What to See and Do - Hill City

Where To Eat ¥ Where To Stay ¥ Where To Shop ¥ Explore Another Town
Known as a center of the arts, Hill CityÕs downtown is home to five nationally known galleries. But the biggest attraction in town is the 1880 Train, where steam and diesel locomotives still pull passengers through some of the prettiest country in the West. They make up to five round trips every day in the summer to neighboring Keystone, at the base of Mount Rushmore.

 

Hill City Visitor Information Center

23935 Highway 385

(605) 574-2368

One of the best visitor resources in the region, the professional and friendly staff at the VIC will tell you all there is to know about lodging, dining, sight-seeing, and planning activities in the area. They can even plan day trips for you, according to your needs. This is where to go for trail maps, ATV passes, attraction brochures, restaurant menus, local coupons, and theyÕll also tell you where to find emergency items on the road such as a spare widget for the RV or a new collar for the dog.

 

1880 Train and SD Railroad Museum

222 Railroad Avenue

(605) 574-2222

An absolute must on anyoneÕs Black Hills to-do list, this is a two-hour, narrated 20-mile round trip between Hill City and Keystone. Passengers view vistas of Harney Peak and mining encampments and get a very real sense of what travel was like in the Hills a hundred and more years ago. The Black Hills Central Railroad is the oldest continuously operating tour railroad in the nation. It operates three steam and two diesel engines throughout the season (May through December). One of the steam engines is close to 100 years old. You can download the brochure from the website.

Ticket prices (early 2016) are $28 round trip (RT) for adults, or $23.00 one way (OW). Children between 3 and 12 are $12 RT and $10 OW. Children 2 and under are free.

The Highliner Snack Shoppe in Hill City is a restored railcar offers that serves meal deals and has outdoor seating. Its concessions are sold onboard the train from Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. There are gifts shops in the depots at both Hill City and Keystone where youÕll find t-shirts, hats, books, train memorabilia and even local wines. And the South Dakota State Railroad Museum, next to the depot in Hill City, is only $6 for adults and free to kids under 11. More info at sdsrm.org and the MuseumÕs phone number is (605) 574-9000.

 

High Country Guest Ranch

12138 Ray Smith Drive

(605) 574-9003

You donÕt have to be a guest to enjoy music and entertainment by the award-winning Native American group Brule, or the Circle B Chuckwagon Show. But if youÕre planning on staying in the southern Hills, High Country has log vacation homes, cabins and RV sites in a serene mountain meadow. Visitors can also take a trail ride with experienced wranglers in the Black Hills National Forest, rent ATVs and explore more than 3,000 miles of marked trails in the Hills, or rent bicycles and travel the Mickelson Trail. The ranch is located 4 miles west of Hill City, on Deerfield Road.

 

Rabbit Bicycle Shuttle

175 Walnut Ave.

(605) 574-4302

This is Ôthe only full service bicycle shop right on the Michelson TrailÕ and it offers bicycle rentals for children and adults. But the staff also offers a shuttle service to provide longer rides by dropping you at designated trailheads. The store has everything you may need or want for a day of biking, including a certified mechanic, apparel and food. The trail (gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail) is 109 miles long and contains more than 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels. The trail surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel. There are 15 trailheads, all of which offer parking, self-sale trail pass stations, vault toilets, and tables. ItÕs one of South DakotaÕs greatest treasures.

 

Everything Prehistoric &

The Geological Museum

117 Main Street

(605) 574-3919

South Dakota once had seaside property. During the Cretaceous era, when T Rex roamed the land, a seaway spanned central South Dakota and hosted an abundance of sea creatures. The Museum at the Black Hills Institute curates a collection that includes many of these strange and amazing animals, plus dinosaurs, fossils, minerals and collectibles from all over the world. Adults 16 and over are $7.50; seniors, Vets and active military are $6; kids 6-15 are $4 and children 5 and under are free (2016).

Everything Prehistoric is the impressive gift shop at the Black Hills Institute, located in the lobby. It offers a broad variety of fossils, minerals, agates and meteorites. There is an extensive book section, educational toys, stone housewares, carvings and natural gemstone jewelry. Smaller museum, highly recommended. (Image courtesy of BHIGR)

 

Dakota StoneÕs Rock Shop

23850 Hwy 385

(605) 574-2760

Billed as Ôa fun and enjoyable experience for the whole familyÕ, this is a great hands-on thing for kids to do. They can pan for gemstones and fossils, hunt for hidden treasure in an underground mine, look for gold and crack a geode.

 

Jon Crane Gallery

256 Main

(605) 574-4440 

Crane is renowned for his ability to capture great detail in his landscape watercolors, and for preserving the memory of historic places. Impressive gallery and frame shop.

 

WarriorÕs Work & Ben West Gallery

277 Main Street

(605) 574-4954

This is Ôa Native American and Contemporary Fine Art GalleryÕ, showcasing the work of 30 artists from the Black Hills, South Dakota, Colorado and the Southwest. Media include bronze, wood, stone, watercolor, oil, acrylic and mixed media. Exquisite work – a treat for your senses. Check out Randy BergerÕs incredible leather frames.

 

Sandy Swallow Art Gallery

280 Main Street

(605) 642-7847 or (605) 641-2950

This gallery is Native American owned and operated by Sandy Swallow, and it features Oglala Lakota artists. The work includes fine art, handcrafted jewelry, designer casual apparel and many unique Native American crafted items.

 

ArtForms Gallery

280 Main Street

(605) 574-4894

Nestled in the back of the Old World Plaza on Main St, this gallery is owned and operated by 20 local artists. YouÕll find affordable art in every medium imaginable: woodcraft, jewelry, painting, sculpture, pottery, weaving, glass, photography, basketry and more. Stop in and say hello to the artist of the day.

 

Dakota Nature & Art Gallery

216 Main St

(605)-574-2868

This is a family owned gallery featuring art, jewelry home dŽcor, rugs, glasswork, pottery and woodturning by local artists. Their slogan is ÔDecorate your home with the feel of the HillsÕ, which is appropriate to their inventory. There are original and GiclŽe prints, turned vessels by Jerry Green, photography, cedar furniture, petrified wood tables and bookends, minerals from around the world and more. Eclectic and affordableÉ

 

Twisted Pine Winery

124 Main Street

(605) 574-2023

 ÒLargest selection of Dakota made wines, foods and gifts. We also carry wines from around the world, and offer daily wine tastings. In addition we carry olive oils and balsamic vinegars, sauces, dips, meats and cheese.Ó

 

Prairie Berry Winery

23837 Highway 385

(877) 226-9453

Located three miles northwest of town on Hwy 385, fifth generation winemaker Sandi Vojta handcrafts each wine, often using old family recipes. From the popular Red Ass Rhubarb to seasonal releases, Prairie Berry wines have earned more than 850 awards since 2001. Enjoy a free tasting of up to five wines, including Anna PesŠ handcrafted traditional European wines, or crisp, dry wines and robust, oak-aged reds to sweet, fruity varieties.

 

Miner Brewing

23845 Hwy 385

(605) 574.2886

Opened in the fall of 2013, the brewery is next door to Prairie Berry Winery on Hwy 16, just past Hwy 385. It includes a taproom and outdoor beer garden, and features a rotating tap of year-round, seasonal and specialty beers. The Daily Share has included Miner Brewing Company among their ranking of the best craft breweries in the United States.

 

Stone Faces Winery

12670 Robins Roost Rd

(605) 574-3600

Named for the presidents on the National Memorial, this is Ôone of South DakotaÕs finest wineries specializes in South Dakota native wild grape Vitis riparia and cold climate hybrid wines, as well as traditional grapes with a uniquely South Dakota feel. Dry, sweet, grape or other fruit wine, Stone Faces Winery has your palate covered.Õ

About 2-1/2 miles north of town.

 

Naked Winery and

Sick-N-Twisted Brewing Co.

23851 Hwy 385

(605) 673-2733

This is a winery that Òtakes the pecksniffery out of wine tasting. WeÕll set the mood and tease your senses with our romantically playful, traditional grape wines. Naked Wineryš offers a wide variety of grape wines, including red, white and blush varieties. We also offer a few select fruit wines. All of our wines are presented in a fun way that will spark your passion. At Naked Winery, we want you to drink what you like and have fun doing it! Let the romantic atmosphere put you at ease as you enjoy a glass of wine by the fire with friends and family. Naked Winery has tasting rooms in Hill City and Custer. The Hill City location now offers over 100 revolving microbrews, with 34 on tap.Ó

 

Sheridan Lake

This is a small reservoir just north of Hill City that is fed and drained by Spring Creek. It was created in 1939 with the construction of a dam that flooded the valley and the original town of Sheridan, which was the first Pennington County seat. The US Forest Service administers the lake and there is a commercial marina (see next entry), a swimming beach, some campgrounds, plus several picnic and overlook areas. Fish species include brown trout, largemouth bass, Northern pike, rainbow trout, white crappie and yellow perch. There is no public boat ramp.

 

Sheridan Lake Marina

16451 Sheridan Lake Road (actually a Rapid City address)

(605) 574-2169

This is a commercial marina located about six miles northeast of Hill City on Hwy 385 on the shore of 383-acre Sheridan Lake. Surrounded by forested hills, this is a very beautiful spot. The Marina offers boat rentals (speedboat/ski, pontoon, 16 ft aluminum fishing boats, canoes and kayaks), bait and fishing tackle, convenience foods, Wave Runner jet skis, and even a waterfront apartment with a deck overlooking the lake.

 

WadeÕs Gold Mill

12401 Deerfield Road

(605) 574-2680

Built around a collection of antique mining equipment, this is a place where visitors can learn about gold mining in the Black Hills, plus some geology, and even cool their heels in the creek while panning. Take a hands-on tour of the equipment, and meet a modern placer gold mill. Fun and educational. The 75-minute tour is $9 for adults, $5 for 16 and under, kids under 5 are free. The gold panning lesson is $18 for adults, $14 6 to 14-year-olds, and includes a sample of gold ore that is guaranteed to contain gold.

 

Sylvan Rocks Climbing School

208 Main St

(605) 484-7585

Daryl and Cheryl Stisser and their crew have been teaching people how to climb in the hills since 1989. Their goal is to teach beginning climbers right, and take experienced guests to the best summits the area has to offer. This is the only American Mountain Guides Association accredited climbing guide service operating in the Black Hills, and at Devils Tower National Monument. ItÕs a full service guide school that can host groups from 1 to 80+ people. This team was chosen to work on the film National Treasure 2, and has also worked on location in the Black Hills with Bear Grylls, a British adventurer who hosts a television series called Man vs. Wild.

 

CCC Museum of South Dakota

23935 Hwy 385

(605) 389-3410

In March of 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) established the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942. It found work for unemployed, unmarried men as part of the New Deal. The museum honors those men who thinned trees, fought forest fires, built rock bridges and structures, planted trees, constructed fire trails, worked on soil conservation projects, built dams and generally helped frame the beauty of South Dakota – all for a dollar a day. Families needed food and these men were willing workers who received housing, medical care, food and on the job training. The museum features a video of the history, artifacts, photos and a searchable database of the men who worked in the CCCs in SD, including many from North Dakota, Nebraska and other states. The museum is located upstairs at the Visitor Center (the number for the center is 605-574-2368). ItÕs wheelchair accessible.

 

The Stables at Palmer Gulch

12620 Hwy 244 (located at the Mount Rushmore KOA)

(605) 574-3412

For more than fifty years, this business has been putting Black Hills visitors in the saddle. They offer horseback riding, a chuck wagon dinner show and horse-drawn wagon rides. These are fun trail rides into the most beautiful places in the National Forest, such as the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and the Black Elk Wilderness Area, with Òspectacular scenery that no other trail ride barn can matchÓ. The chuck wagon dinner shows are offered several nights a week with real cowboy cooking (donÕt worry, itÕs actually a whole lot better than the original cowboys used to eat!), hear old cowboy stories, and listen to real cowboys sing.

 

Black Hills Open-Top Tours

1 White Horse Rd

(605) 644-6736

Operating out of Hill City (and also Rapid City, Keystone, Custer, Deadwood, Lead and Sturgis), they provide Black Hills sightseeing tours using comfortable, distinctive, convertible top tour vehicles. Their tours never rush you and make frequent stops for photo ops and breaks. The vehicles are never crowded, seating 2 to 12 guests, all with excellent viewing. Options include convertible-top ÔSafariÕ wildlife tours, Jeeps in the Badlands, handicap accessible vehicles and multilingual narrated tours. Their new Buffalo Safari Van has a distinctive see-through Lexanª top, and is a comfortable 10 passenger all-weather vehicle with removable side windows for excellent viewing, and standing photo ops.

 

   

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