The Black Hills are divided into two geographical areas—the Northern terrain that comprises Spearfish, Sturgis, Deadwood, and the Southern region that encompasses Rapid City, Hermosa, Hot Springs, Custer, Keystone, and Edgemont, naturally making up the Southern Black Hills of SD.
In the Southern Black Hills, you will get to go deep underground through a maze of delicate and colorful crystal formations, enjoy the beauty of one of the nation’s premier state parks, and drive through an intricate forest wildlife loop. Additionally, there are numerous campgrounds, trail rides, and chuck wagon cookouts that you will come to love.
About the Southern Black Hills
The Black Hills, located in South Dakota, are frequently called an “Island in the Plains,” and for a good reason. The Cheyenne River marks the southern border, while the Belle Fourche River sets the northern edge. The hills rise over 3,000 feet above the plains, reaching their pinnacle of 7,242 feet at Black Elk Peak.
The southern gateway of the Black Hills is a combination of abundant attractions and thriving small-towns. It’s atmospheres like these that make the Southern Black Hills the ideal location for a family-friendly vacation as well as make one of the communities your home.
The southern region is a mixed-grass prairie with rolling hills that highlight pine silhouettes. When you look at it from a distance, the deep green trees paint the horizon in a dark band, giving the area its name. In addition, multiple small rivers cut through the hills making hiking all the more enjoyable. The most notable ones are Spearfish Creek in the north, Rapid Creek in the central region, and the Fall River in the south.
The Climate in the Southern Black Hills
The Southern Black Hills region falls under the Dfb Koppen climate category and features a warm-summer humid continental climate. The temperature varies significantly over a year, with the winter high averaging as low as 20 degrees and the summer high averaging 80-90 degrees. However, reaching over 100 degrees in the summer and -20 degrees in the winter is not uncommon.
Land for Sale in the Southern Black Hills
Getting to the Southern Black Hills
The Black Hills are centrally located in the United States, making it an easy destination to get to by plane or car. Those who plan to drive to the region can take U.S. Interstate 90, east-west highways, like US 16, US 18, US 212, SD 34, SD 40, SD 44, or north-south highways, US 85, US 385, SD 79, and SD 89. The nearest regional is Rapid City Regional Airport, although there are multiple municipal airports in the surrounding towns. It’s worth saying, however, that most people choose to drive as the scenic routes in the area are part of the charm of the Southern Black Hills of SD.
Homes for Sale in the Southern Black Hills
Things to Do in the Southern Black Hills
If there is one thing that Southern Black Hills doesn’t lack, it is things to do and see.
Apart from the primary attractions like Custer State Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial, farther south are some of the richest archaeological finds, such as the Mammoth Site and natural hot springs.
Here are a few must-see things in the Southern Black Hills region:
Custer State Park
One of the country’s largest state parks, Custer State Park, extends over an expanse of 71,000 acres. With open ranges, granite spires, and sparkling blue lakes, the park offers plenty of things to do for every visitor, regardless of your age or preferences. You can hike trails, circle the lakes, or explore the area on a horse with a guided trail ride.
Special events held at the Custer State Park include the annual Buffalo Roundup and Arts Festival. During the festival, visitors get to watch the staff lead a herd of more than 1,300 through the valley. Additionally, the park is full of hidden gems and adventures you will find as you go, and the dining opportunities in and near the park are plentiful…and equally delicious!
Jewel Cave National Monument
The world’s third-longest cave system, Jewel Cave National Monument, is all about the cave. Similarly, it’s trails, picnic areas, and visitors center, make it an ideal option for families. Once here, visitors get to experience unusual dogtooth spare, calcite crystals, and cave popcorn during the cave tours. At the risk of sounding overly cliche’, the cave is truly a jewel! Going down into the earth is an experience in and of itself. You can hardly imagine how beautiful the cave is until you are able to explore it yourself.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mount Rushmore National Memorial stands 60-foot tall, highlighting the faces of four of our nation’s presidents. The monument features Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. Carved between 1927 to 1941, this is the ultimate must-see attraction in the Southern Black Hills of SD. The visitor’s center explains the history of the monument and how it was created. Hiking trails allow you to get right at the base of the faces. This is a truly remarkable destination that is not only awe-inspiring, but also patriotic by every sense of the word.
There is so much more to be said for the Southern Black Hills of SD. Dining opportunities, charming downtown shopping, the amazing people, and farmer’s markets are just a few more to note. It is one of the most special destinations in the county. A must-see indeed.
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