Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills

The 2 million acres of the Black Hills are about evenly split between private property and the Black Hills National Forest. Fortunately for visitors, the national forest is one of the most developed in the United States. Roads are numerous and generally well maintained, and navigation is easy. Towns with services are plentiful (
The 2 million acres of the Black Hills are about evenly split between private property and the Black Hills National Forest. Fortunately for visitors, the national forest is one of the most developed in the United States. Roads are numerous and generally well maintained,
The 2 million acres of the Black Hills are about evenly split between private property and the Black Hills National Fore

The 2 million acres of the Black Hills are about evenly split between private property and the Black Hills National Forest. Fortunately for visitors, the national forest is one of the most developed in the United States. Roads are numerous and generally well maintained, and navigation is easy. Towns with services are plentiful (compared with the Wyoming plains to the west), so you needn't worry about how much gas you've got in your tank or where you'll find a place to stay at night. Rapid City, the largest community in the region, is the most popular base for exploring the Black Hills. The northern towns of Deadwood and Spearfish have almost as many services, with less traffic and fewer tourists.

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  • 1. Bear Country U.S.A

    Zoo/Aquarium

    Encounter black bear, elk, sheep, and wolves at this drive-through wildlife park, which has been entertaining guests for more than 40 years...Read More

  • 2. Custer State Park

    Park (National/State/Provincial)

    This 71,000-acre park is considered the crown jewel of South Dakota's state park system. Elk, antelope, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, mountain...Read More

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  • 3. Mammoth Site

    Archaeological Site/Ruins

    While building a housing development in the 1970s, workers uncovered this sinkhole where giant mammoths came to drink, got trapped, and died...Read More

  • 4. Adams Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    Between the massive stone-block post office and the old railroad depot, there are three floors of displays at the Adams Museum, including the...Read More

  • 5. Beautiful Rushmore Cave

    Cave

    Stalagmites, stalactites, flowstone, ribbons, columns, helictites, and the "Big Room" are all part of the worthwhile tour into this cave. In...Read More

  • 6. Black Hills Caverns

    Cave

    Amethysts, logomites, calcite crystals, and other specimens fill this cave, first discovered by gold-seekers in 1882. Half-hour and hour tours...Read More

  • 7. Broken Boot Gold Mine

    Mine

    You can pan for gold here, and even if you don't find any you'll leave with a souvenir stock certificate. Visitors may also take a short, guided...Read More

  • 8. Crazy Horse Memorial

    Native American Site

    Designed to be the world's largest work of art, this tribute to the spirit of the North American Indian people depicts Crazy Horse, the legendary...Read More

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  • 9. High Plains Western Heritage Center

    Museum/Gallery

    Focusing on a region now covered by five states—the Dakotas, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska—this center features artifacts such as a Deadwood...Read More

  • 10. Journey Museum

    Museum/Gallery

    The interactive exhibits at this museum explore the history of the Black Hills from the age of the dinosaurs to the days of the pioneers. The...Read More

  • 11. Main Street Square

    Plaza/Square/Piazza

    This attractive plaza in downtown Rapid City is a focal point for a wide array of special events throughout the year, including movies under...Read More

  • 12. Reptile Gardens

    Zoo/Aquarium

    In the valley between Rapid City and Mount Rushmore is western South Dakota's answer to a zoo. In addition to the world's largest private reptile...Read More

  • 13. Storybook Island

    Park/Playground

    On the west side of Rapid City is Storybook Island, a park on the banks of Rapid Creek that lets children romp through scenes from fairy tales...Read More

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