There is much beauty in South Dakota, a state where the western Great Plains meet the Midwest. The Missouri River, which bisects the state, separates the farmland in the east from the more arid ranch land of the west. There are cultural distinctions as well: the west identifies more with the American West, while eastern South Dakota is more akin to the American Midwest. It is an interesting place to travel for a luxury Dude Ranch vacation.
Several noteworthy areas leap to mind when one thinks of South Dakota. The Black Hills in the southwestern corner of the state have been called "an island", and indeed, these granitic hills stand alined in a sea of grass and prairie land. They were and remain sacred to the Lakota people, who gave them their name.
Rising out of the Black Hills is Mount Rushmore, where the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln are carved into the granite. Scenic byways lead guests of South Dakota vacation ranches through this beautiful land, which continues west into Wyoming and east to the Badlands National Park.
The South Dakota Badlands encompasses nearly 250,000 acres. Vast expanses of protected mixed grass prairie meet a stark landscape of sharply eroded buttes, spires, canyons and ridges. Wind and water have exposed various sedimentary layers, easily identifiable by their different colors. It is a fantastic example of the power of erosion, and it is stunning to behold.
Dude Ranch vacations in South Dakota will inevitably provide many opportunities for horseback riding, for this land beckons to be explored on horseback. Guests may also visit ghost towns and historic old west towns like the gambling mecca of Deadwood, or simply relax at an authentic ranch, basking in the luxury of quiet nights under brilliant stars.