Midwest Farms & The Black Hills
Discover the beauty of the Badlands, the Black Hills, & the heart of the Midwest. Visit the Strategic Air Command in Omaha, a feedlot, and rich Iowa farmland. See the Corn Palace and experience the Old West in Deadwood. Ride an 1880s steam train and view the wildlife in Custer State Park where buffalo roam free. Witness one of USA's largest herds at the annual Buffalo Roundup.
- September 18 - 25, 2021 (6 Rooms Remaining)
Day 1: Arrive in Omaha, Nebraska
Arrive in Omaha, Nebraska - the heart of the Midwest - where you’ll be provided a complimentary shuttle service if flying into Omaha and an included hotel regardless of your mode of transportation.
Day 2: Omaha, Nebraska
Meet your tour manager and begin your journey focusing on one of America’s most well-known and foremost military defense systems, the Strategic Air Command. The SAC and Aerospace Museum is a historic treasure that preserves an important era in our nation’s history. Built underground for cutting edge response in the event of a nuclear attack, this retired facility is one of Nebraska’s top attractions. Here you’ll see planes like the SR-71 Blackbird, the B-29, and the B-52 bombers along with various missiles, spacecraft, and artifacts featuring Nebraska’s own astronaut, Clayton Anderson. Following our visit, we’ll travel a short distance across the Missouri River to some of Iowa’s best farmland and visit two prominent farmers, both of whom grow corn and soybeans. With the Omaha area being the driest in 135 years, we hope 2021 serves the area better with ample rain and growing conditions. Learn of the trials and woes of Missouri River bottom farming as well as irrigated farmland. This evening, climb aboard a riverboat for a relaxing cocktail tour on the Missouri River for views of Omaha’s most formidable sites. We’ll overnight in Omaha. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Omaha, Nebraska / Sioux Center, Iowa / Yankton, South Dakota
Today we travel northeast into Iowa to visit farms where, in 2019, some area land sold for over $18,000 per acre. This farmland, with soil types of mostly Galva silty clay loam, is home to a very vigorous livestock program that continues to utilize the land for affluent disposal. Here you’ll be able to learn the economy of these high dollar land values. Following our visit, we’ll make the quick trip into Nebraska for a visit to a nice 14,000 head feedlot. This feedlot brings in cattle in the 600-pound range and finishes them out on mostly high moisture corn snaplage, hay, or silage and supplement. We’ll end the day with a stop in Yankton, South Dakota, for a visit to the home offices of Rupiper Tours followed by dinner at the historic Black Steer, where their famous steaks rival the best in the world. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Yankton, South Dakota / Mitchell, South Dakota / Badlands / Wall, South Dakota
Our journey takes us northwest to Mitchell, SD, home of the world-famous “Corn Palace”. Each year a new theme is chosen and the palace is adorned with new corn, silks, and a few husks to portray that theme. It’s the only one in the world! You’ll enjoy this unique use of the area’s production. Next, we are off to the Phillip area for a stop at the very start of South Dakota’s Badlands National Park and also the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. This missile site was established in 1999 to illustrate the history and significance of the Cold War, the arms race, and intercontinental ballistic missile development. This National Historic Site preserves the only remaining Minuteman II ICBM system in the United States. Here you’ll be able to look into the silo and view the actual nuclear missile still standing ready for launch. Travel along the barren landscape of sprawling grasslands and moonlike terrain where buffalo, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs roam free. We continue on to the stunning Badlands Loop to reach the very heart of this unbelievable landscape, while stopping at numerous scenic lookout points to take photos and touch the soil. It is unbelievable! Tonight we stay in Wall, SD, home of the world-famous Wall Drug. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Sturgis, South Dakota / Black Hills / Lead, South Dakota / Deadwood, South Dakota
We travel west enroute to the Black Hills, named after thousands of trees that sprawl the hillsides contrasting with the grass prairies below, passing through the famous motorcycle rally town of Sturgis, and on to nearby Deadwood and Lead, SD. Here we visit the one-time Homestake Gold Mine. Lead has been called the richest 100 square miles on Earth. Over a period of 126 years, miners pulled more than 41 million ounces of gold and 9 million ounces of silver from the Homestake Mine, the largest mine in the western hemisphere. In December 2001, however, that limit finally arrived. Homestake mined its final ore and left behind more than 370 miles of tunnels from the surface to the 8,000-ft depth. Today, those caverns house world-leading research that seeks to understand the riches of the universe. Following our visit, we’ll check into our hotel and get ready to enjoy a western-style 1876 Mystery Dinner Theater offering an evening of comedic entertainment centered on the characters and themes of Deadwood in its earlier rowdy days. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Mount Rushmore / Keystone, South Dakota / Custer, South Dakota
Today is the day you’ve been waiting for, a journey through the Black Hills to Mount Rushmore. Completed in 1941 under the direction of Gutzon Borglum and his son Lincoln, they sculpted roughly 60-ft high granite faces depicting U.S. presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Gazing at this incredible sculpture always makes your heart grow larger and beat faster, no matter if it’s the first time viewing or if you’ve seen it many times over. These four presidents helped develop and continue America’s road to freedom. After lunch we’ll visit another South Dakota landmark called Crazy Horse. Sculpted on a mountain over 6,500-ft tall, it pays homage to the Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding a horse and pointing to his tribal land. This monument is much larger than Mount Rushmore and is still actively being sculpted. After we indulge in the heart-warming beauty and grandeur of these two monuments, we’ll drive to nearby Hill City to visit the South Dakota State Train Museum and board the 1880 Steam Train to travel to Keystone, a fun little town at the foot of Mount Rushmore. We stay the night in nearby Custer. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Custer State Park / Rapid City, South Dakota
Harken back to the Old West as we travel through Custer State Park Wildlife Loop. Each fall, the ground rumbles and the dust flies as cowboys, cowgirls, and park crew saddle up to bring in a thundering herd of buffalo. The world’s largest publicly owned buffalo herd - over 1,400 head - are round up each fall for culling, testing, and vaccinations. Watch the famous Buffalo Roundup from the grassy hilltops as the valley below is trampled by these beasts of a bygone era pounding their way to the corrals. Following Custer State Park, we travel to another beautiful area of the Black Hills via the Needles Highway. This 14-mile-drive is more than just a highway, it’s surrounded by needle-like granite spires that millions of tourists claim are the most beautiful part of the Black Hills. We conclude the tour in Rapid City. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Depart Rapid City, South Dakota
After your included breakfast, an included shuttle will transfer you to the airport as necessary to accommodate your flight home. (B)
Rupiper Tours reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the itinerary if necessary.
All Hotel Accommodations • Most Meals (B, L, D)
Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
All Admissions to Events Listed • Driver Gratuities
Multiple Farm & Technical Visits • Rupiper Tour Manager Throughout