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Things to do in

Black Hills

Our most recommended things to do in Black Hills

Rapid City: Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour

1. Rapid City: Mount Rushmore and Black Hills Full-Day Tour

Head out on an 8-hour, all-inclusive tour of the Black Hills of South Dakota. On this tour, you will depart from Rapid City and travel to Custer State Park, while exploring the top attractions along the way. As you make your way through the Black Hills, your driver/guide will provide interesting commentary, answer questions and provide you with information of what to do and see at your attraction stops. Your first destination will be Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Explore the world-famous memorial depicting four of the most prominent presidents of the first 150 years of the United States – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson. Next, you will discover the 8th wonder of the world at Crazy Horse Memorial. It is the world’s largest mountain carving and is a memorial to all Native American tribes.  Lastly, travel into Custer State Park. It is known for its bison herds and other wildlife. Take in the scenery and marvel at the beauty of the Iron Mountain Road, which climbs 17 miles to the entrance of Mount Rushmore. You will wind over unique wooden bridges known as the pigtails. 

Custer: Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

2. Custer: Black Hills Hot Air Balloon Flight at Sunrise

Go on a hot air balloon tour of the Black Hills and treat yourself to an experience of a lifetime. Admire the beautiful Black Hills and witness historic, wild landscapes and abundant wildlife from a hot air balloon. Soar above the southern Black Hills, and world-renowned Custer State Park with extraordinary 360-degree views of mountains, rock formations, valleys, lakes, and prairies.  Look out for wildlife such as elk, antelope, whitetail deer, buffalo, mule deer, or even a mountain lion. Fly just miles away from Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Wind Cave National Park, and the South Dakota Badlands. Certified pilots will navigate the flight with your safety and enjoyment in mind. During your 1-hour ride, your pilot will answer any questions that you might have and identify local points of interest.  Upon landing, enjoy a celebratory champagne toast, light snacks, and a story about the origin of hot air ballooning.

Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour

3. Buffalo Jeep Safari & Mammoth Site Tour

Get up close and personal with roaming buffalo, deer, and feed the wild donkeys at Custer State Park. Once in the park, board an open-air Jeep and explore the beauty the park has to offer with your guide. Make sure to bring healthy snacks for the wild donkeys and you will have them eating out of the palm of your hands. Next, travel to Hot Springs to get a behind-the-scenes VIP tour of the Mammoth Site. While at this active Paleontological dig site, view fossils from the ice age. Enjoy an interactive learning experience that includes a botany and geological walkway.

Badlands National Park Private Tour

4. Badlands National Park Private Tour

Enjoy a private tour for a unique glimpse into the unique beauty of the Badlands National Park. Learn about the history of the area and spend the day discovering the rare geology of the Badlands. After being picked up, take a short drive to the quaint town of Wall to explore and uncover why Wall Drug is so legendary throughout the world. Next, travel into the Badlands National Park to admire some of the rarest and most incredible geological formations in South Dakota. Enjoy a few moderate hikes around the Badlands and with some luck see some local wildlife up close. Lastly, visit the town of Scenic, a ghost town with a great history, which your guide will tell you all about. On your way there, see the Minuteman Missile Site.

Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

5. Rapid City: Private Black Hills Monuments Full-Day Tour

Enjoy a day of sightseeing on this all-inclusive private tour of the main sights of Black Hills. After a convenient pickup from your hotel, travel to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Monument, where you will spend some time hiking. Learn about how the monument came into existence. Next, travel to Crazy Horse Memorial, where you will learn about one of the most important historical figures in the history of South Dakota. Finally, explore the beautiful Custer State Park. See wildlife at incredibly close proximity and enjoy the local flora.

From Rapid City: Private Spearfish Canyon Tour

6. From Rapid City: Private Spearfish Canyon Tour

Start with pickup from your hotel in the morning and travel to Spearfish Canyon. Journey along the winding road up the canyon and marvel at the beauty of the Black Hills. Arrive at Spearfish Canyon where you will see breathtaking limestone palisades of a creek-carved gorge more ancient than the Grand Canyon. With your guide, choose from different hiking options suited to all levels of ability and experience. Discover incredible waterfalls, scenery, wildlife, and plant life. Enjoy some lunch at a location of your choosing. After your day of exploration, be returned to your accommodation back in Rapid City.

From Rapid City: Custer State Park Private Safari and Hiking

7. From Rapid City: Custer State Park Private Safari and Hiking

Enjoy a private full-day tour from Rapid City or Hill City to the beautiful Custer State Park. Custer is South Dakota's largest state park, famous for its bison herds, antelope, mule deer, white-tailed deer, mountain goats, coyotes, elk, bighorn sheep, and other wildlife. Custer State Park is regularly named as one of the best wildlife destinations in the world. Once at the park, join an open-air jeep safari tour to get up close and personal with roaming buffalo and other wildlife. You will have an opportunity to get out and feed the burros. For the remainder of the afternoon, you will be able to hike some of the most beautiful trails located in the park. Lunch will be enjoyed at the historic Custer State Game Lodge, or another location of your choice.

Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike

8. Black Hills: Private Tour of Mt. Rushmore & Flume Trail Hike

Go on this full-day private tour and explore two famous landmarks of the Black Hills. Enjoy a convenient pick-up from Rapid City, Custer or Hill City and spend your morning learning in-depth details of Mount Rushmore, the Shrine of Democracy, and how the Monument came to fruition. Take great pictures and admire the panoramic views.  Savor a delicious lunch at a location of your choice and spend the rest of the day hiking the Flume Trail which runs downhill from Sheridan Lake Dam to the old gold-mining town of Rockerville.  Hike 3-miles while enjoying the local flora and wildlife. The Flume Trail follows the historic Rockerville Flume, an 1880's gold-rush era water channel used to transport gold.  Listen to the stories your knowledgeable guide can share and learn about the rare history of the Black Hills, the Flume Trail, and the mining boom of the 1880s.  See historic remnants along the way and learn what makes this trail so important to the Black Hills.

Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience

9. Pactola Lake: Private Kayak or Paddleboard Experience

Start your day with a convenient pickup from your hotel and enjoy a short ride to Pactola Lake, the largest reservoir in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Be amazed by the stunning views. Choose whether to try a stand-up paddleboard or a kayak and enjoy your private guided adventure on the lake. Learn about the fascinating history of how the lake came to exist in western South Dakota. Spend the day taking in exquisite views of the best flora and fauna South Dakota has to offer. All five of your senses will be invigorated while on the lake. Enjoy lunch at a location of your choice. There are many locations to choose from and suggestions are available upon request.

Mickelson Trail: 20-Mile Private Bicycle Tour

10. Mickelson Trail: 20-Mile Private Bicycle Tour

Witness sights in the Black Hills few people have the opportunity to see on a private bicycle tour. The Mickelson Trail extends from Edgemont, South Dakota to Deadwood, South Dakota consisting of 109 miles (175 km) with 15 trailheads.  Have the flexibility to choose where to start on the trail. Cruise through the moderate 20-mile (32 km) portion as you travel through two tunnels and over a historic railroad bridge.  Bike through the breathtaking Black Hills on your choice of a mountain bike or comfort bike. Whether you are a bike enthusiast or the average traveler, the trail is easily manageable for the entire family.

Other Sightseeing Options in Black Hills

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What people are saying about Black Hills

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 67 reviews

We loved the bus tour. We had 2 adults and 3 kids under 16 and we all thought it was a great way to see Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Black Hills. Our driver Bruce was so informative about everything that we all learned a lot from him, plus he had a great since of humor. We had been there 3 times before and I feel like I learned a lot of new things from our tour.

We had a great time on the tour. Bruce, our bus driver, was very informative and has a great sense of humor. We learned a lot about Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and the Black Hills. I am very amazed that he could drive the bus through the needle points and the pig tail road. We had a very stress free and relaxing tour.

Marsha, our guide and driver, was excellent. She was so friendly and helpful, full of great information that helped us decide what other places we wanted to visit the following days. Taking the tour our first full day turned out to be a great decision. Well worth the money!!!

Neil was an amazing bus driver / guide. He provided very good narration and helped us with pointers at each destination.

Our guide Kevin was knowledgeable, friendly & accomadating.