5 places to visit in South Dakota, inspired by new modern-day western film The Rider

14th Sep 18 | Lifestyle

The American Midwest state is rich in history and natural beauty.

Praised by critics all over the world, director Chloé Zhao’s film The Rider is out in cinemas today. Starring real-life Lakota cowboy Brady Jandreau, it revolves around contemporary rodeo life in South Dakota, all set against majestic landscapes.

From rugged mountains to rolling prairies, the Midwest American state is a scenic masterpiece awash with folklore tales of indigenous communities and prospecting pioneers.

Inspired to visit? Include these places on your tour.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Taking 14 years to complete and costing $1 million, the sculpture of American presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt is carved into the Black Hills. Work began in 1927, and each head measures around 60ft tall.

The Crazy Horse Memorial

Planned as a tribute to the state’s indigenous American Indian communities, a sculpture of Oglala Lakota warrior Crazy Horse on horseback is being sculpted into the side of a mountain in Custer County. Work started in 1948 and it’s still in progress. On completion, it could be the world’s largest sculptural undertaking.

Badlands National Park

Measuring 98,700 hectares, this park is packed with steep canyons and rugged rock formations, featuring fossils as old as 35 million years. Many of the best ones can be seen along the Fossil Exhibit Trail. Bison, bighorn sheep and prairie dogs can be found roaming grassland areas.

Historic Deadwood

Imagine what life might have been like at the height of the gold rush by touring this town where Calamity Jane is buried. Learn about the frontierswoman at the Adams Museum, one of the themed attractions in the mountain town.

Ingalls Homestead

Laura Ingalls Wilder, the author of Little House on the Prairie, grew up on this homestead in De Smet, now open to the public. Learn about pioneer history and participate in activities such as driving a wagon and making a corn cob doll. More info here.

© Press Association 2018