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Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills Travel Guide

  • Photo: Critterbiz / Shutterstock

Plan Your Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills Vacation

"An emerald isle in a sea of prairie," as they are sometimes called, the Black Hills rise up from the western South Dakota plains just over the Wyoming state line and about 150 mi east of the Big Horn range of the Rocky Mountains. They aren't as high—Harney Peak, their tallest summit, measures 7,242 feet—and they cover a territory only 50 mi wide and 120 mi long, but these ponderosa-covered

mountains have a majesty all their own. Alpine meadows, thick forests, and creek-carved canyons: the landscape of the Black Hills and Badlands region more closely resembles Big Horn and Yellowstone country than it does South Dakota's typical flat farmland.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Here a fossil, there a fossil From the mid-1800s, the fossil-rich Badlands area has welcomed paleontologists, research institutions, and fossil hunters who have discovered the fossil remnants of numerous species from ancient days.
  2. A world of wildlife Badlands National Park is home to a wide array of wildlife antelope, deer, black-footed ferret, prairie dogs, rabbits, coyotes, foxes, badgers.
  3. Ready at a moment's notice The Minuteman Missile Silo, at the entrance to the park, represents the only remaining intact components of a nuclear-missile field that consisted of 150 Minuteman II missiles and 15 launch control-centers, and covered more than 13,500 square mi of southwestern South Dakota.
  4. Stars Aplenty Because of its remote location and vastly open country, Badlands National Park contains some of the clearest and cleanest air in the country, which makes it perfect for viewing the night sky.

When To Go

When to Go

Weather forecasters hate the Black Hills. Snow can fall in the upper elevations every month of the year, and temperatures in January occasionally...

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Check historic weather for your trip dates:

Travel Tips

Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills Travel Tips

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