The granite spires of the Needles formation, standing a mile above sea level, are the result of millions of years of erosion on the highest elevations east of the Rocky Mountains. The Paha Sapa (Lakota for “Mountains that are Black” ) still provide travelers with a glorious arrangement of streams, mountains, and gorges.
Long before the area was occupied by Europeans, the Indians held it sacred. They entered these mountains only for spiritual reasons, to fish and hunt, or to gather teepee poles. From early trappers, hunters and missionaries came tales of untold natural riches; thus, for the white man, Paha Sapa became an irresistible lure to adventure and romance. The Custer Expedition discovered gold at the present site of Custer, SD, in 1874, and the last great American gold rush was on.
Steeped in history and legend, the Black Hills can provide adventure for your family as well. Check out our day trips to make the most of your sightseeing.