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Group Tour Itineraries
The Lewis and Clark Trail
Enter South Dakota from Nebraska on the Lewis and Clark Trail. Your first stop is Heritage Park in Elk Point, just off Interstate 29.
The town derived its name from the explorers, whose journals noted much "elk sign" in the area. Travel on Highway 50 to Vermillion, where the Spirit Mound visited by Lewis and Clark still stands.
Next, travel to Yankton and tour the Lewis and Clark Visitor Center at Gavin’s Point Dam. The Lewis and Clark Recreation Area, also near Yankton, offers a host of outdoor activities from biking to canoeing and kayaking. Continue on Highway 50 to the Pickstown/Wagner area, where possible activities include gaming at a tribal casino and a powwow dancing demonstration. Overnight in the Wagner area.
Activities today can center on the same area — Pickstown/Wagner. Options include the Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge, the site of old Fort Randall and the grave of Struck by the Ree, a Yankton chief. Overnight in the Wagner area.
Travel north along the Lewis and Clark Trail to Platte. It was in this area that Lewis and Clark recorded seeing smoldering "volcanic" bluffs along the river. Travel to Chamberlain via Highway 50 and Interstate 90 and tour the Akta Lakota Museum, which houses Native American artifacts and art. A replica of Lewis and Clark’s keelboat can be seen at the Interstate 90 Information Center. Also available in Chamberlain: boat rentals and horseback riding. From Chamberlain, take Highway 50 north to BIA Highway 4, BIA Highway 10 and then Highway 1806 north as you follow the Native American National Scenic Byway. Choices in this area include tribal casinos at Fort Thompson and Lower Brule, a Lakota culture camp at Lower Brule, or a stop at the Buffalo Interpretive Center on Highway 1806 just seven miles south of Fort Pierre. Overnight in Pierre/Fort Pierre.
In the Pierre/Fort Pierre area, your options include a tour of a working buffalo ranch or the Buffalo Interpretive Center. The explorers saw thousands of bison on their journey through South Dakota. Next, visit Fischer's Lilly Park in Fort Pierre, the site where Lewis and Clark had their first meeting with the Lakota Sioux at the mouth of the Bad River. Or, take a cruise on the Capital City Queen, a Missouri River excursion boat, for a water tour of historic Lewis and Clark sites.
A fascinating exhibit at the Cultural Heritage Center explores Native American culture in South Dakota. A replica of a Jefferson Peace and Friendship Medal, which Lewis and Clark handed out on their journey, also is on display. While in Pierre, be sure to visit the State Capitol. The beautiful 1910 building has been restored to its original splendor. Overnight in Pierre/Fort Pierre.
Travel north on Highway 1804 (or Highway 83) toward Gettysburg. At the West Whitlock Recreation Area, visitors can see a replica of an Arikara lodge. Lewis and Clark spent several days with the Arikaras during October 1804. Travel north to Mobridge and the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where tours can visit a memorial to Sacagawea. Native American step-on guides and tours are available. Depart for North Dakota’s Lewis and Clark sites or visit the beautiful Black Hills in western South Dakota.