The Black Hills has a seemingly endless number of hiking trails, festivals, iconic restaurants, and unique wildlife, so it can be difficult to fit everything in. The Ultimate Black Hills Bucket List compiles all of the most iconic destinations, trails, events, and foods in the area. How many can you check off?


  1. Black Hills Roundup & Rodeo in Belle Fourche
  2. Attend the Sturgis Rally
  3. Try Chubby Chipmunk truffles in Deadwood
  4. Watch the Crazy Horse Memorial Night Blasts
  5. Sip a South Dakota-themed Prairie Berry wine like Wild Bill or Calamity Jane wine
  6. Watch a lighting ceremony at Mount Rushmore
  7. Explore Wind Cave by candlelight
  8. Complete the 10K to the top of Crazy Horse during the Volksmarch
  9. Attend the Custer State Park Annual Buffalo Roundup
  10. Finish the famous one pound Reuben at Teddy’s Deli in Keystone
  11. Watch fireworks over the Homestake Open Cut in July
  12. Ride the Rushmore Mountain Coaster at Rushmore Mountain Adventure Park in Keystone
  13. Try the fudge from Turtle Town in Keystone
  14. Experience the Black Hills by horseback tour
  15. Take a ride on the 1880 Train
  16. Ice skate in Rapid City’s Main Street Square
  17. Learn the basics of rock climbing at Sylvan Rocks Climbing School
  18. Hike to the top of Black Elk Peak
  19. Grab a buffalo burger at Black Hills Burger and Bun Co. in Custer
  20. Attend the annual Black Hills Powwow
  21. See a bison at Custer State Park
  22. Explore Community Caves in Spearfish Canyon
  23. Leave a flower at “Wild Bill” Hickok’s grave in the Mount Moriah Cemetery
  24. Swim in Hippy Hole
  25. Try chislic – the bar food unique to South Dakota
  26. Attend the Winter Market in Rapid City’s Main Street Square
  27. Watch the dig at the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs
  28. Have a great indian taco
  29. Stroll through Art Alley
  30. Watch a shootout in downtown Deadwood
  31. Take a dip into Evans Plunge Mineral Springs in Hot Springs
  32. Drive through Bear Country U.S.A.
  33. Find the elusive Poet’s Table
  34. Attend the Black Hills Brawl football game between rivals Black Hills State University and South Dakota School of Mines & Technology
  35. Watch hot air balloons launch at the Fall River Hot Air Balloon Festival
  36. Go bar hopping at the many breweries in the Black Hills
  37. Celebrate at the Deadwood Days of ‘76 Rodeo & Parade
  38. Revisit the Black Hill’s mining history at the Keystone Holy Terror Days
  39. Try the Native American dessert wojapi with fry bread at the Laughing Water Restaurant
  40. Take a swim in Devils Bathtub
  41. Taste fresh, local fruit at the Black Hills Farmers Market
  42. Enjoy the carnival at the Central States Fair
  43. Bike a section of the Mickelson Trail
  44. Have a fresh, warm doughnut from Jerry’s Cakes & Donuts
  45. Attend a Native American Day parade, as South Dakota is one of only a few states that celebrates this holiday instead of Columbus Day
  46. Try a scoop of ice cream from Leones’ Creamery in Spearfish
  47. Marvel at the world’s largest teddy bear collection in Hill City’s Teddy Bear Town
  48. Watch a Rapid City Rush hockey game in the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center
  49. Try kuchen, the official dessert of South Dakota. It can be found at Dakotah Steakhouse, Laughing Water Restaurant, and Cedar Pass Lodge
  50. See a mountain goat at Mount Rushmore