Black Hills and Rapid City, South Dakota
Home to five national parks, few vacation destinations are more versatile than the Black Hills of South Dakota. And few landscapes on earth provide a better glimpse into the forces that formed the earth as we know it, before, during, and after Noah's Flood. The Black Hills are a great place to see geology and paleontology up close.
Badlands National Park is a great place to start your tour, with spectacular rock formations and post-Flood sedimentary deposits, as well as paleontology digs in progress. Driving and hiking tours are available. Another place to visit is the Black Hills Museum of Natural History, home to a large collection of fossils and dinosaur displays. Or visit the Museum of Geology, on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Although small, the museum contains a very impressive collection of fossils and minerals.
Driving tours through the Black Hills are a wonderful way to see geology close-up, or try hiking the numerous trails of the Black Hills National Forest. You can also tour one of the many area caves, or see mammoths and other fossils "in situ" at the Mammoth Site, an active dig site in nearby Hot Springs.
If you're a history and geology buff, the Black Hills offer a number of historical sites, including mines where you can pan for gold, and numerous local history museums. Take a trail ride on horseback and experience the Old West.
However you decide to spend your time, the Black Hills of South Dakota have something for everyone in your family. The Bible's past is sure to come to life as you learn more about the fossils left behind, many from the Flood that once covered the earth.
Faith, Reason, and Earth History by Leonard Brand
With its exotic rock formations, numerous fossils, and wonderful hiking trails, Badlands National Park is a great way to experience Flood geology up close. You'll want to make sure to have reviewed some creationist resources on this topic to make the most of your trip. The park is home to indigenous prairie wildlife, including bison, deer, coyotes, and eagles. There are hiking and exploration trails ranging from easy to very rugged. Be sure to stop by the visitor center for an introductory tour (be ready to counter the evolutionary timeframe with your family later), and check the schedule for daily activities.
The Black Hills Museum of Natural History in Hill City, South Dakota, is a treasure trove of fossils and mineral samples, including dinosaurs, marine animals, mammals, fish, trilobites, and plants, and is home to STAN, a remarkably complete T. rex. Great for an afternoon outing, or a full day of more intense study.
Located on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota, the Museum of Geology has an impressive collection of local fossils, rocks, and minerals, including florescent minerals, local agates, and gold, making this an ideal stop for the lapidary enthusiast, as well as paleontology buffs. Look for opportunities to discuss with your family the facts of the fossils versus the interpretations of the evidence. Admission to the museum is free.
Building a Biblical Worldview
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