Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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Wow! When I visited Falls Park in Sioux Falls, SD in early 2017, I wasn’t expecting Sioux Falls to be such a large waterfall with multiple side falls & cascades.  Recent travel with my job had me spending a week in Omaha, Nebraska.   All I knew of Nebraska was that it was in the Great Plains and that everything was flat….well almost everything.  After landing in Omaha, getting the room all set up, I found myself with a day and a half to do whatever I wanted to do. All week leading up to the trip, my goal was to leave Omaha immediately, and drive 8 hours to see Mount Rushmore.  I would stay the night close by, visit Mount Rushmore on Sunday morning, and then visit a few waterfalls in Nebraska on a different route back to Omaha, in time to report to work on Monday.  It sounded like a good plan.  

The fastest route to Mount Rushmore, had me leaving Omaha due north on I-29.  This meant crossing the Missouri River east and into Iowa. Once into the “Hawkeye” state, I-29 heads north towards Sioux City.  Just beyond this, I-29 enters South Dakota at the very southeastern most corner of the state, where Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota all meet.  It was another good drive from there due north still to another Sioux City….this time Sioux Falls.  I would love to tell you this was an amazingly beautiful drive.  But, it was mainly all flat large cornfields that were all a dominant brown color this time of the year, along with some nice patches of snow that grew in size the further north I went. There were some points of interest.  Along the Missouri River, on the east side Iowa was a small mountain range, and I do mean small. It ran north to south, and from what I have learned is known as the “Loess Hills”. As small as they looked, I did see a sign in Iowa for a skiing……Wikipedia describes this as a “formation of wind-deposited loess soil in the westernmost part of Iowa and Missouri along the Missouri River.  Another point of interest was the speed limit.  Once in South Dakota, I-29 was now an 80 mph speed zone.  If only….we had this in my home state of North Carolina…lol.  The entire drive from Omaha to Sioux Falls, SD was about 3 hours.  It was in Sioux Falls that I had planned to exit I-29, and head west towards Rapid City for the night.  While making this first 3 hour drive north, I watched the temperature start in the high 60’s.  By the time I had reached Sioux Falls, the temps had plummeted into the mid 40’s with a good amount of snow dotting the landscape.  You don’t see 80 mph speed limits often. I 

Now, before making the great west turn, the name of the town had sparked my interest, “Sioux Falls”……could there be a nice waterfall that this town was named for? I googled it and the answer was yes. I just had to find my way up to Falls Park and explore away. Since I am not from here, I will simply proved a google map to help guide anyone here that wishes to come.

Sioux Falls, Falls Park – Google Map (Click to Enlarge)

Click to open a larger map


Falls Park was really a nice city park with a gift shop, ample parking, and even a lookout tower. The Falls were large with a main set and a some Cascades above and below it. The red rock bed that this was flowing over was interesting as well. The last 2 shots came from the lookout tower. I had made it there just before they were shutting down. The view as you can tell was stunning with the entire waterfall visible and the town of Sioux Falls in the back. Sioux Falls in Falls Park goes down highly rated. I never did finish my journey to Mount Rushmore. After 8 hours of travel from North Carolina to Omaha, then 3 hours driving to South Dakota, I was done, and just wanted to to head back to my hotel room.  Mount Rushmore…some other time maybe.  On the due south return home the sunset in the Great Plains was incredible.

Here is a short video to see Sioux Falls in action:

Some other photos from Falls Park

2 comments

  1. Cool! I went right past Sioux Falls and didn’t stop. Dang, sure is nice. Mt. Rushmore is a place everyone should visit but add something else to the destination cause there is not much to see once you see the rock. If you like caves Jewel Cave is not far away, and near Lawrence is Spearfish (falls there) not far from Deadwood. I missed both of those so it’s on my next time list.

    1. I would love to see Mt Rushmore. Thanks for the ideas for my next trip. Not sure when I’ll get back that way again, but I had a good time. I did see some other waterfalls in Nebraska while I was there.

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