The Journey Museum of Rapid City, South Dakota is one of the few museums in the area that tells several different stories, from our ancient origins to the area’s unique and fascinating history. There, you’ll find collections of archaeology containing artifacts that once belonged to our ancestors some 10,000 years ago. You’ll learn about the lives of ancient hunters who settled in the Black Hills at the end of the Ice Age and even about the mining settlements that developed around the nineteenth century. There are also several fossils that chronicle the history of the earth, and how specifically the Black Hills may have looked in ancient times. See the layers of rock that have been cut and placed in the museum to display their evident geological variations, view a replica of a Tyrannosaurus Rex’s skull, and then enter the archaeology tent to see what experts have discovered below the surface of the Black Hills.
For a change of pace, visit the “Into the Cosmos” section of the museum, where a computer graphics platform projects images onto a large, curved screen, bringing the universe to life. The “Journey Into Space” gives guests a visual perspective and an idea of sizes and scales that is normally difficult to grasp. The images are taken from NASA’s storehouse of satellite images, and will take you on a scripted tour of outer space. Should you wish to visit a specific site in the cosmos, the technology can also do that, making for a virtual vacation in space. Since the system is linked to other planetariums and museums with similar equipment, Journey always has the most recent scientific information and images.
The Journey also explores modern history, when miners and mountain men started to populate the Black Hills. Guests are guided through the Minnilusa Pioneer Museum by illuminated story walls that begin with European Settlers, culminate in the Battle of Little Big Horn and end with Wounded Knee. This exhibit includes an introduction to some of history’s most well-known patrons, like Jim Bridger, General George Armstrong Custer, Wild Bill Hickock and several Sioux leaders like Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse and Red Cloud.
While you’re in the area, be sure to take the Mount Rushmore Grand Legends Tour, which will take you to the most monumental sites of South Dakota. You can’t visit South Dakota without checking out the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park and Crazy Horse Memorial, all of which includes a vintage 1880 train ride. The tour completes your understanding of the area’s history, culture and geology, and you can walk away from South Dakota having seen it all. Several lodging opportunities within two miles add to the Journey Museum’s appeal, with The Econo Lodge Rapid City, Adoba Eco Hotel and Best Western Town ‘N Country all within two miles. If you’re taking the kids along, The Econo Lodge has an excellent water park onsite for all of your entertainment needs. The Adoba Eco Hotel and Best Western also have pools and hot tubs for an extremely relaxing vacation.