Attractions & Cool Stuff
October Weather – Expect anything from 70 degree sunny days to freezing nights; rain to a couple feet of snow. Check the weather forecast before packing!
Planning your trip…this is a great place to start:
Wyoming Black Hills
Devils Tower – Devils Tower is a little over an hour drive north from Spearfish. https://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm
Deadwood & Lead
There are many museums in Deadwood;
The Adams House is one of our favorites! It was the first house in Deadwood with electricity before electric lines – it ran off of a generator.
The Adams Museum is a great way to see some of Deadwood history, and practically downtown. It will give you a great history of the mining in the hills.
The Days of ‘76 Museum has a great collection of old wagons and displays about the history in the area.
Tatanka was started by Kevin Costner and is an indian/buffalo museum.
Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center, Lead is home to Homestake Mine (the largest and deepest underground mine in North America) which closed down about ten years ago when the price of gold was at its low. After turning the mine over to the state, it became a research laboratory run by Stanford for neutrinos and other underground research projects. http://www.sanfordlabhomestake.com/
Spearfish Canyon is very scenic and there are multiple waterfalls to see and hiking trails.
Devils Bathtub – (Our favorite hike – Bring your swimsuits for an ICY swim…it’s still a great hike, but be on the lookout for poison ivy!)
Fish Hatchery – In Spearfish on Spearfish Creek http://dcboothfishhatchery.org/
Trails – These trails run from Northern Hills to the Southern Hills
The Mickelson Trail was an old railroad that ran from the Northern Hills to the Southern Hills that was turned into a bike path. Some of our favorite places to bike on the trail are from the Kirk Road Trail Head south to Dumont and the Rochford Trail head north to Dumont. Starting from those points, the trail is uphill on the way up and downhill on the way back which is nice when biking with kids.
Centennial trail http://www.howtoenjoytheblackhills.com/recreation/centennial-trail/
Mount Rushmore – it’s the main attraction to any trip to the Black Hills for a reason – a beautiful work of sculpture. It’s worth paying to park and going to see it a bit closer. Don’t miss the video in the visitor’s center.
Crazy Horse – https://crazyhorsememorial.org/
1880 Train – https://www.1880train.com/ 1:15 PM departure (check schedule)
Dinosaur museum https://www.bhigr.com/museum/ (This is the group that found Sue, the most complete T-Rex)
Silver City – This is a cute tiny town on Rapid Creek above Pactola Lake. From Silver City there is a beautiful trail that follows Rapid Creek upstream. The stream is supposed to have excellent fly-fishing. We enjoy hiking and biking up this trail. http://www.blackhillstrails.org/maps/trail40/
Reptile Gardens – http://www.reptilegardens.com/
Bear Country – Drive through wildlife park (bears, mountain lions, bobcats and other mountain critters) https://www.bearcountryusa.com/
Air and Space Museum – http://www.sdairandspacemuseum.com/
Geology Museum – https://www.sdsmt.edu/Academics/Museum-of-Geology/Museum/
Minuteman Missile (nuclear missile silo) – https://www.visitrapidcity.com/parks-monuments/minuteman-missile-silo
Custer State Park – https://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/custer/
Make sure to drive the needles highway (HWY 87) – may be closed if there’s snow, since they don’t do maintenance in the winter season.
Harney Peak/Black Elk Hike (Beautiful hike to the highest point in the Hills) – http://harneypeakinfo.com/harney-peak-hiking/harney-peak-trail/
There are many caves in the hills which you will see multiple signs for along the highways. Personally I prefer Wind cave and Jewel cave. This possibly the largest cave system in the US. Both are ran by the National Park Service. Wind Cave is a little closer. Jewel Cave has a historic tour which we thought was fun. They take everyone on the tour that was given back in the 20’s with lanterns. They have gas lanterns and LED lanterns for the kids. If you are going to go to one of the National Park Caves, call ahead and check hours and tickets – some caves require advance notice and ticket purchase and have limited winter hours.