Thrill Seekers


With spectacular state and national parks surrounding us, adventurers and thrill seekers are a common sight in Rapid City. You may count yourself among those who wear their enthusiasm right on their sleeves, or on the soles of your rock climbing shoes. Or you may be ready for your first adventures into raising your heart rate out on the trail or up in the trees – Rapid City is ready to help you find thrills that are just right for every level of adrenaline rush.

As the region that’s known for famous rock formations, the Black Hills is home to diverse rock climbing areas, ranging from granite spires with 300-foot ascents to rock mazes with moderate boulder challenges. A favorite destination for technical climbing that’s just six miles from Rapid City is Falling Rock, where you can explore the edges and pockets of a limestone canyon.

High-flying thrills are on the rise in the Black Hills. For a truly unique experience, book a flight with the oldest balloon company in the USA, boasting flights up to 8,000 feet in the air. Black Hills Balloons offers breathtaking views and endless Black Hills landscape. For a similar experience, Black Hills Aerial Adventures specializes in helicopter tours over iconic landmarks like Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park and Mount Rushmore.

For families, check out the Black Hills’ newest fun park, Rush Mountain Adventure Park. In one location, you can ride the Soaring Eagle Zipline, take on bandits on the Gunslinger 7-D Interactive Ride, cruise around the mountain on the brand new Mountain Coaster and explore the stalactite-filled caverns of Rushmore Cave. There’s even an Xpedition Adventure Tour for those serious about spelunking into areas almost no one else ever sees.

Keep your thrills at a level everyone can enjoy at Rushmore Tramway Adventures, where you’ll find a 2,000-foot alpine slide and a scenic chairlift to a mountaintop garden and café. Check out the cutting-edge aerial adventure park to play in the trees among suspension ladders, bridges, zip lines, ropes and more. Courses are labeled by varying degrees of difficulty to help climbers of all skill levels succeed at finding their thrills.

The thrills find you when you head to Custer State Park for a Buffalo Safari Jeep Ride – they might even wander right up to your open-air custom-built vehicle. It’s a guided off-road encounter with herds of buffalo, elk and deer that you’ll never forget.

Get Lost In A Cave

It’s the third-longest cave in the world with three miles of new passageways being discovered every year. Jewel Cave dazzles with calcite crystals and an overwhelming sense of vast possibilities. Strap on a helmet for the Wild Caving Tour to explore natural tunnels, fragile cave formations and witness the location where hydromagnesite balloons were first discovered.

Ride Through History

Smooth, fast and wavy. There's no denying the thrill of a single track. Built to mark the 100th anniversary of South Dakota's statehood, Centennial Trail is the longest trail in the Black Hills, totaling 111 miles through wide open prairies and ponderosa pine.

Lose Yourself in the Badlands

There’s a strange other world out there, just waiting for your footprints to leave an imprint. No, it’s not Mars or even the lunar surface, but Badlands National Park is just as compelling and mysterious.


68 miles of twisting roads tiptoeing through the Harney Range of the central Black Hills is why The Peter Norbeck Scenic Highway is a cruise you have to take this summer.

Visit @MountRushmoreNM & find so much more than a monument! Read it on @BuzzFeed! #VisitRapidCity #MountRushmore 

How can you resist doing big things when you're surrounded by these inspiring rock formations? 
Photo Credit: @caleblarimer