The Black Hills of South Dakota encompass beautiful scenery, breathtaking views, and some of the nation’s best rides no matter the vehicle you’re cruising. Tourists love having the chance to see all off the great Black Hills attractions in the area. From Mount Rushmore to Crazy Horse, the Needles Highway to Custer State Park, the Black Hills of South Dakota is home to many famous, breathtaking, and historical attractions.
Visited by nearly 3 million people every year, Mount Rushmore is also known as the Shrine of Democracy. Carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, this national monument features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres, is 5,725 feet above sea level and was completed in 1941.
Custer State Park
Custer State Park covers an area of over 71,000 acres of hilly terrain and is home to many wild animals. The park is home to a famous herd of 1,500 free roaming bison. Elk, mule deer, white tailed deer, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, mountain lions, and feral burros also inhabit the park. The park is famous for its scenery, its scenic drives, with views of the bison herd and prairie dog towns. This park is easily accessible by road from Rapid City. Other nearby attractions are Wind Cave National Park, Mount Rushmore, Jewel Cave National Monument, Crazy Horse Memorial, and Badlands National Park.
South Dakota Highway 87 (SD 87) is a highway running through the Black Hills of South Dakota. The Needles Highway through Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park. The Needles Highway, along with the US 16A concurrency, are also part of the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway. Portions of the highway are also a section of Custer State Park's Wildlife Loop. The Needles Highway is a great scenic drive whether you’re in the car or riding your motorcycle.
Crazy Horse Memorial consists of the mountain carving (monument), the Indian Museum of North America, and the Native American Cultural Center. The monument is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain on land considered sacred by some Oglala Lakota, between Custer and Hill City, roughly 17 miles from Mount Rushmore. The sculpture's final dimensions are planned to be 641 feet wide and 563 feet high. The head of Crazy Horse will be 87 feet high; by comparison, the heads of the four U.S. Presidents at Mount Rushmore are each 60 feet high.
The monument has been in progress since 1948 and is far from completion. If completed, it may become the world's largest sculpture, as well as the first non-religious statue to hold this record since 1967 (when it was held by the Soviet monument The Motherland Calls).