Landscapes of fossil beds, historical mountainside carvings and unique wildlife are some of the features groups can visit in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.
The buttes, pinnacles and spires of the Badlands were formed millions of years ago by sediment deposition and erosion. Badlands National Park is spread across 244,000 acres, where visitors can see the astounding scenery and learn about the various plants and animals that inhabit the area.
“Badlands National Park is a beautiful moonscape-looking scenic drive. There are many scenic overlooks and walks and hikes for the adventurous,” says Michelle Thomson, president and CEO of Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association.
Tucked in the Black Hills is Mount Rushmore National Memorial, a large-scale mountain sculpture of four former U.S. presidents. Groups can take an audio tour and experience the nightly lighting ceremony in the summer.
The Crazy Horse Memorial, carved from pegmatite granite on a mountain that stands over 6,500 feet tall, is another striking sculpture in the heart of the Black Hills. The entire carving, which is 563 feet high and depicts Lakota warrior Crazy Horse, is the world’s largest mountain carving in progress.
Other attractions include Devils Tower National Monument, Black Hills Gold Factory Tour and Custer State Park, where visitors can take Buffalo Jeep Safari tours to see herds of South Dakota’s numerous buffalo.