Parks and Monuments
The Black Hills of South Dakota are laced w/ specially engineered, super-scenic highways. The 70-mile Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway has been named as one of the 10 Most Outstanding Byways in America. The Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Horse Thief Lake Road, & Sylvan Lake Road make up this oval-shaped route. The Byway includes picturesque lakes, towering granite formations, 6 picture-perfect tunnels, tight hairpin curves, “pigtail” bridges, ranges.
Bear Butte located just east of Sturgis, SD. Visitor should stop at the Bear Butte Education Center to learn the geological story of this almost-volcano; its role as a pioneer landmark; and its continuing role as a holy mountain and founding place of religion for several tribes of Plains Indians. A two-mile trail makes the climb to the summit, the first trailhead of the 111-mile, Black Hills Centennial
Devils Tower National Monument A unique and striking geologic wonder steeped in Indian legend is a modern day national park and climbers' challenge. Devils Tower located in the Black Hills of northeast Wyoming. The tower is a solitary, stump-shaped granite formation that looms 1,267 feet above the tree-lined Belle Fourche River Valley, like a skyscraper in the country. Once hidden below the earth's surface, erosion has stripped away the softer rock layers revealing the Tower.
The Lakota gave this its name, "mako sica," meaning "land bad." Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. It is desolation at its truest, where you can look for miles and see no sign of civilization.
The 109-mile long Mickelson Trail is enjoyed by hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Featuring 14 trailheads, over 100 converted bridges, 4 tunnels, & numerous services. Nearly all of the trail follows the route of an abandoned railroad branch line constructed by the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad in 1890-91 and last operated in 1983. The trail's route is mountainous, forested, and scenic, traversing the heart of the Black Hills
The new Tribal Connections site at Devils Tower National Monument interprets Devils Tower as place that is sacred to many Native American tribes. The site’s central feature, the Wind Circle sculpture – also called the Sacred Circle of Smoke -- was created by internationally renowned Japanese artist Junkyu Muto as the third in a series of seven “peace sculptures” planned for significant sites around the world
Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, located 23 miles southwest of Rapid City, is awesome and impressive. The granite faces of four American Presidents tower 5,500 feet above sea level and are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall. Each head is as tall as a six-story building! Sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s attention to detail makes the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln appear almost lifelike in the morning and afternoon sun of the Black Hills.
Located 14 miles south of Lemmon South Dakota, Shadehill State Recreation Area offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy land- and water-based activities. With more than 5,000 surface acres of water, the reservoir is one of western South Dakota’s few large lakes.
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site located in Western South Dakota is one of the nation’s newest national park areas. The park was established by Congress in 1999 and consists of a nuclear missile silo and launch control facility. From this seemingly isolated patch of midwestern prairie, United States Air Force officers could have launched intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) at targets in the Soviet Union.
Devils Tower National Monument in the Black Hills of Wyoming. A unique and striking geologic wonder steeped in Indian legend, is a modern day national park and climbers' challenge. The Tower is a solitary, stump-shaped granite formation that looms 1,267 feet above the tree-lined Belle Fourche River Valley, like a skyscraper in the country.
From the jagged, lunar-like landscape at Badlands National Park to the underground wonders at Jewel Cave National Monument and the colossal faces that symbolize our country’s freedom at the Shrine of Democracy, the region’s national parks offer six more reasons to visit the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.
Black Hills National Forest is1.2 million acres of public lands for a diversity of wildlife and fish, recreation, water production, livestock grazing, timber harvest, wilderness and other uses. Visitors will find rugged rock formations, canyons, grasslands, streams, lakes and unique caves. Recreational opportunities for visitors include 11 reservoirs, 30 campgrounds, 2 scenic byways, 1,300 miles of streams, 13,605 acres of wilderness, over 450 miles of trails and much more.
Wind Cave National Park, Black Hills South Dakota. Over many years of exploration and mapping, Wind Cave has grown to be one of the world’s largest known caves. Currently over 132.05 miles of passages have been mapped making it the third longest cave in the U.S. and the fourth longest cave in the world.
Crazy Hourse Memorial, Black Hills SD. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3, 1948. The Memorial's mission is to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.
Bear Butte State Park, Black Hills SD Mato Paha or “Bear Mountain” is the Lakota name given to Bear Butte State Park. This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. From the 4,426 foot summit, you can view four states.
Jewel Cave National Monument, Black Hills SD. The Second longest cave in the world, at 159.24 miles.