Viewing the sunset at Badlands National Park
Sundown casts its golden light over the Badlands
The Needles of Custer State Park above the treetops
Mount Rushmore National Memorial’s subjects gaze across the land
The Needles in shadow and light
A powwow unfolds, honoring local heritage and culture
A pretty path by Roughlock Falls
The evening light of Deadwood's Main Street
Watching the sunset at Badlands National Park
A colorful mural in downtown Rapid City
- Major Airports:
- Rapid City (RAP)
- South Dakota
From Mount Rushmore to Badlands National Park and beyond
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a large scale sculpture of four of America's most prominent presidents carved into a granite mountainside. The monument is beautifully designed using natural rock in a forest setting. Activities include an evening lighting ceremony, sculptor’s studio talk and many amenities, including dining, a book store and gift shop.
The monument is located 42 kilometers south of Rapid City. Centrally located in the beautiful Black Hills, Rapid City shines as the hub of this legendary region's vacation activities with immediate access to many attractions. Beyond the iconic Mount Rushmore, you can also visit Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, Devils Tower National Monument and many more.
This region, which the Lakota named “Paha Sapa” or “Hills that are Black”, is rich with Native American artistry and history. Work began in 1948 on Crazy Horse Memorial, a tribute to the North American Indian and the world’s largest mountain sculpture, located Just 27 kilometers from Mount Rushmore. Today the mission continues to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians. The visitor complex includes an outdoor viewing veranda, sculptor’s studio-home, workshop, gift shops and restaurant.
Run wild in Custer State Park, which encompasses some of the most spectacular views, best wildlife watching, 1,300 head of wild bison and some of most scenic drives you’ll find anywhere. One of the nation’s largest state parks, Custer State Park comprises nearly 29,000 hectares and has been home to diverse cultural heritages for thousands of years, providing an array of scenic beauty and outdoor recreation for visitors since the early 1900s. Within the park are visitor centers, fishing lakes, resorts, campgrounds, lodges and interpretive programs.
The nearby Badlands National Park allows visitors an other-worldly experience and is home to majestic landscapes and diverse wildlife. The Lakota gave this land the name, “mako sica,” meaning “land bad.” The Badlands consist of 98,000 hectares of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. Located in Badlands, Cedar Pass Lodge and Badlands Inn allow the select few lucky enough to overnight in the Park the opportunity to submerge themselves its unique moonscape environments.
In the northern Black Hills you’ll find the historic Old West town of Deadwood. In the 1870s, Deadwood Gulch was the site of the last big frontier gold rush in North America. Deadwood flourished on gold mining for more than a century, and today it is known for its rich history, legal gambling and attractions that are all related to gold, or the wild and woolly gold rush heritage of this wonderfully restored community. Experience the wonder of the Black Hills on your vacation to South Dakota.
Gunfighter “Wild Bill” Hickok was killed in Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1876 and is buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery.
At 293 kilometers, Jewel Cave National Monument is the third longest cave in the world, with nearby Wind Cave just behind, at fifth.
The area’s mountains are so thick with evergreens that native Lakota called them paha sapa or “hills that are black.”