Aug 03

Top 10 Things to do or see in the Black Hills: Rapid City

Rapid City and the Black Hills area has a whole host of things to offer from camping, hiking, museums, renowned state and national parks.  Of course what probably draws the most people to the area is Mount Rushmore one of the most patriotic areas of the country, but do not let your visit start and stop there.

Top 10 Things to do or see in the Black Hills: Rapid City 

10. Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse Memorial, SD 8/2005via

The Crazy Horse Memorial has been in progress since 1948 so do not expect it to be completed before you visit, but if it is ever competed it will be one of the largest sculptures in the word at over 550 feet high.  There is a Native American museum on site as well as weekly events.  For more information about the Crazy Horse Memorial visit their website at http://crazyhorsememorial.org/

9. George S. Mickelson Trail

George S Mickelson Bike Trail, SDvia

The George S. Mickelson Trail is a rail to trail bike trail that goes for over 100 miles in the Black Hills.  The trail runs from Edgemont to Deadwood and contains more than 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels.  Since it is built on an old railroad line most of the trail does not exceed a 4% grade but parts can be strenuous.  For more information about the George S. Mickelson Trail visit their website athttp://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail/

8. Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens

Black BearBear Country USA and Reptile Gardens are two different animal attractions located in the Rapid City Black Hills area.  Bear Country USA is a drive-through animal park featuring wildlife from North America and has dozens and dozens of bears at their facility along with a variety of other animals.  Reptile Gardens specializes in reptiles, amphibians, and birds and features over 225 species of reptiles.  To find out more information on Bear Country USA click here and for Reptile Gardens click here.

7. Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave [6261]

The third longest cave in the word with over 150 miles of tunneled passages that has been surveyed and exploration and discovery of this cave is still taking place.  There are four different types of cave tour options along with things above the cave to do. For more information about Jewel Cave National Monument visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/jeca/index.htm

6. The Mammoth Site

Mammoth Site


The Mammoth Site is the world’s largest mammoth research facility.  It has a museum and is a working paleontological site having already found 61 mammoths along with 85 other species.  The Mammoth Site is a fantastic learning experience.  To learn more about the Mammoth Site click here.

5. Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Parkvia

Wind Cave National Park is home to one of the world’s longest caves and above ground there is wildlife like bison, elk, prairie dogs that live amongst the prairie and forested hillsides.  For more information on Wind Cave National Park visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/wica/index.htm

4. Harney Peak Trail

Harney Peak Summit ViewHarney Peak Trail takes you to highest point in South Dakota and some would argue the highest point east of the Rockies.  There are a few trails to get you to the top of Harney Peak Trail and its summit of 7,242 feet.  Click here for more information about the trail.

3. Badlands National Park

Scenic OverlookBadlands National Park offers unique scenery in the endless miles of prairie.  Colorful rocky buttes, pinnacles, and spires at one in of the park and opportunities to see prairie wildlife like bison, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets on the other end of the park.  Another interesting fact about the park is the large number of fossils found in the park from the North American rhino to the saber-toothed cat.  Visit their website at http://www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

2. Mount Rushmore

Mount RushmoreNearly 3 million people each year make the patriotic pilgrimage to see 4 of the greatest presidents in United States history.  It is not as big as one would imagine, but it is still a very impressive site.  As for me every time that I have been to Mount Rushmore I feel a since of pride to see Mount Rushmore and the shrine of representative democracy that it is.  For more information visit their website at  http://www.nps.gov/moru/index.htm

1. Custer State Park

South Dakota LakeCuster State Park is a 71,000 acre park filled with scenic views and abundant wildlife including over 1,300 bison, pronghorns, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep.  Several scenic drives go through the area and four mountain lakes provide for good fishing as wells as beautiful places to rest.  For more information about Custer State Park visit their website at http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top 10 things to see or do in the Black Hills: Rapid City Area. Like any top 10 list they are subject to opinion so please give us yours and let us know what you think of our list, is there anything that you think we should not have put on our list and what would you replace it with by leaving a comment. To find out more about the other things Rapid City Black Hills Area has to offer visit http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/home/thingstodo or http://www.visitrapidcity.com/.

To see our other top 10 city lists click here.


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1 comment

  1. Jolie

    Nice web page you have going here.

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