Black Hills vacation rentals

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Your guide to Black Hills

All About Black Hills

With more than 5 million acres of stunning forests and mountainous terrain, the Black Hills of South Dakota are home to impressive monuments, five national parks, and miles of scenic byways. Here, you’ll find world-famous attractions like Mount Rushmore, as well as the wild bison that roam freely on the plains in Custer State Park. Visit geological wonders in Badlands National Park, which have been formed by thousands of years of wind and rain. And take a fascinating journey underground at the Jewel Cave National Monument, one of the longest cave systems in the world.

The Black Hills are dotted with interesting towns to visit, too. Rapid City, the major gateway to the Black Hills, offers an abundance of restaurants, shops, and museums. The historic Old West town of Deadwood, which dates from the 19th-century gold rush, still draws people to wander along its charming Main Street, lined with historic buildings and saloons. At Hot Springs, you can visit the site where bones from more than 60 mammoths have been unearthed.

The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Black Hills

Summer is a great time to be in the Black Hills, and there are many cabins for rent for your stay. You can expect mostly warm and sunny days for exploring the outdoors, so make sure to pack your sunscreen and hat (and don’t forget mosquito repellent for the evenings). In June, the Black Hills Bluegrass Festival draws musicians from all over to perform in the pine-covered hills. In fall, the days become cooler and the nights even colder, but you’ll still enjoy plenty of sunshine. December through February are the coldest months in South Dakota, when lows can reach below zero degrees Fahrenheit. In March, the temperatures warm up a little, but it’s when you’re likely to see most snow in the region. Later in the springtime, the temperatures finally rise again, but it is also when the range receives plenty of rainfall — turning the Black Hills bright green.

Top things to do in Black Hills

Mount Rushmore

The iconic Mount Rushmore, 40 miles southwest of Rapid City, is one of the most famous attractions in the United States. It took 14 years, beginning in 1927, to carve four U.S. presidents’ faces into the granite face of the mountain. Take a walk along the Presidential Trail for spectacular views from several perspectives. You can also stroll through the Avenue of Flags, which represents the 50 states of America.

Custer State Park

Take a scenic drive on the Wildlife Loop through Custer State Park to see a herd of more than 1,000 bison roaming freely. As you slowly make your way around the loop, you may spot them up close, and if you’re lucky, elk, deer, mountain goats, and prairie dogs may make appearances, too. There are three trails to hike along in the park, including the Cathedral Spires Trail, a three-mile round trip that takes you to the base of towering eroded rock formations shaped like spires.

Jewel Cave National Monument

The spectacular Jewel Cave National Monument near Custer has more than 200 miles of plotted passages below the surface, with new ones documented every year. The walls of the cave are lined with calcite crystals that sparkle just like jewels, hence the name. The Scenic Loop, the most popular trail open to the public, is a half-mile circuit with more than 700 stairsteps.

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