The serene beauty of Rapid City gives way to endless opportunities for outdoor recreation. Everything from biking, hiking and rockhounding to fishing, mountain climbing and golfing can be found throughout the area—making this a haven for any active outdoor enthusiast!
Biking through the Black Hills allows guests to immerse themselves within the gorgeous vistas of the region. The city itself encompasses a great 13.5-mile bike trail along Rapid Creek, but there are a number of further rides that have become favorites among bicyclists. These routes include Rapid City to Mount Rushmore, the Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Spearfish Canyon and the Badlands Loop Road. Mountain biking is another option that is quickly becoming more popular here, with riders taking advantage of almost 6,000 miles of trails and other roadways designed for mountain biking.
Walking, hiking and backpacking in this western South Dakota area is exceptional, especially with the availability of the Black Hills National Forest and the number of nearby State and National Parks. Together, approximately 400 miles of systems are accessible via 75 trails.
Equestrians also take advantage of around a dozen trails that wind through the winsome backdrop of the Black Hills. While Custer State Park boasts being the premier riding area, there are plenty of additional places and facilities offering rides and trips.
This area is top-notch for rockhounding, as the Black Hills stands as one of the top five areas in the U.S. for the variety of minerals discovered. Approximately 140 minerals are found here, including the state’s official mineral, rose quartz. Learn more by visiting the Museum of Geology’s website at www.museum.sdsmt.edu.
The fishing season is year ‘round in South Dakota, with anglers reveling in everything from fly fishing to ice fishing. The Black Hills is home to 14 mountain lakes, encompassing 300 miles of streams, and plenty of reservoirs and stocked dams. Rainbow Trout hail as the most plentiful fish here. Top spots for fishing in the area include Deerfield Reservoir, Pactola Reservoir, Stockade Lake, Sheridan Lake, Rapid Creek, Spring Creek, Spearfish Creek, French Creek and Castle Creek.
Fishing is not the only activity to be had on the waters of the Black Hills. Boating, water skiing, sailing, canoeing, swimming, scuba diving and more are also favorite water sports.
For those looking for a rush of adrenaline, the Black Hills is considered among the best in the world for mountain climbing. Approximately 5,000 climbers of all skill levels come to tackle the mountains of the Black Hills every year, with principle spots for climbing including Devil’s Tower and the Needles-Sylvan Lake district of the Harney Range.
Golfers are afforded a multitude of courses, all of which offer a challenge for every player—novice to professional. Steeped in gorgeous scenery are more than 15 public and private courses throughout the Black Hills, including Meadowbrook, the Golf Club at Red Rock, Hart Ranch, Rapid City Elks, Executive, Fountain Springs and La Croix Golf Courses in Rapid City.
And for some peaceful R&R, camping is widely available throughout western South Dakota, with innumerable campsites scattered throughout the Black Hills.