The Black Hills have something for everyone.
The list of possible activities and adventures is almost endless.
Mt. Rushmore-20 miles
Mount Rushmore National Memorial provides self-guided and ranger-guided opportunities for you to explore the history, art and science of this mountain sculpture and its setting. Every evening there is a breath-taking lighting ceremony that follows a ranger talk and a short movie.
Crazy Horse Monument—5 miles
"My fellow chiefs and I would like the white man to know the red man has great heroes, too." These were the words, written by Chief Henry Standing Bear that brought Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski to the Black Hills to begin this monumental sculpture.
Custer State Park—4 miles
Custer State Park is full to the brim with activities for the whole family. Some of the many include:
- Evening Programs: Every evening during the summer programs are held in Custer State Park. These programs might include visiting with costumed characters from Black Hills past or learning about the Black Hills plants and wildlife from a Custer State Park naturalist.
- Guided Nature Walks: One of the best ways to find out about the park's birds, wildflowers, resource management, geology and history is to take a walk with a naturalist. These walks are offered every day from June to mid-August.
- Gold Panning: Catch the famous Black Hills Gold Fever. Pan for gold and learn a bit about the wild wild west of yesteryear.
- Patio Activities: Imagine playing an active habitat game with your children or studying the unique traits of mammals while making plaster casts of their tracks. Perhaps you would prefer to create a basket using nothing but pine needles and sinew (bison tendons) or tour the buffalo corrals and learn about the park's management practices. The park offers two patio activities daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. from June to mid-August.
- Black Hills Playhouse: If you are up for a bit of culture after all these outdoor activities, plan on attending one of the theatre performances at the Black Hills Playhouse. The acting and theatre tech is top notch. And the setting is like no other.
Bicycle Riding on the Mickelson Trail
The Mickelson Trail is a 110-mile limestone trail through the heart of the South Dakota’s Black Hills. There are more than 100 converted railroad bridges and four hardrock tunnels along the trail. It is a haven to bicycle riders, hikers, horse back riders. It is almost impossible to explain the spectacular scenery along the trail.
Other Black Hills Hiking and Biking Trails
Besides the Mickelson Trail, the Black Hills also feature some of the most fantastic mountain biking (single and double tracks) one could hope to find - from very technical and very hard to easy riding jeep trails.
Six Mile Round Trip Walk to the Crest of Harney Peak
Black Elk, the revered Oglala spiritual leader, referred to Harney Peak as the center of the universe. It is easy to see why. From the top you have a panoramic view of four states, South Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana. That combined with the majestic granite mountain itself and the ever-present deep green ponderosa pine makes this hike a life long memory. The lightly strenuous wilderness hike encompasses an exceptional wildlife habitat and unforgettable natural beauty.
Paddle Boat or Fish or Take a Nature Walk at Beautiful Sylvan Lake
Nestled at the foot of Harney Peak is one of the most unique and beautiful lakes in the area. Sylvan Lake offers hours of unending outdoor enjoyment.
Rock Climbing Lessons
While you are visiting Sylvan Lake you can take a few lessons in rock climbing. Some of the nation’s best climbs are just around the corner at the beautiful Needles and Cathedral Spires. Even if you don’t rock climb, be sure to take in the Needles drive. It is nothing short of spectacular.
Power Boat or Canoe Rentals
If paddle boats are a bit on the slow side for you at nearby Sheridan Lake you can rent a power boat or a canoe. Sheridan also has two separate swim beaches.