BLACK HILLS ON A BUDGET
Hi, welcome to Spokane Creek, Iron Mountain Road & the Black Hills! We would like to offer our 1st time visitors some help with planning a family vacation that can be fun & affordable.
Spokane Creek Cabins & Campground is centrally located within the Black Hills providing an ideal place for your vacation headquarters. We have a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget. Our full service facility offers all types of free amenities to keep everyone entertained, especially the kids. Besides our listed amenities - pool, playground, mini golf, basketball, soccer, volleyball, and horseshoes - we have lots of open space for roaming, a large field for playing catch or just running around, hiking trails & rock climbing at the edge of the property, and Spokane Creek itself is always a big attraction for the kids. It is always good to see kids enjoy the outdoors & make new friends… we forget how much fun they have outside just being kids. We are conveniently located in the middle of the Black Hills, just 1 mile from Custer State Park and 11 miles from Mt. Rushmore. There are 2 small lakes within just a couple of miles of the campground that are good for fishing, kayaking or swimming.
Traveling the Black Hills can be a very wonderful, fun experience, but can also be challenging if you are not familiar with the area. This area is an outdoor paradise with tons of scenic beauty that can be experienced not only in a vehicle, but by horseback, motorcycle, and on foot. The Black Hills is chock full of attractions, wildlife and history, both American West and Indian. In order to help visitors navigate their way through the Hills, free area maps can be obtained at almost any business in the area, including at the campground. However, the Iron Mountain Road Visitors Center, located at the Spokane Creek, can help direct you to your next adventure and give you tips on how to navigate these beautiful, winding roads.
The Black Hills map is the best way to get around the Hills; GPS is not reliable here, so please use the map. Distances are not far within the Hills, 1 – 2 hours from any point can get you to most stuff. Roads can be twisty so time is more a measure between places than miles. The average speed is 30 – 40 mph. If you are traveling in an RV please pay special attention to tunnel clearance signs as some of the roads in the area have low, narrow tunnels that cannot be maneuvered by motor homes and RVs.
It is always difficult going to a new area and not knowing what to see or how much things will cost. To help you plan & budget for your vacation to the Black Hills we have prepared some cost guidelines for food, lodging & attractions. We hope that you find this guide helpful in planning your trip.
Fuel costs are usually about the national average, maybe slightly higher in more remote areas due to transportation costs.
The Black Hills is made up of many small, unique towns with their own slice of history and personality. Although most towns have at least a small general store with limited groceries (including Spokane Creek), Hill City and Custer, for example, have a full size grocery store. Rapid City has the big stores, including a Super Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club, and other big box stores for shopping and will be the cheapest place to purchase groceries and food.
If you plan to eat out, there are many unique, local restaurants in every small town and scattered throughout the Hills. The towns of Keystone, Deadwood, Custer and Hill City will have less to choose from in terms of fast food chains, but they will have at least a Subway and / or Dairy Queen, as well as local places. Prices on food are about the national average for tourist towns. You will pay a little higher price the further you get away from Rapid City, which will offer the most variety of food options but will not always to convenient. Spokane Creek provides good food at reasonable prices. Our café menu can be found on our website and although pricing may change slightly, this should give you a good idea of the cost of eating out in the Hills.
Be somewhat careful when looking at motel type facilities…be sure to ask about the total cost & fees for the time of year you will be visiting and for the total amount of people in your party, prices can vary greatly per night. Motel type options also usually do not provide cooking facilities making it necessary to eat out at restaurants. We offer reasonable accommodations for families especially when you consider all our amenities and location. Most of our cabins have a kitchenette or full kitchen allowing families to save money by preparing their own meals if desired. - see our rate sheet for details.
Listed below are some of the Black Hills attractions that we enjoy, along with their cost - note pricing is subject to change without notice, please be sure to check out individual business websites for the most current information. This list is by no means everything there is to do in the Hills.
Another great tool for planning your vacation is the South Dakota Vacation Guide, which you can request from the SD Dept of Tourism at www.travelsd.com.
Wind Cave National Park – admission to the park is FREE. Cave tours range from $10.00 - $30.00 for adults, $5.00 - $6.00 for youth and kids 5 and under are free - costs vary based on the tour you choose. Also, there are “fee free” days each year where admission for cave tours is waived. See the following website for details regarding fee free days http://www.nps.gov/findapark/feefreeparks.htm.
Jewel Cave National Monument – like Wind Cave, admission to the park is FREE. Cave tours range from $12.00 for adults, free - $8.00 for youth and kids 5 and under are free – costs vary based on the tour you choose. Jewel Cave also offers fee free days, see website above for details. This cave is a bit harder to get into due to the limited number of daily tours offered.
Rushmore Cave & Rush Mountain – Pricing for this adventure park start at $12.00 each per ride or get an all day wristband for $50.00 per person.
Mt. Rushmore National Park - Admission is FREE, but parking is $10.00 and is good until the end of the year.
Crazy Horse Memorial – Adults $11.00, kids 6 and under are free or $28.00 a carload.
DC Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery (Spearfish) – Admission is FREE, fish food can be purchased for a nominal fee if you want to feed the fish.
Mickelson Trail – A 109 mile long trail for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Admission is $4.00 a day or $15.00 annual pass.
Custer State Park - $20.00 per vehicle, $10.00 per motorcycle and is good for 7 days. Included in the State Park pass are attractions such as Mt. Coolidge Lookout, Needles Highway, Custer Wildlife Loop (known for its buffalo, deer, antelope and donkeys), and numerous lakes for hiking, swimming and fishing.
Iron Mountain Road – FREE scenic drive with breathtaking views of Mt. Rushmore and the surrounding area. A must stop is the Iron Mountain Road Visitor Center & Store located at Spokane Creek Cabins & Campground, approximately 1/2 way on the 17 mile drive.
Spearfish Canyon – FREE scenic drive that is home to Bridal Veil Falls, Roughlock Falls and Spearfish Falls.
As you can see, there are lots of things to do and see in the Black Hills (this is just a few) that are free or have small costs associated with them. There are also lots of other attractions that will cost a little more but are worthwhile, for a more comprehensive list of things to do in the Hills, please see our Area Attractions tab on our website.
We hope this helps you in planning your vacation. As always, if we can be assistance to you, please give us a call. We look forward to seeing you soon.