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The Black Hills offer five national parks, scenic drives, waterfalls, abundant wildlife, acclaimed recreation trails, snow skiing and trout fishing. It’s a place where bison and wild horses still roam free.

The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming. Set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, the region is something of a geological anomaly-accurately described as an "island of trees in a sea of grass." The Black Hills encompass the Black Hills National Forest and are home to the tallest peaks of continental North America east of the Rockies.

Native Americans have a long history in the Black Hills. When gold was discovered in 1874, a gold rush swept the area prompting the US government to reassign the local Native Americans to other reservations in western South Dakota. Unlike the rest of the Dakotas, the Black Hills were settled primarily from population centers to the west and south of the region, as miners flocked there from earlier gold boom locations in Colorado and Montana.

Today, the nearby reservations and Ellsworth Air Force Base make for a unique diversity in population different from that of the rest of Wyoming or South Dakota. As the economy of the Black Hills has shifted from natural resources (mining and timber), the hospitality and tourism industry has grown to take its place. The major tourist spots include Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.

Community Links

City of Deadwood - Official site

City of Lead - Official site

City of Rapid City - Official site

City of Spearfish - Official site

City of Sturgis - Official site

Deadwood Info - 360o virtual tour and info regarding Deadwood

Lead Info - Lead Area Chamber of Commerce

Rapid City Info - Rapid City Convention & Visitors Bureau

Spearfish Info - Info about Spearfish

Higher Education

Black Hills State University - State university located in Spearfish

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology - State college located in Rapid City


Black Hills Interactive Map

Schools – Black Hills Area

Lead-Deadwood Elementary

(605) 717-3884


Lead-Deadwood Middle School

(605) 717-3898

Lead-Deadwood Schools Website

Lead-Deadwood High School

(605) 717-3899


Spearfish East Elementary

(605) 717-1210


Spearfish West Elementary

(605) 717-1205

Spearfish Schools Website

Spearfish Middle School

(605) 717-1215


Spearfish High School

(605) 717-1212


Sports, Activities, Local Attractions and the Arts

1880 Train - Vintage steam train rides

Bear Country USA - Drive-through Wildlife Park

Big Thunder Gold Mine - Tour gold mine

Black Hills/Badlands Info - Tourism Association

Black Hills Caverns - Cave adventure

Black Elk Peak - Highest point in the Black Hills with hiking trails

Custer State Park - 71,000 acre state park with wildlife

Deadwood History - Adams Museum & House & Days of ’76 Museum partnership

Jewel Cave National Monument - Third-longest cave in the world

Journey Museum - Preserve and explore the Black Hills heritage history

Mickelson Trail - 109-mile long trail

Mount Rushmore - National monument of four presidents

Reptile Gardens - Reptiles, birds, gardens, trees

Rushmore Cave - Natural adventure park

Rushmore Tramway - Gondolas, tree climbing and alpine slides

Spearfish Canyon - Deep, narrow gorge carved by Spearfish Creek

Sturgis Motorcycle Rally - Annual fall motorcycle rally

Wind Cave National Park - Intact prairie with bison, elk & one of the world’s longest caves beneath