Custer State Park includes more than 71,000 acres and is South Dakota’s first and largest state park. The state park and wildlife reserve is home to an assortment of animals, including free-roaming bison and prairie dogs. The park, established in 1912 and named for Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, is famous for Needles Highway and its wildlife loop, offering incredible views of a bison herd and prairie dog towns. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps built roads and laid out campgrounds
The 60-acre Founders Park sits on the site where the original “founders” of Rapid City camped in 1876. Most of the land, which serves as a trailhead for paths along Rapid Creek, was acquired following the 1972 Flood.
The Rapid City alley between Main and St. Joseph streets and connecting 6th and 7th streets isn’t some sort of tribute to New York City of the 1970s and 1980s. Instead, Art Alley is a place where established, burgeoning and wannabe artists put up their best work. Artists can procure a permit to paint on buildings’ walls along the alley, making it an ever-changing public art display.
Mount Moriah Cemetery, established in 1878 in Deadwood, South Dakota, is the final resting place of several famous Wild West figures, including Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock. Some bodies initially buried in Ingelside Cemetery, another cemetery in Deadwood, were relocated to Mount Moriah Cemetery in the 1880s. The cemetery, which sits on a plateau overlooking Deadwood Gulch, has several sections, including a Jewish section and a Potter’s field.
The South Dakota Air and Space Museum displays more than 30 aircraft ranging from World War II to active-duty bombers, such as the B-29 Superfortress and the B-1B Lancer. The museum is part of the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force and is located just outside Ellsworth Air Force Base.
The Black Hills Central Railroad operates the 1880 Train between Hill City, South Dakota, and Keystone, South Dakota, on the Burlington Northern Railroad’s former Keystone Branch. The Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad built the line to serve mining and timber interests, reaching Keystone on January 20, 1900. The line later hauled carving equipment for Mount Rushmore. The Black Hills Central acquired the 10-mile-long in 1981. In 1986 Burlington Northern abandoned the Deadwood branch between Hill City and Deadwood.
President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 created Wind Cave National Park. It was the seventh national park and the first cave worldwide designated as a national park. While the park is known as the home of one of the longest caves globally, measuring more than 149 miles, it is home to the largest remaining natural mixed-grass prairie in the country. The park, which covers 33,847 acres, is home to an array of animals, including bison and prairie dogs. Access to the caves has been closed since 2019 because of a broken elevator.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial, located about 30 minutes southwest of Rapid City, features portraits of four presidents carved into granite — George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Measuring 60-feet-tall, the portraits are perhaps the definitive American attraction. Crews completed Mount Rushmore between Oct. 4, 1927, and Oct. 31, 1941. Sculptor Gutzon Borglum selected the four presidents to memorialize on Mount Rushmore. More than two million people visit Mount Rushmore, sometimes called the “Shrine of Democracy.”
Recent news releases from Mount Rushmore National Memorial:
- Sculpture Preservation Continues with Annual Rock Block Monitor Calibration October 12 - 13
- Public input needed on potential alternatives for the draft air tour management plan for Mount Rushmore National Memorial
- Independence Day 2022 Celebrations at Mount Rushmore
- National Park Tourism in the Black Hills Area Creates $301.4 Million in Economic Benefit
- Winter Prescribed Burn To Reduce Slash Piles