Keystone and the surrounding Black Hills are bustling with history-rich national parks and towering monuments, providing stunning views and fun for all ages.
Located about an hour and a half east of Keystone, the Badlands boasts 244,000 acres and one of the world’s richest fossil beds containing the ancient remains of rhinos and saber-tooth cats. Hiking trails wind through the park, offering a scenic way to get in a workout. During the summer, gaze up at the star-studded evening sky during their summer night sky viewing ranger program that is held Friday through Monday nights. Telescopes are even provided during the event, allowing all visitors the chance at a fantastic panoramic view you can witness only in South Dakota.
Wind Cave National Park is also not to be missed. Wind Cave is one of the world’s longest and most complex caves and houses what is known as boxwork, a kind of formation that’s rarely found in the world. Above ground, visitors can bison, elk and other native wildlife roam the prairie grasslands while exploring one of the nation’s oldest national parks.
Over two million people venture to the Black Hills every year to see George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln immortalized in one of the world’s most recognizable monuments. Located a mere nine miles from Keystone, Mount Rushmore National Memorial not only serves as a spectacular sight for your family to behold, but also offers a fun way to learn more about these notable people who have helped shape our country into what it is today.
Travel only thirty minutes from Keystone to experience the breathtaking Crazy Horse Memorial, which is still under construction. Upon completion, it will depict the well-known Oglala Lakota warrior, Crazy Horse, riding his horse and pointing out into the Black Hills where his “dead lay buried.” The memorial was commissioned by Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear and carved by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowsk and his descendents. The mission of The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is to protect and preserve the culture, tradition and living heritage of the North American Indians.
Contact the Keystone Visitors Information Center if you have questions about planning your vacation to tour these local gems during your Black Hills vacation.