Black Hills & Badlands

  • Spearfish Canyon Nature Area – Enjoy waterfalls, hiking trails and jaw-dropping views along one of the best drives in the country.
  • George S. Mickelson Trail – Bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can all enjoy the 109-mile-long trail through the Black Hills National Forest.

Glacial Lakes & Prairies

  • Lake Poinsett Recreation Area – Located between Watertown and Brookings, this oasis offers travelers the chance to camp, hike, disc golf and fish.
  • Sica Hollow State Park – This park’s streams, rustic bridges, waterfalls, wildflowers and 8-plus miles of trails are just part of Sica Hollow’s rugged beauty.


  • Palisades State Park – Scenic overlooks and rushing water make Palisades a popular getaway for campers, photographers, sightseers, picnickers, rock-climbers and hikers.
  • Lewis & Clark Recreation Area – Marinas, camping options and sandy beaches bring beach-lovers to one of the most beautiful and popular parts of the Missouri National Recreational River.

Missouri River

  • Spring Creek Recreation Area – Conveniently located near South Dakota’s capital city, the lake has more than 2,000 miles of shoreline to explore.
  • Farm Island Recreation Area – Located east of Pierre, this island offers 8 miles of hiking trails where you can find peace and plenty of nature to observe.

Sitting on the shores of beautiful Lake Oahe, Spring Creek Recreation Area is a an adventurer’s paradise. The lake has more than 2,000 miles of shoreline, and its clear waters are ideal for boating, sailing, fishing, water skiing and diving. Campers, history buffs, mountain bikers and hikers will find new adventures in this rugged land first explored by Lewis and Clark. Courtesy Travel South Dakota

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In the Rapid City area, traveling to your destination is part of the experience. Take in the brilliant display of granite spires, eroding buttes and captivating waterfalls on these top 10 scenic drives. (Friendly reminder: Our beautiful scenic drives have sharp/tight corners. Drive with care!)

One of the most famous scenic drives in the Black Hills is along Highway 16A. This highway offers amazing views of Mount Rushmore (perfectly framed), the Black Hills, Needles Highway and Custer State Park. This drive also gives groups the opportunity to drive through a handful of scenic tunnels. These beautiful granite passageways are known to be narrow, but don’t let that shy you away from this epic experience.

Forget the long commute. Stay in Rapid City and you’ll be within an hour’s drive from some pretty spectacular places.

A motorcoach bus squeezes between some rock walls on the Needles Highway in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Courtesy Visit Rapid City

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Travelers looking for a destination that combines wide-open spaces, exciting year-round outdoor activities, breathtaking scenery and warm, inviting people will find all, and more, right here in North Dakota.

Adventure-seekers can hike and bike a vast trail system, including the renowned Maah Daah Hey Trail through the rugged Badlands of western North Dakota. In the winter, people shift gears to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing at one of our state parks.

Marvel at the endless fields of crops in the pancake-flat Red River Valley in the east; at the countless prairie lakes and potholes filled with nesting and migrating ducks and geese in central North Dakota; and at the rough and rugged Badlands in the west.

Drive through the north and south units of Theodore Roosevelt National Park for close-up looks at the large herds of bison, eagles, deer and prairie dogs that roam free. Wild horses also are a common sight in the south unit, bordered by the historic town of Medora.

For a time of quiet reflection, visit the International Peace Garden straddling the U.S.-Canada border.

Follow your curiosity, not the crowds, to North Dakota.

In the winter, hikers and bikers switch to cross-country skiing at Lake Metigoshe State Park near Bottineau. Courtesy North Dakota Tourism

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Montana’s vast landscapes, wide-open spaces and charming small towns make it easy to get away from crowds and discover unspoiled Big Sky Country!

Enjoy scenic vistas on our Rocky Mountain hiking trails that lead to hidden waterfalls, crystal lakes and expansive mountain views. Whitewater raft on glacier-fed rivers, or paddle a canoe or kayak across a peaceful lake. Discover wildlife throughout our state as you explore out-of-the-way places. Our guest ranches let you discover your inner cowboy or cowgirl and learn about Western traditions.

Explore ghost towns like Bannack or Virginia City, where the Old West comes alive as you wander through haunted historic buildings. Pan for gold or take a tour to learn about Montana’s gold rush history. Explore mining towns of Butte or Philipsburg to experience a blend of old and new, or take an underground mine tour.

Camping or RVing in Montana’s solitude is a memorable family experience. Whether it’s in a tent, teepee, yurt or luxurious glamping tent, you’ll enjoy the magic of a starry night sky after an unforgettable day of adventure.

A visit to Glacier National Park or Yellowstone will top off an unforgettable family adventure. Keep dreaming – Montana will be waiting for you!

Whitewater raft on glacier-fed rivers to get your blood pumping in unspoiled Montana. Courtesy Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

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Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center

Between mountain-peaked skylines and lush forests along the backcountry of Central Idaho, stop at the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center. Learn the history of the famous and heroic Sacajawea – the young Agai’dika Lemhi Shoshone who helped guide the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The 71-acre park is filled with artifacts, scenic walking trails and Heritage Community Gardens.

Gold Rush Historic Byway

From grain fields to lush forest coverage, the Gold Rush Historic Byway is a scenic drive rich in history and wildlife, including Lewis and Clark historical sites and Pierce, Idaho, where gold was first discovered in Idaho by pioneers. Stop at the Weippe Discovery Center to see Nez Perce artifacts and replica tools used by the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Bruneau Dunes State Park

With campsites and cabins available year-round, Bruneau Dunes State Park is an ideal outdoor escape just over an hour’s drive from Boise, Idaho’s capital city. Once you’ve settled into camp, rent a sandboard to surf the tallest freestanding sand dunes in North America. There’s plenty of high-desert terrain for birdwatching, biking and hiking as well. Once the sun sets, catch the vibrant night sky at the Bruneau Dunes Observatory.

Bruneau Dunes State Park, located just an hour’s drive from Boise, Idaho, is the ideal outdoor escape year-round. Courtesy Idaho Tourism

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One of the most fun and unique outdoor experiences in Western Montana’s Glacier Country – not far from Glacier National Park – is llama trekking in the Swan Mountain range. Yes, llama trekking!

It’s an all-around lovable affair, and it’s eco-therapy for the soul. When you trek with a llama, you get to hike into the mountains or forest without having to carry gear or your lunch in backpacks, which makes hiking with kids and groups logistically easier and more enjoyable. Plus, llamas are pretty darn cute!

Everyone gets their own llama on a lead. By the end of the hike, you will be fast friends and will remember the experience for a lifetime.

These “Camels of the Clouds” trekking tours allow for a variety of timeframes within different trip options. For the most adventurous, choose a half-day or full-day trek, or even a multiday backpacking trip to pristine alpine lakes. A favorite trip is the three-hour evening “Wine and Cheese Llama Trek.”

Visit Swan Mountain Llama Trekking for all the details about this delightful and unique experience for all ages and athletic abilities.

Llama trekking in the Swan Mountain range is an all-around loveable affair. Courtesy Western Montana’s Glacier Country

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Prairie lands and wide-open spaces don’t have to be boring! Fargo has tons of things going on no matter the season. In January and February, Fargo hosts a six-week outdoor winter festival, Frostival, which highlights all the best parts of winter. Snow sculpture competitions, snowshoe hikes, bonfire-building workshops and more await this winter.

Don’t worry if your travel plans don’t line up with the event dates, as there are many other winter activities in which to take part all season long. Parks dot the metro area with skating rinks and trails to snowshoe, cross-country ski or fat-tire bike. The great outdoors in Fargo makes staying socially distant this winter a non-issue, so come join us!

Parks dotting the metro Fargo-Moorhead area are the perfect places to skate, snowshoe, cross-country ski or ride a fat-tire bike. Courtesy Visit Fargo-Moorhead

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Denver, Colorado, is the gateway city to the wide-open spaces of the Rocky Mountains and national parks of the American West.

It’s a walkable outdoor city with urban adventures for all ages, 300 days of sunshine and breathtaking mountain scenery. Bike through RiNo (River North) Art District to see colorful street art murals, and stop to sample craft beer on the sunny terrace at Blue Moon Brewing Company. Or wander through Denver Botanic Gardens, an urban oasis, and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine on the street patio in Larimer Square. If you prefer a slower pace, get out of the city with an easy hike at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre or take a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Watch this video to “Get a Feel For Denver – Safe to Explore.”

Get out of the city with an easy hike at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre. Courtesy Visit Denver

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Cheyenne conjures up vivid mental images of its wild and storied history, and today’s Cheyenne is no different for thrill-seekers with miles and miles of single track, wild places and rock-climbing routes to the top of the world.

Your perfect jumping off point for outdoor adventure is Curt Gowdy State Park, located just 25 minutes from downtown and nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. Take advantage of trail running, hiking or crushing it on your mountain or fat bike. The 35 miles of trails are your playground.

Located 10 minutes west of the park is Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Here you will find world-class rock-climbing opportunities on breathtaking rock formations. At a starting point of 8,200 feet, it won’t take long to enjoy the amazing vistas. If you prefer to stay closer to the ground, you can explore miles of dirt roads for ATVing, hiking trails and backcountry camping.

Outdoor adventure works up a thirst and hunger that needs to be satiated, and downtown Cheyenne offers its own opportunity for this kind of exploration. Four breweries, live music, museums and amazing dining opportunities abound. Cheyenne offers Wild West adventure that allows travelers to make memories of their own.

Not far from Cheyenne, Vedauwoo Recreation Area offers world-class rock-climbing opportunities, breathtaking vistas and miles of hiking trails. Courtesy Allen Meyer Photography

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