Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup

September 23, 2020 - September 28, 2020

Ever since park rangers started rounding up some 1,350 head of buffalo each fall for the annual branding, sorting and vaccinating, visitors have been fascinated by this Old West tradition.   In 2017 21,000 people turned out for the 50th anniversary of the roundup, which involves sorting, branding and all the attendant events.

In addition to the Roundup and arts festival, this six day hub-and-spoke itinerary offers customary Indian Summer weather, scenic mountains and popular attractions including Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Badlands National Park, Wall Drug, the 1880 train, and historic Deadwood.

Feel the thunder of pre-historic beasts as they rumble by in Custer State Park’s annual buffalo roundup in South Dakota’s beautiful Black Hills.

$1392 double occupancy | $1723 single occupancy

Tour highlights:

  • Unpack once!
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Crazy Horse Monument
  • Badlands National Park
  • Historic Deadwood
  • annual Custer State Park buffalo roundup
  • Buffalo Arts Festival
  • 1880 Steam Train ride

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1 – Arrivals

Passengers arrive at Rapid City Regional Airport and are transported to our hotel. Tonight we’ll enjoy a festive get-acquainted welcome dinner. (D)

Day 2 - Badlands Natonal Park

Badlands National Park, adjacent to the beautiful Black Hills is our destination today. We’ll spend the entire day exploring and picture-taking in this incredible area. Also on the agenda is world-famous Wall Drug. (B,D)

Day 3 - Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup / 1880 Train ride

We’ll be up bright and early this morning to take in the exciting annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup.  Park personnel, cowboys and cowgirls will do their best to drive the Park’s herd into the Buffalo Corrals – passing two designated – but safe – viewing areas along the way.  This afternoon round out the day with train ride on the historic 1880 Steam Train.  (B)

Day 4 - Mount Rushmore / Crazy Horse Memorial

Today’s sightseeing includes time to explore the Buffalo Roundup Arts Festival. This one-of-a-kind event includes a buffalo wallow chili cook-off, buffalo chip throwing contest, cowboy poets, musical entertainment, arts & crafts booths and much more.  Then it’s on to the Crazy Horse Memorial, the still unfinished mountain carving dedicated to Native Americans, and the Shrine of Democracy, Mount Rushmore.   (B)

Day 5 - Historic Deadwood

Today we’ll explore the rich and roistering gold camp of Deadwood, which provided the setting for the last great gold rush in America. Legalized gaming has returned to the storied gulch where the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Poker Alice once walked. We’ll have time to try our luck at the tables,  of course, but the highlight is a visit to Tatanka – the Story of the Bison, featuring a saga as compelling as any in American history, from its origins to its virtual extermination – and ultimate revival.   The centerpiece of Tatanka: Story of the Bison is a larger-than-life bronze sculpture featuring 14 bison being pursued by 3 Native American riders. Tonight we’ll dine at the Deadwood Social Club. (B, D)

Day 6 - Departures

Sadly we bid a fond farewell to our Wild West adventure as we are transported to the airport for return flights. (B)

NOTE:   Times and order of events are subject to change.

Participant Comments

  • One participant enjoyed her tour so much she wrote a song about it!

    Listen to “Tour Operator” on YouTube


  • I would recommend it [Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup] highly.

    - 2014 Roundup particant
  • Everything was first class and Shebby & John were terrific! Very casual…no stress but done perfectly. Well run – was a wonderful way to view and experience this part of US

    - 2013 Roundup Participant
  • I was amazed at all the history, etc. near Rapid City. Great tour to learn about area/history

    - 2013 Roundup Participant
  • Once in a lifetime experience – you fulfilled it. Definitely recommend tour.

    - 2013 Roundup Participant

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Happy Trails!