Black Hills And Badlands
The Black Hills are an impressive expanse of tree-covered mountains that span across South Dakota and into Wyoming! These mountains and forests are located within Black Hills National Forest, where diverse plant and animal life thrive. The hills were given their name by their early inhabitants, the Lakota Native Americans, as the tree coverage appears black from a distance! The largest peak, Black Elk Peak, reaches 7,244 feet tall, and is the highest point in the U.S. east of the Rockies!
The Black Hills and Badlands, although amazing natural wonders on their own, are a hotspot of tourism activity that powers the economy of the surrounding area. There are plenty of fun ways to experience all the Black Hills and Badlands have to offer!
Perhaps one of the most incredible and iconic monuments in the United States, Mount Rushmore is an amazing sight to see! The visages of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are carved into the side of the mountain to honor these upstanding men of American history!
Custer State Park
South Dakota’s largest state park is home to gorgeous mountain ranges, along with one of the largest publicly-owned bison herds in the world! There are several resorts and campgrounds throughout the park, and a new visitor center opened in May of 2016! Guests can enjoy scenic drives, hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing and much more!
Wind Cave National Park
Located near Custer State Park is Wind Cave National Park, which sits hidden under the prairie lands and features one of the longest and most complex caves in the world! Tours are offered almost every day of the year, where you will see incredible cave formations, and perhaps a few bats! Above ground, bison, elk, prairie dogs, and other animals roam and call this place home!
Jewel Cave National Monument
This national monument holds another incredible cave in the Black Hills and Badlands area, and features the third longest cave in the world! There are tours that cater to everyone, with the popular scenic tour, which is a modern-day tour that takes you through chambers and along passages where you’ll see amazing formations! Lantern tours are also popular, which allow you to experience the caves as its earlier explorers did, with lanterns lighting the way! For those craving adventure, embark on the wild caving tour and explore the cave in its natural state!
Crazy Horse Memorial
If you want to witness history in the making, stop by Crazy Horse Memorial! This is a work-in-progress sculpture to honor the Lakota leader, Crazy Horse. You can visit and watch as crews work on chiseling out the likeness of Crazy Hose, which, if completed, could be one of the largest sculptures in the world.
Because tourism is booming in the area, there are plenty of camping options around the Black Hills and Badlands!
Badlands National Park
As previously mentioned, Badlands National Park is a stunning and vast park that features prairie lands, rock formations, and is home to several animal species! You can experience all the fun firsthand and stay in one of Badlands National Park’s two awesome campgrounds! Cedar Pass Lodge offers 96 comfortable sites for $22 a night, or $37 for sites with electric hookups, and keeps a limited section open in winter months! Sage Creek Campground is a primitive campground that offers camping free of charge at a first come, first served basis! Pit toilets and picnic tables are available, but no water is available! Backcountry camping is also available, and no permit is needed!
Custer State Park
Custer State Park is incredibly fun to explore, but also offers numerous great camping options as well! Thirteen different campgrounds offer everything from rustic camping to more comfortable accommodations! You will be near the fun and beautiful sights of the Black Hills and Badlands! For a full list of campgrounds and more information, check out this website!
There are several other campgrounds in the area, if you’d prefer to say outside the park! Check out the Badlands/White River KOA, or Sleepy Hollow Campground, both highly rated and near Badlands National Park! The wonderful Horse Thief Campground and Resort is near Custer State Park and the Black Hills, as well as the highly rated and family-friendly Rafter J Bar Ranch! No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll enjoy your time in the Black Hills and Badlands! If adventure is calling your name, head on out to South Dakota and enjoy an unforgettable RVing experience in the Black Hills and Badlands! With all the sights to see and fun to be had, it will truly be the experience of a lifetime! Comment to share your experiences in the Black Hills and Badlands!