The Northern Hills


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The most striking aspect of this zone is the completely different personalities of the communities within it.

Belle Fourche is a commercial center that serves a vast area geographical area. Itユs the shopping hub for ranches and small communities in four states (both Dakotas, Montana and Wyoming). For fifty years, more cows and sheep were shipped from the Belle Fourche train depot than from anywhere else in the entire country, and there are still big sales every week. Here youユll find Western clothing, tack shops and one of the best annual rodeos in America. Off the beaten track, you can walk down to the confluence of the three rivers that gave the town its name (which in English translates as Pretty Fork). You can stroll or bike along several miles of the River Walk, or stop by the geographical center of all fifty states. The Center of the Nation Monument is also home to a regional Visitor Center and the Tristate Museum.

Deadwood played host to the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Seth Bullock and Calamity Jane, and is still a rocking place. Many of the original building are beautifully preserved, and the town has an impressive rodeo grounds. Now also home to a vibrant casino industry, among the townユs crown jewels are the Adams House Museum and the new Days of 76 Museum.

Lead was once home to the worldユs largest open pit goldmine, which you can visit. Built on steep hillsides, itユs a historic town with a very bright future: the mile-and-a-half deep shafts and tunnels of the old mine are now being used for scientific research.


Cornfields ripen near Spearfish,
with Lookout Mountain in the background.
(Photo by BHSW)

Spearfish has long been known for its university and sawmill, and it has now become a haven for retirees, too. Blessed with great restaurants and coffee shops, itユs also the gateway to the magnificent Spearfish Canyon.

And while Sturgis will always be thought of first as the home of the annual motorcycle rally, the town also has an incredibly rich history ミ much of it connected to Fort Meade. Itユs also on the doorstep of one of the most unusual mountains out West, the solitary peak of Bear Butte (at left), which is a deeply spiritual site for the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne people. By the way, if you hike to the top, please respect any prayer offerings you see tied to branches.


Regional Health operates five hospitals and a number of clinics throughout the Black Hills. Hospitals are located in Custer, Lead-Deadwood, Rapid City, Spearfish and Sturgis. There are also clinics in Hot Springs and Hill City. Click here, or on the image, for more details.

Switchboard: (605) 755-1000

(In an emergency, dial 911)

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