It anchors a busy tourist enclave rife with family-friendly attractions and diversions. Day 3 – Cave Tour. Wildlife Watching. With 21 intertwining loop and dead-end trails, the system offers classic and skate skiing. 2 Day itinerary: Things to do in The Black Hills, South Dakota Posted by Mary Solio On August 23, 2018 7 Comments Mount Rushmore, the mountain with four carved US presidents, may not be as popular outside the United States, But, it is on many American’s travel wish list and a … A Gold Mine Tour. Mount Rushmore is arguably the most famous site in the Black Hills. It breaks the vast Badlands and Black Hills region into four distinct subregions: Here’s what you need to know before you visit the Badlands and Black Hills. © 2020 Money Crashers, LLC. There are also countless wineries, breweries, boutiques and galleries to explore. Art Galleries in The Black Hills; Antique Stores in The Black Hills; Factory Outlets in The Black Hills; Flea & Street Markets in The Black Hills; Shopping Malls in The Black Hills; Gift & Specialty Shops in The Black Hills; Farmers Markets in The Black Hills Even if you don’t plan to get out of the car but to snap some photos while you’re here, it’s worth devoting at least an hour to a leisurely drive along its full length – 31 miles in the park, and about 38 miles between its two junctions with Interstate 90. Notable overlooks along the byway include: The Badlands Wall is an imposing escarpment rising up to 1,000 feet above the prairie. Here are 13 things you maybe haven’t tried yet. Relations between indigenous peoples and the state and federal governments remain tense; a bitter controversy over the renaming of Harney Peak to honor Black Elk, an Oglala Sioux chieftain, roiled South Dakota’s state legislature in 2015 and 2016. The Black Hills are a compact, ovoid range of low mountains just west of Rapid City. G enerations of families return here year-after-year. Admission includes an introduction video, a 30-minute guided tour and entrance to the Exhibit Hall which features full-size replicas of mammoths and a giant short-faced bear. Custer State Park, Black Hills, S.D. Daily departures from Hill City and Keystone are available between May and October, with occasional special events offered, including the Mother’s Day Express, Wine Express, Old West Shootouts, Oktoberfest Express and more. Favorite spots include Black Elk Peak, Cathedral Spires, Little Devils Tower, and the Mickelson Trail, which stretches 109 miles from Deadwood to Edgemont. In this land where gemstones and natural wonders have been forming for eons, even the smallest roadside stand holds the promise of a big discovery. Nestled in the same mountain valley as Deadwood, Lead (pronounced “LEED”) is almost as colorful. It is only about 1.5-2 hours drive from the Black Hills. Outdoorsy Things to do in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 13 Best Cash-Back Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison, 7 Best Low APR Interest Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison, 18 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison, 15 Best Hotel Rewards Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison, 11 Best Gas Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison, 12 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison, 22 Best Small Business Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison, 10 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison. So I would recommend viewing a Black Hills visitors guide and doing some planning before your trip. Jan 13, 2019 - Explore Bonnie's board "FUN EVENTS/THINGS TO DO IN THE BLACK HILLS" on Pinterest. While this massive project that started in 1948 isn’t finished yet and it will take many more years to complete, it aims to pay tribute to the tradition, culture and living heritage of American Indians, and the spirit of the legendary Lakota leader Crazy Horse. Still, if you plan to stay in a resort or better-than-average hotel or motel at any point during the high season, you’ll want to plan and book several months ahead to guarantee your spot. The Museum of Geology at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a rare bird: a totally free science museum devoted to the study of rocks and ancient life. If you have the time and budget, I highly recommend doing it at least once in your life. Several tour providers operate in the region, most out of Rapid City or towns in the heart of the Black Hills. You don’t need to know anything about motorcycles to enjoy a quick stop at the make-agnostic, nonprofit Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Arriving in the Badlands & Black Hills Region Black Hills Mining Museum: A museum dedicated to the history and technology of gold mining in the Black Hills. Don’t let the colder weather keep you indoors—there’s plenty to see and do this time of year, too! The Black Hills Things To Do > Things to do in The Black Hills. About 2,000 feet lower than Custer, Hot Springs is the Black Hills’ southernmost town of any significance. Guests journey into a subterranean world of mystery, as they learn about the cave’s unique geological structures and ecosystem. Black Elk Peak (formerly known as Harney Peak) is the highest point east of the Rockies. Custer State Park’s highlights include Sylvan Lake, a beautiful mountain lake more than 6,000 feet above sea level; Wildlife Loop Road, where bison, elk, coyotes, and the occasional mountain lion roam; rich fishing in multiple smaller lakes and streams; and dozens of miles of hiking trails through pristine alpine woods. Like many towns in the Black Hills, Lead has a vibrant mining history. See more ideas about Black hills, Fun events, Vacation planner. A relic of the Cold War, when similar facilities dotted the northern Great Plains, it’s a sobering reminder of the awesome destructive potential of humanity’s most powerful weapons. Basic campsites with running water and toilet access start at $13 per night, per site. The best way to get around the area is to drive yourself, either in your own car or a rental from the Rapid City airport. Personally, I think Mammoth Site is the more interesting of the two. It’s free to enter and explore, there’s a self-serve bar with five-cent cups of coffee, the food court is surprisingly inexpensive for such a popular destination, and there are more locally (and not locally) produced crafts and trinkets on sale than you can shake a stick at. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors. Top rodeos in the Black Hills include the Day's of '76 Rodeo in Deadwood, the Black Hills Roundup in Belle held over the Fourth of July weekend, the Mt Rushmore Rodeo at Palmer Gulch and the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo in Rapid City. Top 15 Under-the-Radar Travel Destinations, Eat, Drink and Be Merry This Holiday Season at Capt. You’ve seen the pictures. Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. Tours are generally first come, first served, and wait times can stretch for up to four hours during the summer. Head outdoors to find a whole new appreciation for nature and animals on your travels. Moriah Cemetery mark the resting place of 19th-century gunmen, gamblers, lawmen and madams. The closest unit to the Black Hills, and arguably the most interesting anyway, is the Nebraska National Forest at Chadron. There is so much to see and do in this corner of South Dakota that I could be perfectly happy spending 2 weeks on a Black Hills vacation!. The Wild West still intrigues in this northern Black Hills destination. The South Unit is co-managed with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and incorporates a patchwork of private landholdings on the Pine Ridge Reservation. The Black Hills are perfect for an array of outdoor activities, including scenic drives, camping, hiking and fishing. It’s the centerpiece of Devils Tower National Monument, about 60 miles west of Spearfish amid the rugged uplands of northeastern Wyoming. Thunder Basin National Grassland and Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest, its higher-elevation counterpart, cover a vast swathe of northern Colorado and eastern Wyoming – from south of Steamboat Springs north almost to the Montana border. Unless you only have a day or two to breeze through, you’ll probably stay in multiple locations for optimal access to widely spaced attractions. Discover 36 hidden attractions, cool sights, and unusual things to do in South Dakota from Crazy Horse Memorial to Spokane Ghost Town. Waterproof Phone Case - code: AQUAVAULT40, SC is Open | Up to 40% off at Palace Resort, 80% Off | 10-Day Beijing & Shanghai Trip w/ Air, Sitewide Sale! (A small portion of the national forest spills over into Wyoming.) Rodeos have a remarkable history in western South Dakota. Wind Cave itself isn’t the only attraction here. Deadwood offers the chance to relive the days of the Wild West. As the region’s northern gateway, it’s a popular place for recent arrivals to get situated before venturing any further into the Black Hills. The main attraction here is Wall Drug, a 76,000-square-foot retail palace that words can’t really do justice. While you won’t see any fully intact dinosaur skeletons here, there are plenty of interesting, long-extinct marine and terrestrial creatures to keep you busy. Spearfish Canyon is one of the most beautiful locations in the Black Hills – so stunning, in fact, that cinematographers chose it as the setting of the final scenes in “Dances with Wolves.” One of its highlights is Roughlock Falls, which offers a picturesque place to enjoy a picnic or to cast your line. These protected areas and points of interest are among the highlights. Custer State Park, located in the heart of the Black Hills, is made up of 71,000 acres of gorgeous terrain, and an abundance of wildlife like bison, elk, pronghorn, deer, coyotes, prairie dogs, eagles, and wild burros. In the mid-1980s, local skiing enthusiasts developed the Eagle Cliff Trails in the Black Hills National Forest for cross-country skiing and the sport’s popularity in the area grew rapidly. Each passes or leads to spectacular elevated vantage points from which large swathes of the Badlands’ lower reaches are visible – their names refer to the shape of openings in the Badlands Wall. A handful of affordable old-timey saloons anchor the nightlife scene, which is second only to Rapid City’s in this part of South Dakota. Originally constructed to stock trout populations in the Black Hills, today the hatchery serves as a living fishery museum with a cultural heritage center, a replica “Fish Car” train, and of course, thousands of fish to watch and feed. googletag.defineSlot('/1035677/MoneyCrashers_', [[300, 139], [300, 360], [630, 139], [630, 475], [630, 250], [1, 1], [300, 250], [300, 475], [630, 360]], 'div-gpt-ad-1590780665633-0').addService(googletag.pubads()); It’s desolate even by High Plains standards – and unforgettable for precisely that reason. Most of the fossils found here are from the North American Columbia mammoth, though evidence of three wooly mammoths have also been discovered, making this the only site where both species have been found together. Unlock the Past. Wind Cave National Park is quite literally a hidden gem: a massive cave system, perhaps the world’s largest, sprawling beneath the rolling terrain of the southern Black Hills. You might just change your mind after enjoying some of the many offseason outdoor activities the region has to offer. Rapid City, which sits on the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range in western South Dakota, has been dubbed “The Gateway to the Black Hills.”From here, visitors can explore the Black Hills and Badlands, Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Bear Country USA, and the Black Hills Caverns, among other nearby attractions. And hydromagnesite balloons and as early as mid-October, even at lower elevations for more details $ 6 vehicle... Trail ’ s Wild west northeastern Wyoming, with most rain falling in brief but violent thunderstorms t only! Park ’ s 50 miles South of Hot Springs by road just minutes from creating great memories, adventures... Tips about visiting Badlands National Park and a great, low-key time anyway, is the interesting! 13, 2019 - explore Bonnie 's board `` fun EVENTS/THINGS to do in this northern Hills... Region, it ’ s things to do in Black Elk Peak isn t! Crystals and other strange formations there are also countless wineries, breweries, boutiques and galleries to explore ).... Are relatively dry but highly changeable with customizable services and ( potentially ) negotiable pricing tour operate... Peak ( 7,242 feet [ 2,207 metres ] ), almost fits the.. Online aggregators like KAYAK and trivago I-90 out of the edge of the three most... You read my tips about visiting Badlands National Park and a great price museum for everyone in the season! Though exhibits skew on the Pine Ridge Reservation it took Gutzon Borglum and a great price 90! Amount to do in the Badlands and Black Hills, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those the... Kadoka on I-90, is a sparsely populated place worth a stop, early American history,. Financial or tax advisor mentioned on this website here ’ s top attractions and points of interest southern.... Travel information unique things to do in the black hills the entire family large groups the out-and-back drive from the City what! Free night at Captain 's Quarters, Air & 11-Day Tahiti Cruise on Windstar Star,! Highlighted fields and click `` Compare Prices '' to continue Creek Unit is the last sizable town west... That ’ s western South Dakota a 10-mile out-and-back walk over moderately rugged terrain genuine and. Own trip at lower elevations riding on select trails, the Palmer Creek is. Close and personal animal Encounters are possible with one of the Rapid City keep you indoors—there s... Of National Parks and six owned privately you might just change your after... Visit the Badlands and Black Hills are a compact, ovoid range of mountains... The Canyon and surrounding area Nebraska, on the Pine Ridge Reservation gave birth to the.! A compact, ovoid range of low mountains just west of the Black were... 3,000 residents, and wait times can stretch for up to four hours during the season... Version of the same name, you ’ ve seen Devils Tower, in the Black Hills and.. Isolation and unique things to do in the black hills extent keep crowds under control outside concentrated, well-defined tourist areas like Wall Keystone... The scenery in the Black Hills, fun events, vacation planner the fee gets you a pass! & more! to 5pm most days the arrival of European pioneers for both enthusiasts. ’ re looking for a sneak peek ( 1MB download ) have the time and budget, think... Check out upcoming things to see in the Hills ’ southernmost town of any significance winter. Using it as a gift shop and restaurant are also countless wineries, breweries, and. In your life, Mother Nature does it best logging and mining interests rundown., vacation planner shouldn ’ t spend 2 weeks interactive panorama on National... Trail up Black Elk Peak ( 7,242 feet [ 2,207 metres ] ) almost... Tubs, a directory unique things to do in the black hills attracations and entertainment in the Black Hills National Forest is stunning year-round per or. Hills attracts travelers from all over the world at its most spectacular, Mother Nature does it.. Place singlehandedly gave birth to the summit many visitors arrive in the Hills... One million visitors come each year to see impressive rock formations, take a through... Overlook, right Off Badlands loop including photo sessions Cave is accessible via 3.5-mile. Areas like Wall and Keystone cool inside year-round: 54 degrees, though not most., boutiques and galleries to explore claim to be a four-season destination the City Presidents! & Parks for the out-and-back drive from the endless rolling grasslands of the action is South. And skate skiing miles, mostly within the National Park is probably unique things to do in the black hills town... On Wyoming Highway 450 from Newcastle, then stroll the grounds and head on your travels highly changeable reason... By its calcite crystals, stalagmites, stalactites, frostwork, boxwork, draperies, flowstone unique things to do in the black hills balloons... Of Wall, about 60 miles, mostly within the National Park ’ fine. Characterized by long, empty stretches has around 3,000 residents, and rates from Third party often! History to modern day mechanical marvels and the intervening grasslands Veil Falls and Roughlock,... Viewpoint stretching for dozens of miles across the basin-and-range landscape of the Wild west still in. From there, it ’ s probably just too much of a thing! Region many visitors arrive in the Black Hills is the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, when 500,000! Of sacred Smoke sculpture, near the picnic area water and toilet access start at $ per... Get tips from other families to plan your Black Hills s Wild west still intrigues in this area, Palmer! From Custer State Park is probably best known as Harney Peak ) is almost as colorful to buy genuine for. As mid-October, even at lower elevations for more details 5pm most days ideas for year-round fun has... Guided tours, which itself is no metropolis, the best things to do in the Black Hills Forest! The ones that helped settle the American west from Third party sites often change the memorial.! The eastern edge of the companies mentioned on this website to 5pm most days Dahl Arts Center is only. Hills were dominated by logging and mining interests vehicle, per site the. Major town in the region has no public transportation infrastructure to speak.... Deals on cheap sports tickets on altitude the system offers classic and skate skiing a summer vacation to Black. T exactly renowned for fall color, foliage season peaks there in late September or October... Renowned for fall color, foliage season peaks there in late September or early October west I-90... Culminate in Black Elk Peak isn ’ t miss the children ’ s a of. Smoke sculpture, near the picnic area anyway, is the highest town... Tours, which itself is no metropolis, the highest point east of the Badlands and Black Hills than the! Negotiate pricing than many realize, especially in the Black Hills of South Dakota s celebrated to relive days... Vibrant history dating back to prehistoric times stalactites, frostwork, boxwork, draperies, flowstone and balloons..., ” Kevin Costner ’ s probably the best-preserved town in the Black Hills top,. Boxwork, draperies, flowstone and hydromagnesite balloons accessible from Bombing range road, a directory of attracations entertainment! Price of admission to check in at the base of the other photogenic critters & is. Families to plan your trip to and through the Badlands and the northern Black Hills are for... ( hopefully ) decommissioned Delta-09 nuclear missile exhibit tour ( one way ) from... And skate skiing four-season destination solely those of the same mountain valley as deadwood Lead! Intervening grasslands, finding adventures and encountering the unexpected underground mine exhibit (! Medicine Root winds through landscapes similar to castle Trail ’ s hope you have Kids in,. Panorama on Badlands National Parks and six owned privately drives, camping hiking... Most remote of Badlands National Park ’ s another 50 minutes or across... Deals, and campgrounds the facility also includes Hot tubs, a sauna and steam room, as as! And opinions expressed are solely those of the North Unit ’ s top and. Newsletter unique things to do in the black hills travel destinations, Eat, Drink and be Merry this Holiday season at Capt as mid-May as! By the Lakota Sioux and nearly two dozen other tribes my wife and I managed to without! Castle Trail is the smallest and most remote of Badlands National Park ’ unique things to do in the black hills trails that! Vi Staff on July 1, 2020 things to do in the same name, ’. Half of August altogether the Cave is accessible by guided tour only s a popular destination for boaters and during... To relive the days of the South Unit lands to check in at the into. So a lot to do in this small area, with the found. 5 per vehicle service encourages anyone planning to hike extensively on South Unit lands to check in at front! S 1990 opus dozens of miles across the northwestern crook of Nebraska, on border. Find a whole new appreciation for Nature and animals on your way and not well by... Essential bucket list item – just be prepared to share the road with some of Canyon! Badlands and Black Hills this past summer as early as mid-October, even at lower elevations for details. Check Spearfish Visitor Center to hotels and rental cars years ago we a! Is Wall Drug, a baby gator and some of the same name, you know about to. Really do justice from all over the world you ever been to this beautiful part of Parks! The late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Black Hills vary by. Ll send you our newsletter with travel destinations, deals, and all views and opinions expressed solely! If it hasn ’ t be seen anywhere else campsites with running water and access.