Black Hills

Black Hills © BHrock

Home to the tallest peaks east of the Rocky Mountains, the Black Hills exist in the western region of South Dakota. Blessed with towering summits, sprawling forests, and meandering rivers, the Black Hills are a pristine haven for sightseeing, fishing, hiking, camping, and rock climbing.

Native American peoples have inhabited the area since 7,000 BC, making the Black Hills a site of spiritual and historical significance. Ownership has passed through many hands, resting today with the Lakota. There is a history of conflict, with it experiencing bloodshed and massacre during the Great Sioux War of 1876.

The diverse geology of the Back Hills attracts visitors each year, as well as its abundance of indigenous flora and fauna. Erosion has formed a terrain of desolate beauty in Badlands National Park, with sharp buttes, twisting spires, deep gorges, and one of the richest fossil beds on the planet.

Jewel Cave is the third longest cave in the world, with visitors exploring miles of underground passageways and stunning rock formations. Scenic drives through Custer State Park provide amazing encounters with the once-endangered bison that now flourish in free-roaming herds.

Black Hills is also the setting for the popular HBO series Deadwood, although it was filmed in California. The City Fathers of Deadwood have created a false wooden street front based on the original town and similar to the one on the television series.

Mount Rushmore is one of the most iconic attractions in South Dakota, and indeed the country. Carved into Thunderhead Monument, the Crazy Horse Memorial has been in construction since 1948 and would potentially be the largest sculpture in the world on completion.




Attractions

Badlands National Park, © Stefan Fussan

Badlands National Park

The Lakota tribe gave this area of South Dakota the name Mako Sica, translating roughly to 'bad land'. The people led by Chief Sitting Bull weren't exaggerating, as modern visitors to Badlands National Park brace themselves for an unsettling and otherworldly terrestrial experience. see full details



View of Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota © Tbennert

Crazy Horse Memorial

Located near popular Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Crazy Horse Memorial is carved out of Thunderhead Mountain and depicts the eponymous and iconic Sioux warrior mounted on a horse. Work began all the way back in 1948.

Currently...  see full details



Deadwood © Gorilla Jones

Deadwood

Deadwood in South Dakota grew into a mythical Wild West town in the 1800s when gold was discovered in the Black Hills. It quickly became home to a colourful cast of prospectors, gunslingers, and gamblers.

Brick streets, frontier architecture, and turn-of-the-century streetlamps are...  see full details



Mount Rushmore © Dean Franklin

Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial is literally South Dakota's biggest attraction. It covers 1,278 acres (5 square km) and draws over two million annual visitors. It depicts 60-foot (18m) carvings of US Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, representing the first 150 years of...  see full details