There is much to do and see in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We loved it so much, we’ve put together a list of our favorite day-trips in the area.
Are you a fan of the Wild West? Deadwood is the place to go! This old mining town has a colorful history, thanks to the Black Hills Gold Rush. Many flocked to the hills to find their fortune and the influx of hopeful miners brought about the lawless town of Deadwood. Gambling, prostitution and shoot-outs were commonplace in this male dominated town.
You can even visit the original location of no.10 Saloon, where the infamous Wild Bill Hickok was shot dead by Jack McCall, during a poker game. At the Mt. Moriah Cemetery, you can view the tombstone of Wild Bill, which rests next to the grave of, infamous sharp shooter and original tomboy, Calamity Jane.
Wether you want to gamble, grab a bite, grab a beer or just learn about the history, Deadwood is a fun way to spend the day.
If you think about iconic America imagery, Mt. Rushmore is probably at the top of that list. You can spend the day exploring the grounds, museum, and hiking to the monument. We didn’t end up going in the park, because we had our dog and they aren’t allowed, but we still got a great photo from the road and stopped at a viewpoint to check out George’s side profile. There is an $11 dollar parking fee, so if you have pets, it would be best to find accommodations for you’re furry companions ahead of time. We hear the museum and educational film is awesome!
Just down the road from Mt. Rushmore you can find the colossal face of the Lakota leader, Crazy Horse, emerging from the mountainside. The memorial has been a work in progress for some time now, but it’s no wonder when you see just how massive this project is. Also, the Memorial doesn’t accept any federal or state funding and is funded through admissions and contributions. Part of this funding is awarded to a scholarship program for American Indian students in South Dakota.
Custer State Park
Our favorite part of the Black Hills was the beautiful landscape and wildlife of Custer State Park. If you go, be sure to take the needles highway for a view of some spectacular rock formations! It cost $20 to enter but the pass lasts for seven days, that’s a lot of exploring! Those days can be spent hiking the many trails found throughout the park, having a picnic on the lake or driving the wild life loop to admire the buffalo and various other wildlife.
These are a few of the big ones, but there are plenty of great places to visit in the surrounding area, such as museums, rock/ gem shops, art galleries, historical centers and unique small towns. There is so much to do and learn! We have really enjoyed our time in the area and hope our last days here will continue to be full of adventure and wonder!
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We spent a week in Rush No More campground outside Sturgis and thought we’d done everything. We missed Custer.
I found an eight inch howitzer in Ft. Mead in Sturgis.