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South Dakota Guide

Major Air Service South Dakota Guide - OutdoorPlaces.Com

South Dakota Interstates and Highways, Copyright 1999 - 2000, OutdoorPlaces.Com, All Rights Reserved

South Dakota is not well serviced by major airlines and does not have a national or international airport within it's boundaries.  Sioux Falls and Rapid City are both served by Northwest and United Airlines and are the two largest airports within the state.  Sioux Falls is also serviced by TWA.  Pierre, the state capital is serviced by United Express out of Denver.  Yankton, which less than 150 years ago was the territorial capital for the entire Dakota territory, is surprisingly serviced by United Express out of Denver.  Sioux City, Iowa which is right on the border of South Dakota is serviced by Northwest Airlines out of Minneapolis and TWA Express out of St. Louis.  At the time this was written, United Airlines was in negotiation with Sioux City to begin air service to Denver.  With exception of the major hub airports of Denver, Minneapolis, and St. Louis, you will not find a direct flight to a South Dakota destination.  Omaha, Nebraska, which is about 100 miles south of Sioux City, Iowa is the closest national airport with a wide variety of airlines to choose from.  Some people when visiting the Black Hills fly to Denver, and then drive 400 miles to the Black Hills.

The southern third of South Dakota is well served by the United States Interstate Highway System.  US Interstate 90 runs across the entire state, from Sioux Falls to the east all the way to Rapid City and the Wyoming border to the west.  Interstate 29 runs along the eastern border of South Dakota, passing through Sioux City, Iowa, Sioux Falls, Brookings and Watertown.  The remaining northern and central part of the state is not well served.  Vast sections of the western part of South Dakota north of the Black Hills are connected by small two lane paved and gravel roads.

Rules Of The Road In Alabama - OutdoorPlaces.Com

Interstate Speed Limit:  75 MPH in most parts of the state
Child Seats:  Children under five (5) years old and/or under 40 lbs. must be in an approved car seat or booster seat
Seatbelts:  All front seat passengers must wear seatbelts.  Children under twelve must wear seatbelts regardless of where they are seated.
Liability Insurance:  Is required in the state of South Dakota
Studded Snow Tires/Tire Chains:  Studded snow tires are allowed from October 1 to April 30.  Tire chains are permitted from October 1 to April 30 as conditions require
Overnight Parking:  Prohibited at all rest areas
Other Regulations:  Right turn on red is allowed throughout the state unless otherwise posted.
Road Conditions:  (605) 367-5707 or South Dakota Highway Patrol
Cellular Emergency Hot Line:  
Special Considerations:  If you are traveling cross country in South Dakota from October 1 to April 30, you should carry a winter survival kit in the trunk of you car.  A winter survival kit would include sleeping bags for each occupant of the car, at least one warm blanket, a shovel, flares, a 24 hour supply of high-carbohydrate non-perishable food goods like candy bars, an empty and clean coffee can, at least one package of waterproof matches, at least a 24 hour supply of survival or camping candles, a cellular phone, boots and gloves.  Do not attempt to drive in whiteout conditions.  Check weather conditions before crossing the state, and be aware that the weather can change quickly.

If you become stranded do not leave your vehicle.  Run your motor for ten to fifteen minute intervals each hour to conserve fuel and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.  Make sure your exhaust system is clear of snow, and leave a window or sunroof cracked open but prevent getting wet from snow accumulating in your vehicle.  Do not leave your headlights on as this will drain your battery.  Burning a candle in the coffee can can create a fair amount of heat.  Leave your interior light on during dark hours to make your vehicle easier to see.  If you become severely cold do not fall asleep.  Huddling together in a sleeping bag with skin on skin contact helps conserve body heat.  Help will typically arrive within 12 hours, but in the most extreme conditions rescue can take up to 48 hours.  If you become stuck in traffic and you are advised by police or National Guard to abandon your vehicle, heed their advice.  If you are caught in whiteout conditions in open country most residents of South Dakota will take you into their homes.

If you own an extremely large vehicle like a Ford Excursion or Hummer and you plan to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota, pay special attention on South Dakota State Highway 87, also known as the Needles Highway.  About 2 miles southeast of Sylvan Lake on the Needles Highway the tunnel carved out of stone is only 9 feet wide.  In a vehicles close to eight feet wide, when you account for side view mirrors it leaves very little room to get by.  If you are not confident in your driving skills you should use your best judgment.

Most sections of the Black Hills are one mile above sea level.  Your vehicle will experience a noticeable loss of power while driving in the Black Hills if you live and drive in an area typically below 3,500 feet.  Leave extra room for passing and be cautious that your vehicle does not overheat while driving in the Black Hills.

Rules When Trailering In Alabama - OutdoorPlaces.Com

Interstate Speed Limit:  same as passenger vehicles
Prohibited From Left Lane/Passing Lane:  No specific restrictions
Riding In Trailers:  Riding in a fifth wheel travel trailer is allowed if there is a two way communications system.
Overnight Parking:  Prohibited in all rest areas
Trailer Brakes:  If trailer is in excess of 7,000 pounds, brakes are required
Flares:  All vehicles pulling trailers are required to have flares
Break-Away Switch:  All vehicles pulling a trailer must be equipped with a break-away switch and safety chains.
Maximum Length:  Without a permit for two vehicles (tow vehicle in trailer or RV and trailer), 75', triple trailers (tow vehicle, fifth wheel travel trailer and boat) are prohibited
Maximum Width:   Without a permit the maximum width is 102"
Special Considerations:  All vehicles, private or commercial pulling in excess of 8,000 lbs. gross weight must stop at South Dakota ports of entry or weigh stations for inspection.

Steep grades in the Black Hills of South Dakota can put a strain on tow vehicles and brakes.  Prevent your vehicle from overheating and overheating your brakes.  South Dakota has seven tunnels, all in the Black Hills on the Needles Highway with height and/or width restrictions.  These tunnels can be found in Custer State Park and near Mt. Rushmore National Memorial.  If you are trailering and plan to drive the Needles Highway, it is highly advisable to park your trailer first, and then enjoy the highway.  Not only is the road narrow with a number of tunnels, there are a number of very sharp switchbacks which are difficult to negotiate.  The seven tunnels are:

  • US Highway 16A, 6-1/2 miles south of Keystone, South Dakota, 13'5" maximum width, 12'4" maximum height

  • US Highway 16A, 4 miles south of Keystone, South Dakota, 13'7" maximum width, 12'7" maximum height

  • US Highway 16A, 3 miles south of Keystone, South Dakota, 13'6" maximum width, 12'10" maximum height

  • US Highway 16A, 1 mile north of Keystone, South Dakota, 18' maximum height

  • South Dakota Highway 87, 6 miles southeast of Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, 10'4" maximum width, 12'8" maximum height

  • South Dakota Highway 87, 2 miles southeast of Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, 9' maximum width, 12' maximum height

  • South Dakota Highway 87, 1 mile north of Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, 11'4" maximum width, 10'10" maximum height

For More Information:  Office of Highway Safety Department of Commerce & Regulation, 118 West Capitol Avenue, Pierre, South Dakota 57501, (605) 773-4493

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