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National Parks in South Carolina

by Aakash singh

South Dakota National Parks Map stands as the gateway to the American West. Its wide array of astounding landscapes, adventure, and history can be explored through its national parks. These parks showcase the scenic areas including Badlands and the Black Hills in the west and glacial lakes and prairies in the northeast. At the backdrop of the rugged beauty of South Dakota, you can experience the outdoors in a unique way. Check out the wide array of national parks available in the state.

South Carolina National Parks


The Map of South Dakota National Parks provides an illustrious description of the several national parks, historical monuments, and recreational centers of the state. Some of the notable national parks of the state are Wind Cave National Park, Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Jewel Cave National Monument, Missouri National Recreational River, Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. The Jewel Cave National Monument is 140.86 miles long. With respect to length, the cave ranks second in the world.

The Badlands National Park offers tourists to experience a wide variety of exotic wildlife. The Wind Cave National Park is the longest cave in the world. Rich wildlife, prairie grasslands, luxuriant pine forests, and caves represent the Wind Cave National Park of South Dakota. The Missouri National Recreational River is known for its natural scenic beauty and is a favorite boating site among tourists.

The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site houses many weapons that were used during the Cold War era. The missile silo and underground launch control center are some of the main attractions of the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. The exact location of the national parks is clearly pointed out in the South Dakota State Map.

Best National Parks in South Dakota

  1. Badlands National Park (Southwestern, SD)

    Badlands National Park draws visitors from across the globe. This park protects the rugged beauty of around 244,000 acres. The landscape features an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where a huge variety of animals can be found. You can find bighorn sheep, bison, black-footed ferrets, and prairie dogs. The rugged Badlands consist of geological deposits, containing one of the richest fossil beds of the world.

    The physical address of Badlands National Park is 25216 Ben Reifel Road Interior, SD 57750. It is located around 75 miles (121 km) east of South Dakota’s Rapid City. You can use this address on your GPS to reach the headquarters. The GPS park addresses of different entrances are:

    • Northeast Entrance (I-90, Exit 131): 21020 SD Hwy 240, Interior, SD 57750.
    • Pinnacles Entrance (I-90, Exit 110): 24240 Hwy 240, Wall, SD 57790.
    • Interior Entrance: 20640 SD Hwy 377, Interior, SD 57750.

    The weather of Badlands varies a lot with extremes ranging from 116 °F (46.7 °C) to -40 °F (-40 °C). It remains unpredictable. The summer season is characterized by hot and dry weather. Occasional violent thunderstorms, hailstorms, and tornadoes take place from time to time. It remains typically cold during winters. The average snowfall level varies from 12 inches (304.8 mm) to 24 inches (609.6 mm).

    At the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, public Wifi is available. However, cell phone coverage for major carriers varies significantly. Depending upon the park’s location, the cell phone coverage varies from full coverage to no coverage.

  2. Wind Cave National Park (Hot Springs, SD)

    Wind Cave National Park is one of the oldest national parks in America. It consists of rolling prairie grasslands and forested hillsides, roamed by elks, bison, and other wildlife. Wind Cave sits under the remnant island of the intact prairie. These caves are one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. You will find a unique formation called boxwork, where a maze of passages can be found.

    The physical address of Wind Cave National Park is 26611 US Highway 385 Hot Springs, SD 57747. It is situated around 11 miles (18 km) north of Hot Springs off the US Highway 385 and 0.5 miles (0.8 km) west of the highway. Instead of using the address of the visitor center at the GPS, use the coordinates N43 33′ 22″ W103 28′ 38″. Rapid City airport is the nearest commercial airport in South Dakota.

    The weather at Wind Cave National Park is highly variable. The highs during springtime vary within 50-70 °F (10-21 °C). Spring is also the wettest season. During summer, the daytime temperature regularly remains above 80 °F (27 °C). It generally remains hot and dry during this time.

    Strong thunderstorms are very common, producing large hail and lightning. The fall season usually remains dry, characterized by warm days and cool nights. The highs revolve within 50 °F (10 °C) and 60 °F (15.6 °C). The lows during fall commonly revolve in the freezing zone. The high temperature remains around high-30 °F (1.5-4 °C). Low temperatures revolve around 10 °F (-12 °C). The average annual snowfall in South Dakota remains around 30 inches (762 mm), leading to the closing of park roads from time to time. During June-July, severe thunderstorms are common. Severe lightning and large hail occur during this time of the year.

    So, before heading to the Wind Cave National Park for hiking or other outdoor activities, check the local forecast. Black Hills Parks & Forests Association provides WiFi service in the park.

Best National Memorial, Monuments, and Historic Sites

  1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial (Keystone, SD)

    Know about the birth, growth, development, and preservation of this country by visiting the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Huge face figures of the most noted and respected US Presidents such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved.

    These majestic figures are surrounded by the beauty of the Black Hills. Mount Rushmore is visited by thousands of visitors every day. This monument captures the history of the first inhabitants and carries it forward to today’s America. Witness the rich heritage unfold before your eyes.

    The physical address of Mount Rushmore National Memorial is 13000 Highway 244

    Building 31, Suite 1 Keystone, SD 57751. U.S. Highway 16, Highway 244, and Highway 385 can be used to reach the destination.

    During summer, the high temperatures range within 70 °F (21 °C) and 100 °F (38 °C). In the fall season, the temperature ranges from 45 °F to 80 °F (30 °C). During winter, the temperature revolves within 20 °F (-7 °C) and 40 °F (4.4 °C). The high temperatures during springtime hover within 30-70 °F (-1 °C to 21 °C). While July-August months remain the warmest, December-January is the coldest. Most snowfall and rainfall take place in March-April and May-June respectively.

    Depending upon the carrier service, the cellular activities vary a lot. At Mount Rushmore, no WiFi facility is available. Cellular coverage is very spotty beyond the main visitor areas as well as near the Information Center, Visitor Center, and concession buildings.

  2. Jewel Cave National Monument (Custer, SD)

    It is the 3rd longest cave in the world. More than 208 miles (335 km) of the passages, beneath the Black Hills, are mapped and surveyed. Quench your curiosity by visiting this underground wilderness.

    The fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color make it a splendor to watch. If you are an explorer, get lured by the maze of passages. Most of these passages are adorned with calcite crystals and other rare, colorful, and beautiful formations.

    Its physical location is 11149 U.S. Highway 16, Building B12 Custer, SD 57730. Rapid City Regional Airport is the nearest airport, which is just 63 miles (101 km) away.

    The weather varies significantly on the Black Hills, especially between the northern and southern hills. During springtime and Fall, the average temperature varies from 29 °F to 53 °F (-1.7 to 11.7 °C) and 33 °F to 58 °F (0.6 to 14.4 °C) respectively. While temperature during winter varies from 14 °F to 37 °F (-10 to 2.8 °C), the same in summer season varies from 54 °F to 80 °F (12 to 26.7 °C).

    The average annual rainfall and snowfall are 19 inches (482.6 mm) and 48 inches (1,219.2 mm) respectively. May is the wettest month of the year.

  3. Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (Southwestern, SD)

    Minuteman Missile National Historic Site preserves one of the deadliest arsenals of 1,000 nuclear missiles in the Great Plains during the Cold War era. They have the power of destroying civilization. However, the US government says that they are still maintaining hundreds of these nuclear missiles as a nuclear deterrent to maintain peace and prevent war.

    The physical address of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site is 24545 Cottonwood Road, Philip, SD 57567. It is situated at 3 sites along Interstate 90’s 15-mile (24 km) stretch. No public transportation systems are there in the park.

    Rapid weather changes take place in this area. This place has bitterly cold winters as well as hot and dry summers. Winds blowing at 50 mph is not uncommon. The wind blowing from the north-northwest direction causes wind chills in excess of -40 °F (-40 °C).

    At the park’s visitor center, a public WiFi facility is available.

Best National Recreational River in South Dakota

  1. Missouri National Recreational River (Yankton, SD, NE)

    Experience a 100 mile (161 km) long vestige of the untamed American West. This national park includes two free-flowing stretches of the Missouri River. Explore the wild, untamed, and mighty river and relive the past.

    The headquarters of Missouri National Recreational River is 508 East 2nd Street, Yankton, SD 57078. In certain businesses, locations, and libraries in Yankton and Vermillion (South Dakota), WiFi facilities are available. Depending upon the cellular service provider, 3G service is available. Cellular service is available throughout the park.

Best National Historic Trail in South Dakota

  1. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail (Sixteen States: IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MO, MT, NE, ND, OH, OR, PA, SD, WA, WV)

    This historic trail is around 4,900 miles (7,886 km) long. It starts from Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh city, traverses through 16 US states, and ends in a place near Oregon’s Astoria. Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail preserves the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The trail from Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh to Illinois’ Wood River preparatory section.

    The physical address of the headquarters of Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail is 601 Riverfront Dr. Omaha, NE 68102. While you’ll find ice on trails and sidewalks during winter, you have to drink lots of water on hot days during summer. At the headquarters visitor center in Omaha, free public wifi is available.

Best National Parks in South Carolina

S. No Name Area Established Location
1 Kings Mountain National Military Park 3,945 acres (15.96 km2) Mar 3, 1931 York / Cherokee counties, South Carolina
2 Congaree National Park 26,546 acres (41.478 sq mi; 10,743 ha; 107.43 km2), 26,021 acres (40.658 sq mi; 10,530 ha; 105.30 km2) federal Nov 10, 2003 Richland County, South Carolina, USA
3 Wind Cave National Park 33,847 acres (52.886 sq mi; 13,697 ha) Jan 9, 1903 Custer County, South Dakota, USA
4 Badlands National Park 242,756 acres (379.306 sq mi; 98,240 ha) January 29, 1939 as a National Monument, November 10, 1978 as a National Park Jackson, Pennington, and Oglala Lakota counties, South Dakota, U.S.

Best National Parks in South Carolina

  • Congaree National Park:

    This park covers over 20,000 acres of area. It offers the tourists a wonderful opportunity to experience the natural splendour of the place. Astonishing biodiversity exists in the park, the largest. The intact expanse of old-growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States. The Museum is the special attraction of the Congaree National Park.

  • Kings Mountain National Military Park:

    It is a national military park near Blacksburg, South Carolina, along with the North Carolina/South Carolina border. This site reminds one of the revolutionary war that took place on the 7th of October, 1780. The park commemorates the Battle of Kings Mountain. The park was also listed on the National Register of Historic places in 1996.

Things to Do in South Carolina National Parks

  • Hiking: There are many Hiking trails options available in Congaree National Park. Whether you are looking for a short hike on the Boardwalk Trail, or a longer trek into the backcountry, options are available for visitors of all skills and abilities. Trails can lead you to Oxbow lakes, the Congaree River or the tallest deciduous forest in the United States.
  • Canoeing and Kayaking: Cedar Creek by canoe or Kayak is a great way to experience Congaree National Park. This waterway passes through an old-growth forest. Opportunities are plentiful for viewing various types of wildlife such as river otter, deer, turtles, wading birds, and even the occasional alligator.
  • Fishing: Fishing is allowed within National parks with a valid South Carolina fishing license.
  • Camping: Frontcountry (Longleaf Campground and Bluff Campground) and Backcountry options (Garner Creek Campsite) are available in Congaree National Park and Kings Mountain National Military Park. Reservation and permits are needed in advance.
  • Explore History: Kings Mountain National Military Park offers plenty for Historians. Primary Facilities in the Visitor centre are a thirty-minute live-action theater film. A museum combining informative text with weaponry and a bookstore offering visitors publications on battle and revolutionary war.

Best Time to Visit National Parks in South Carolina

The best time to visit National Parks in South Carolina is Spring and fall when the temperature is pleasant and the rainfall is limited. Visiting in winter means fewer mosquitos, less humidity and lower temperature, but you won’t get to see the park in its greenery.

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