Hill City, South Dakota
The small, friendly town of Hill City can be found high in the Black Hills, within reach of everything there is to see and do in this part of South Dakota. Here history meets the present, surrounded by pine forests, granite peaks, and world-famous monuments. The oldest city in the county, Hill City sits in the heart of the Black Hills, a short drive from Rapid City and from Mount Rushmore. This small town has a long history as one of the frontier towns of the Old West, but today welcomes visitors with modern amenities. Hill City is conveniently located to many attractions in the Black Hills.
Hill City is a part of the tale of the American West, and history lives here. Climb on board the 1880s train for a two-hour ride through the beauty of the Black Hills to the town of Keystone and back, learning about the history of the area along the way. Hill City’s Black Hills Institute delves further into the history of the area, and visitors can view one of the world’s most complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeletons, unearthed in the vicinity, right here. Other fossils from the area can be seen here as well. Visit the South Dakota State Railroad Museum here in Hill City to learn more about how the railroads changed the west. Walk the streets of Hill City to take in the many historic buildings, including homes and businesses that have been preserved here in testament to the importance of the past.
Things to See in and Around Hill City
Hill City is located a short drive from Mount Rushmore, and is one of the closest towns in the Black Hills to this enormous symbol of the American spirit carved into stone. Take a slightly longer drive to view the Crazy Horse Memorial, currently in progress. The surrounding hills are filled with wildlife, hiking trails, beautiful vistas and historic places. Rock climbing, fishing, mountain biking, and camping are just a few of the many outdoor activities in the area. Hill City is also home to a thriving art community, and the streets are lined with art galleries full of treasures waiting to be discovered.
Staying in Hill City
Hill City has a variety of lodging options, from historic inns to modern hotels. Visitors who prefer the great outdoors will find plenty of camping opportunities at places like Crooked Creek Resort, as well as cabins for rent such as those at Mt Meadow. Hill City’s many historic buildings house several restaurants where you can dine in the same places as patrons of a hundred years past. The town is also home to a thriving winery and microbrewery community, for those looking to enjoy an afternoon of tasting.
Getting to Hill City
Hill City is located in the heights of the Black Hills, south of Rapid City on Highway 16, or of Spearfish on Highway 385, both easily accessible off Interstate 90. Flights into Rapid City’s airport will put you in easy reach of Hill City. Although visitors today arrive by different means than those of the past, the spirit of this gold rush town remains the same.