The Black Hills & Badlands of South Dakota
The Black Hills, covering an area of 125 miles long and 65 miles wide in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, is home to six national parks, monuments and historic sites. Here you'll find Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Devils Tower National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial and the moon-like surfaces of Badlands National Park.
Adjoining Badlands National Park is the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, a new park dedicated to the Cold War events that shaped our lives.
The Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota offer an abundance of activities for families, outdoor enthusiast, motorcyclists and history buffs.
Explore The Beautiful Black Hills
Nestled among the prairies of the upper-Midwest, you’ll find majestic granite spires, pine covered peaks and unique rock outcroppings. The Black Hills, home to Mount Rushmore, is an isolated mountain range located in the western edge of South Dakota. Named “Paha Sapa” by the Lakota Sioux, the Black Hills area is full of scenery, rich history and tons of family fun.
The Black Hills area is claimed as sacred ancestral land by nearly two-dozen Native American tribes. A variety of museums and historical sites provide insight into local Native American history and heritage. The discovery of gold brought the first white settlers and miners to the Dakota Territory in 1874. The hunt for riches gave birth to many of the modern day towns located in the area, including the Wild West town of Historic Deadwood and the southern town of Custer, the gateway to Custer State Park. The gold rush reached its peak in 1877 but gold was still actively mined until 2002. Today, you can tour gold mines and even pan for real gold that still flows through the streams and creeks of the Black Hills National Forest.
Discover The Legendary Badlands of South Dakota
Sharply eroded buttes, jagged spires and colorful sediment create “out-of-this-world” scenery in the Badlands region of western South Dakota. This area, located on the eastern edge of the Black Hills, is home to Badlands National Park, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site (reserve a tour), Wall Drug, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and the Wounded Knee Museum and historic cemetery. You’ll also find South Dakota’s original 1880 Town, the Pioneer Auto Museum, and the country’s only National Grasslands Visitor Center. The Badlands region is known for its scenic drives, abundant wildlife, rustic horseback rides and wilderness camping.