There are several nice public golf courses in the Rapid City area. The Golf Club at Red Rock (6520 Birkdale, 605/718-4710, www.golfclubatredrock.com, 18 holes $49, 9 holes $32) was ranked as the number one public course in South Dakota in 2009 by Golf Week magazine. The 7,000-yard, par 72 course is marked by rolling fairways with dramatic elevation changes surrounded by prairie grasses and ponderosa pines.
Hart Ranch Golf Club (23645 Club House Dr., 605/341-5703, www.hartranch.com, 18 holes $42, 9 holes $25) is another fine choice. The 6,841-yard, par 72 course has been listed as one of the “Places to Play” by Golf Digest magazine. Both courses are located about six miles southwest of town off of Mount Rushmore Road (U.S. 16).
Closer to town is Meadowbrook Golf Course (3625 Jackson Blvd., 605/394-4191, www.golfatmeadowbrook.com, 18 holes $37, 9 holes $23), which was chosen to host the 2009–2010 Women’s National Championships. The 7,100-yard, par 72 course is located in western Rapid City near Canyon Lake Park off of Jackson Boulevard (Hwy. 44). Nestled into the foothills of the Black Hills, Rapid Creek runs through the property, coming into play on five holes.
Biking and Hiking
Rapid City has over 13 miles of municipal biking and walking trails that wind through the city following Rapid Creek. Contact the City Parks and Recreation Department (125 Water Loo, 605/394-4168) for information and maps or check with local bike shops.
Two Wheeler Dealer (100 E. Blvd. N, 605/343-0524, www.twowheelerdealer.com) near downtown provides bike rentals for $29 a day, or $16.75 for a half-day (five hours).
Acme Bicycles (4258 Canyon Lake Dr., 605/343-9534, www.acmebicycles.com) rents bicycles from their used stock. The charge for a rental is $20 per day, but since they are not really in the business of bike rentals, they charge full price on the bike and then credit back all but $20 when the bike is returned. This may be a good option for people who are staying on the west side of town who would like to bike along the Rapid Creek Bike Trail.
Canyon Lake Park (4181 Jackson Blvd., 605/394-4175) is a municipal park in western Rapid City. Activities at the park include fishing, paddle boating, and biking. Paddle boats can be rented from Canyon Lake Resort (2720 Chapel Lane, 605/343-0234 or 800/646-5603, www.canyonlakeresorts.com) for $6–8 per half-hour or $10–13 per hour.
Clustered around the hotels located off of I-90 on the northern side of town are two fun family recreation sites. The best mini golf can be found at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf (1500 La Crosse St., 605/343-8540, May–mid-Oct. daily 9 a.m.–10 p.m., closed in winter, adult $8, child $7), located in the northeast corner of the city off of exit 67B from I-90. The course is like a small theme park and players will find themselves putting into caves, from behind waterfalls, around other pirate-themed obstacles. It’s a charming setting and elevates mini golf to a new level of aesthetics.
The largest water park in a four-state region, the Watiki Indoor Waterpark Resort (1314 N. Elk Vale Rd., www.watikiwaterpark.com, summer Sun.–Thurs. 8 a.m.–9 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., winter and spring Mon.–Thurs. 4–9 p.m., Fri. 3–10 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m.–10 p.m., Sun. 8 a.m.–8 p.m., $8–17 depending on time of entry) is located off of I-90, exit 61, on the north side of Rapid City. At 30,000 square feet, the park includes an arcade and concession stand. The park adjoins La Quinta Inn & Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites. Bring towels.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition