After many of our Antelope hunts near Gillette, Wyoming, we took a few days to do some sightseeing in the Black Hills of South Dakota, only a short drive from Gillette. The first stop along the way is at Devil's Tower. This National Monument is best known from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. On the road toward the entrance of the park, a prairie dog town can be seen. When you reach the tower, there is a visitor's center and a short hiking trail that takes you around the tower. If you bring binoculars, be sure to check out the climbers making their way up or down the tower.
Devil's Tower National Monument
The Black Hills of South Dakota are the home of Custer State Park, one of the nicest state parks we've ever visited. There are two very scenic routes, Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Highway, on which you can see towering stone pillars. Riding the Wildlife Loop, we have seen quite a variety of wildlife, including Buffalo, Burros, Elk, Whitetail and Mule Deer, Pronghorn Antelope, Bighorn Sheep and Prairie Dogs. The pictures below were all taken in and around Custer State Park.
Buffalo in Custer State Park
Bighorn Sheep in Custer State Park
In addition to Custer State Park, there are four National Parks in western South Dakota - Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, the Badlands, and the most famous - Mount Rushmore.
About 40 miles from Rapid City, South Dakota, is the town of Wall, a small western town made famous by the Wall Drug Store. Wall Drug is much more than a drug store - there is everything from Western Wear to Jewelry to Camping Gear. There is also a great ice cream/soda shop and fresh baked donuts. Wall is also close to the entrance to Badlands National Park. The colorful formations in the Badlands are an incredible sight - and a stark contrast to the Black Hills.
Badlands National Park
Here are some links that may be useful in planning a trip to this area: