Native American Discovery

The Black Hills of South Dakota are rich in Native American culture and history. Experience it to the fullest with visits to these galleries, museums, parks and monuments that are found in and around Rapid City!

Parks

Bear Butte State Park

A great way to appreciate this culture is to take an early morning hike up Bear Butte. Located approximately 25 miles north of Rapid City, Bear Butte State Park is a geological wonder and a place of worship for many Native American tribes. The hike to the top is rugged but the view is spectacular. Visitors are asked to be respectful of worshippers and their religious practices.

Badlands National Park

Sixty minutes east of Rapid City you’ll discover the rugged beauty of another world. Badlands National Park was originally named Mako Sica by the Lakota people, and is the last known location of the Ghost Dance. Explore the eroding terrain and take in the wonders and wildlife of this fascinating national park. 

Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park protects land that has great historical, cultural and spiritual meanings to many American Indians. In the Lakota culture, Wind Cave is the place of their emergence from the Spirit World onto the earth. Roam above and below ground in this national park, the first made to protect a cave, and learn about the culture that surrounds it all.

Monuments

Devils Tower National Monument

Make the drive from Rapid City to Devils Tower National Monument! Over 20 tribes express a cultural connection with the monument through stories of the tower’s creation. The most popular legend involves a bear clawing the sides of the tower to form the various columns. Devils Tower is located approximately 1 hour 30 minutes from Rapid City across the border into Wyoming.

Crazy Horse Memorial

One of the most comprehensive ways to learn about Native American history in South Dakota is with a visit to Crazy Horse Memorial. Only a 50 minute drive from Rapid City, this ongoing mountain carving of the great Lakota warrior is not only a tribute to the Sioux Nation, but to tribes everywhere. Explore the grounds to tour places like The Indian Museum of North America, which showcases authentic items donated from Native Americans all over the United States and Canada.

Museums and Galleries

The Journey Museum and Learning Center

Take a tour of The Journey Museum & Learning Center located in Downtown Rapid City. This unique museum will show you the history of the “Paha Sapa” (Lakota for Black Hills) and the legend of their formation in The Great Race, leaving you with a greater respect for the land and its people.

Sioux Pottery

Enjoy a stop at Sioux Pottery, where you will see traditionally designed and hand-crafted pottery by Sioux Indian Artists. Watch the process of the pottery being made from beginning to end and then browse their gift shop for the perfect piece to take home.

Prarie Edge Trading Co.

Explore Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries in Downtown Rapid City. Here you’ll find two stories of specially made Native American arts and crafts, beadwork, clothing, replicas of authentic wares and so much more.

Dakota Drum

Shop a selection of traditional buffalo hide drums, Pow Wow drums, hand painted drums and Native American Art created by Lakota artist Sonja Holy Eagle at Dakota Drum. Located in Downtown Rapid City, a stop by the store lets you marvel at these beautiful handmade items and perhaps even speak with the artist herself!

 

Extend your cultural experience with an escorted and narrated Native American tour by one of our local sight-seeing companies and visit Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Group Friendly

Our Native American attractions offer room for all including group tours, conventions and reunions. Each location is perfect for groups of 30-1,000 people. Call ahead for the best deals and accommodations for your unique gathering.