Black Hills South Dakota Help, Advice, FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answer to your question in our list of frequently asked questions below. If we have left something out, please contact us.

Contact Numbers:

Chamber of Commences
Keystone Chamber of Commerce (800) 456-3345 or (605) 666-4896
Hill City Chamber of Commerce (800) 888-1798 or (605) 574-2368
Custer Chamber of Commerce (800) 992-9818 or (605) 673-2244
Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce (800) 325-6991 or (605) 745-4140
Deadwood Chamber of Commerce (800) 999-1876
Lead Area Chamber of Commerce (877) 428-5590 or (605) 584-1100
Spearfish Chamber of Commerce (800) 626-8013 or (605) 642-2626
Sturgis Chamber of Commerce (605) 347-2556
Belle Fourche Chamber of Commerce (605) 892-2494
Wall Chamber of Commerce (888) 852-9255 or (605) 279-2665
Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau (800) 487-3223 or (605) 718-8484

Other Important Contact Numbers:
Black Hills National Forest - (605) 673-9200
Mount Rushmore (605) 574-2523
South Dakota State Parks (605) 773-3391
Campground reservations (800) 710-CAMP (2267)
Badlands National Park (605) 433-5361
Jewel Cave National Monument (605) 673-2288
Wind Cave National Park (605) 745-4600
Crazy Horse (605) 673-4681
Custer State Park (605) 255-4464
Custer State Park Resorts (800) 658-3530 or (605) 255-4772
Corn Palace (800) 257-2676
Devil's Tower National Monument (800) 354-6316

Travel Tips:

Where are the Black Hills?

The Black Hills are a small, isolated mountain range set off from the main body of the Rocky Mountains, rising from the Great Plains of North American in western South Dakota with a small area extending into Wyoming.

What are the closest major cities?
A car is essential to get to all the area of the Black Hills, unless you are part of a tour group on a bus. I-90 cuts directly through South Dakota from west to east, connecting the northern towns of Spearfish, Sturgis, and Deadwood (which lies about 14 mi off the interstate) with Rapid City. From there the interstate turns straight east, passing Wall and Badlands National Park on its way to Sioux Falls.

Where are the closest airports?
Rapid City is the closest major airport. Delta Airlines provides a connection to the Black Hills from Salt Lake City, Northwest Airlines offers service from Minneapolis, United Airlines flies direct from Denver and Chicago, and Allegiant Air has weekly service from Las Vegas and Phoenix. Frontier Airline's new service from Denver connects Rapid City to the low-cost carrier's hub.

What is the average temperature?
For the most part, expect the thermometer to range between 80°F and 100°F in summer, and know that winter temperatures can plunge below 10°F.

What should I know about visiting Badlands National Park?
Contact: 605-433-5361
Cost: $15/vehicle or $7/biker or hiker (good for 7 days)
Seasons: Open year-round
Camping: Two Campgrounds (Cedar Pass Campground and Sage Creek Campground) cost $14/night and are reserved on a first-come first served basis.

What should I know about visiting Wind Cave National Park?
Contact: 605-745-4600
Cost: No fee for entering park. Tour and Camping fees apply. 
Seasons: Open year-round
Camping: Elk Mountain Campground costs $12/night. Sites are reserved on a first-come first served basis.

Facts & Tidbits:

What is the population of the Black Hills?
The Black Hills is a region rather than one city or one population census area. However, the major city in the Black Hills is Rapid City, South Dakota with an incorporated population of over 70,000 and a metropolitan population of 125,000.

What is the elevation in the Black Hills?
The Black Hills are not high when compared to other mountain ranges, but they have a majesty all their own. Harney Peak, their tallest summit, measures 7,242 feet—and they cover a territory only 50 miles wide and 120 miles long.

What makes the Black Hills so special?
The Black Hills of South Dakota are an area of pine-covered mountains – an apparent oasis of green, which appear to be black from a distance. These mountains include six national parks, over 100 miles of scenic byways, wildlife, and waterfalls-all steeped in western history. In addition, there are at least 70 fun-filled attractions for visitors of all ages, including Mount Rushmore National Monument and Crazy Horse Memorial.

Fun Facts:
Motion pictures that have been filmed in the Black Hills include   

  •  North by Northwest
  •  How the West Was Won
  •  A Man Called Horse
  •  Dances with Wolves
  •  Lakota Woman
  •  National Treasure: Book of Secrets

In addition, portions of Steve Spielberg’s movie, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was filmed here.

The Black Hills are the setting for the HBO TV series Deadwood
Rocky Raccoon, a song by the Beatles, includes a reference to “the black mining hills of Dakota.

Activities & Attractions: 

What are the most popular summer activities? 

What are the most popular winter activities?

What are the some of the best events in the Black Hills? 

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