Millions of tourists travel to the Black Hills of South Dakota each year and many don’t have the opportunity to see all the great features the area offers. Having a sense of the area before making your trip can enlighten prospective travelers about the wonders the area has to offer. For trekkers making their first stop in the Black Hills of South Dakota, there are a few personal guidelines to rule by:
Be adventurous. Many of the great aspects of the Black Hills are spread out in each area, but you can drive to most in under an hour. Taking a tour of Mount Rushmore? Visit Custer State Park or ride the 1880 Train in Hill City. Staying in Deadwood? Visit Teddy Roosevelt’s ‘Friendship Tower’ or inquire about ghost tours at the Bullock Hotel.
Be open-minded. Not everyone is enchanted by pine forests and granite rock spires, but if you allow yourself to soak up the history of the Black Hills and travel to the natural wonders of the area, you may become fond of this area’s offerings. This also includes events in each city – attend the Days of ’76 in Deadwood or an annual Black Hills Pow Wow in Rapid City to acquire a taste of Black Hills culture.
Navigate the roads with caution. Get accustomed to driving around tight quarters, steep hills, and windy roads. This comes in handy, especially when visiting Mount Rushmore or traveling through the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. During the Sturgis Rally, a phenomenal amount of motorcyclists are here, so being cautious and wary will ensure better safety on the roads.
There’s nothing more daunting than traveling on a steep road, rolling through tight-quarter rock tunnels, and winding around single-lane road mazes with flocks of motorcyclists. Many of the roads are open and easy to navigate, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution when traveling.
If you can abide by these, you’re on your way to having an excellent Black Mountain Hills of Dakota experience. If you’re staying in Rapid City, you’re essentially an hour from everywhere in the Black Hills. It’s good to visit popular attractions like Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park, and Deadwood Main Street.
Keep in mind that there are many more treasures laden throughout each town and scenic byway. Also, make sure to visit Devils Tower, the United States’ first National Monument, which is located about an hour away from Spearfish near Hulett, Wyoming.
Here’s a brief collection of fun events and good dining for each city to look into when planning a trip:
- Roma’s Ristorante
- Corvette Rally
- Festival in the Park
- Bum Steer Steakhouse
Deadwood & Lead
- Kool Deadwood Nights
- Skiing at Terry Peak & Mystic Miner
- July 4th Fireworks in Lead
- Days of ’76 Rodeo & Parade
- Saloon #10 & Social Club Restaurant
- Oggies Sports Bar at the Lodge
- Deadwood Mountain Grand concerts
- Mickelson Trail & Races
- Crazy Horse Memorial
- Jewel Cave National Monument
- Blue Bell Lodge
- Black Hills Playhouse
- Custer State Park
- Sylvan Lake Lodge
- 1880 Train
- Sylvan Lake
- Alpine Inn (excellent dining)
- Main Street attractions
- Prairie Berry Winery
- Sturgis Motorcycle Rally
- Full Throttle Saloon (check out the tv show!)
- Buffalo Chip Campground (excellent concerts yearly)
- Easyriders Saloon
- Loud American Roadhouse