facilities - from marinas to camping cabins to sandy beaches - attract water lovers to Lewis and Clark.

Visit Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Mighway, proud to be part of the TH2 group of companies

Meet some of the other businesses in the TH2 group


Thor Industries

Thor Industries

Parent of brands like Airstream®, Thor Industries owns companies that together represent the world’s largest RV manufacturer.

Road Bear RV

Road Bear RV

From 1980, when they built their first Camper Van, to today, Road Bear has been on an unquestioning quest to 'be the best for the customer'.

Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers helps people discover the world around them in an entirely new way by streamlining travel into an engaging and intuitive process.

TH2

TH2

TH2 is a joint venture created by travel giants: Thor Industries, the world’s largest RV manufacturer, and thl, the world’s largest RV rental and sales operator.