The Black Hills of South Dakota
These are the fabled Black Hills of South Dakota, an oasis of pine-clad mountains on the Great Plains. The Black Hills offer everything you expect from a mountain vacation: five national parks, scenic drives, waterfalls, abundant wildlife, acclaimed recreation trails and trout fishing. A place where bison and wild horses still roam free. — South Dakota Vacation Guide
Belle Fourche, SD
French for “beautiful fork”, Belle Fourche (pronounced bell foosh) is located on the northern edge of the Black Hills of South Dakota. French explorers in the 18th century first referred to the “beautiful fork,” of two rivers just north of an expanse of dark pine-covered mountains rising out of the high plains of the Louisiana Territory. After the United States purchased this land from France, beaver trappers named the larger of the two the Belle Fourche River and called the other “Redwater,” for the red silt it carried from the iron-rich soil of what is now the Redwater Valley.
Belle Fourche is the geographical center of the United States of America, designated in 1959 and noted by an official marker and sheepherder’s monument called a “Stone Johnnie”. Come visit the Tri State Museum and the Visitors Center when you arrive.
Every year over the 4th of July, the Black Hills Roundup Rodeo is held along with a parade, carnival, and fireworks. This event has brought over 80 years of western excitement to Belle Fourche.
Dead Wood, SD
From history to entertainment to gaming and recreation, the town of Deadwood has it all. The entire city of Deadwood is a designated national historic landmark and there’s only one Deadwood. The historically accurate and restored Victorian architecture of this exciting town offers a variety of incredible sights.
There was little documentation of these original National Historic Land- marks. In the 1970’s, the National Park Service, the agency of the Department of the Interior responsible for administering National Historic Landmarks and the National Register,began a program of documenting the landmarks using the standard format required by the National Register. Document action of the Deadwood National Historic Landmark was completed in 1976.
Deadwood is in the middle of beautiful, accessible, forested mountains. This creates an awesome playground for sledding, skiing, fishing, biking, and just plain fun!
As you travel through the area, you’ll enjoy the Bearlodge Mountains, the scenic red hills, sandstone formations and the cedar, oak, and ponderosa pine tree clusters. Only 9 miles west of Hulett is the nation’s first national monument, Devils Tower. The area around Hulett is well known as a sportsman’s paradise for whitetail and mule deer, wild turkey, and antelope. In Hulett, you’ll see a vibrant economy based on lumber production. Devils Tower Golf CourseA new golf course, Custer’s trail and Cook Lake are nearby for your enjoyment. The area is rich in the heritage of “Western Tradition”.
Come play in the past! This historic town was born of the 1876 Gold Rush. North America’s largest producing gold mine still operates in Lead. The Homestake Gold Mine and Black Hills Mining Museum trace Lead’s history of mining.
Tour the surface workings of the largest operating gold mine in the Western hemisphere. See giant hoists, ore crushing and processing and view the open cut surface mine. On-site gift shop. Free ore samples. Open year-round. Located in Lead’s City Park, 160 W. Main, PO Box 887, Lead, South Dakota 57754. It is a family approved attraction.
Lead is the only town in the Hills to prosper from the frontier gold rush to the present on earnings from “gold diggers.” Pronounced “Leed,” the name is a mining term. Prospectors would follow an outcropping of gold ore, hoping it would “lead” them to the mother lode.
Be greeted with tried and true western hospitality and partake of our scenic beauty and abundant wildlife while you visit our country’s nations parks and monuments from this natural “Hub”, approximately 1 hour to Devils Tower, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Deadwood, and Keyhole Reservoir.
Summer kicks into high gear with rodeo, mini sprint races, a national Quick Draw contest, Black Powder Rendezvous, and archery events. The County Fair and Upton Fun Days round out the summer.
Fall hunting abounds with elk, antelope and mule deer being the most popular fare. Winter brings snowmobiling with over 300 miles of groomed trails in and amongst the Black Hills . Cross Country Ski in pristine fields or tackle the 13 miles of groomed trails at our country park – Mallo Camp.
Year around history abounds at Newcastle’s Anna Miller Museum. Mining buffs and historians will appreciate the coal, oil and betting mining relics, as well as the remnants from Cambria and Tubb Town ghost towns.
There’s something for everyone in Newcastle.
Rapid City, SD
The idea: to “lay out a Denver” at the edge of the Black Hills. The location: the lush valley where the largest eastern-flowing stream rolls from the Black Hills.
This was the concept of Rapid City. Literally a city thought up by unlucky gold miners trying to cash in on the great gold rush of the Black Hills. John Brennan and his party of miners found little gold in Palmer Gulch, but they had a much bigger idea for getting rich. Build a city that miners and visitors would pass through on their way into and out of the Black Hills.
In 1876, a city plan was drawn up by Brennan. The new city would be built at the eastern foothills in the green valley where the largest river flowed out of the mountains. The river was known as Rapid Creek, so the town to be built on its bank would be called Rapid City.
Your perfect choice for all seasons, Spearfish is a picturesque city nestled in the Northern Black Hills of South Dakota. Nature has been gracious to this spectacular city as sparkling Spearfish Creek meanders through town and Crow Peak, Spearfish Peak and Lookout Mountain form the crown jewels of the “Queen City.”
The Black Hills National Forest provides endless outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. Scenic Spearfish Canyon will take your breath away as each curve in the road reveals another dramatic view. Come, experience our good nature, and see why we proudly claim Spearfish as so “Naturally Inviting”.
The City of Spearfish has 10 parks throughout town and a paved bike path following Spearfish Creek. Newly constructed in 1996, Spearfish Playland is a free, creative playground in the City Park.
Internationally famous, the Sturgis Rally and Races held during the first full week of August, welcomes cyclists from all parts of the world to tour and show their skills competing in the hill climb and racing events. J.C. “Pappy” Hoel, owner of a local motorcycle shop originated the first Sturgis Rally held on August 14, 1938 with a lineup of only nine racers and a spectator crowd with room to spare in the grandstands.
Throughout the years, including a two year break during World War II, the Rally has grown into a 7-day premier event with attendance over 100,000 racers, visitors and celebrities!
Also in Sturgis visit Bear Butte State Park. Hike to the summit on the scenic National Recreation Trail, enjoy the Visitor Center and see the abundant wildlife…. including a buffalo herd. North of Sturgis on Highway 79. Visitor Center open May-September. Park open year-around.