South Dakota – Mount Rushmore State

South Dakota is truly an American province, where there are practically no large cities, and the capital of the state, the city of Pierre, occupies the penultimate place in terms of the number of inhabitants among the administrative centers of the American regions. South Dakota, like neighboring North Dakota, got its name from two Indian tribes – Dakota and Lakota, whose representatives to this day make up a considerable percentage of the state’s population.

One of the largest state parks in the state, Custer Park, hosts an annual “buffalo drive” where anyone can participate in the corral of almost 1,500 bison into the central part of the massif. Unlike earlier times of the Wild West, it is forbidden to shoot animals, and the drive has become just a regular pastime, a kind of tribute to the past.

Deadwood Historic District Main Street

South Dakota occupies the territory of the Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, as well as some part of the Mississippi River basin, which led to an extremely diverse topography and picturesque surroundings. The most famous natural massif of the region is the Black Hills, which from time immemorial have been considered shrines for all Indian tribes living on the territory of the Great Plains. Legend has it that this place has a special magical energy, where you can get powers and various abilities.

The state capital is Pyrrhus.

The largest city is Sioux Falls.

How to get there

The central city of the state of Pyrrhus can only be reached by air. The city has a small airport where regular commercial flights fly from Denver and Minneapolis; you can fly to these cities from Russia with transfers in London, Frankfurt am Main, Los Angeles or New York.

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Attractions Black Hills

On the territory of the mountain range is perhaps the main popularly recognized curiosity of the Midwest – Mount Rushmore, on which a huge bas-relief is carved depicting the founding fathers of American statehood: the first president George Washington, the author of the declaration of independence Thomas Jefferson, the liberator of Negro slaves Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, a prominent international peacemaker.

Theodore Roosevelt’s head is carved into the rock a little deeper than the heads of other presidents, since explosives were used in the construction of the monument and too large a piece of rock was chipped off.

The approach to the mountain starts from the Alley of Flags, along which it is very easy to get to the observation deck, from where a great view of the mountain opens. Along the alley you can walk to the numerous cafes located at the foot. The terrain of Rushmore itself is closed for climbing and is guarded by the staff of the complex, although the neighboring rocks are very popular with climbers. Not far from the entrance, there are several food outlets and souvenir shops. Entrance to the territory of the memorial is free, and you only need to pay for a parking space in the car park.

On one of the peaks of the sacred Black Hills there is another similar memorial, which half a century ago became the largest work of art carved into the rock. The monument is dedicated to the deceased Indian leader Crazy Horse, the main fighter for the independence of the Lakota tribes. Construction has been underway since 1948, mainly by enthusiasts. Once completed, Crazy Horse will “grow” to a height of 172 meters, nearly 10 times the size of the US Presidential Memorial on Mount Rushmore.

In the film Reservation, which is inspired by the dream of cultural independence of the Dakota Indians, a tribal policeman at the end of the film throws a bag of paint on the Presidents’ Memorial, approaching the mountain from the back side. The film caused a wave of indignation and the growth of national liberation sentiment among the American Indians.

Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis

Once every two years, in the territory of South Dakota in the town of Sturgis, the world’s largest race of bikers takes place, which dates back to 1938. Surprisingly, only nine people came to the city then, while in 2005 the event was attended by more than 600,000 people! In addition to the amazing atmosphere and extremely colorful audience, here you can see the world’s leading rock musicians, many of whom also come as participants.

There is even a bike museum in Sturgis, which presents the history of the development of motorcycle technology, covering the world’s leading manufacturers of “iron horses”.

In addition, the Sturgis Motor Show is a great showcase for bike and component manufacturers. So, many companies present their new products at this show. And recently, another competition has joined the ranks of festival events, this time among customizers who make motorcycles in the most amazing configurations and images. Over the past few years, one of the main figures of the festival has become a chopper (a motorcycle with an elongated frame and a front fork).

Mysterious Jewel Cave

In South Dakota, there is the second longest cave in the world, the labyrinths of which stretched for 257 kilometers at a depth of more than 190 meters. It is noteworthy that only one natural entrance leads to Jewel Cave, and strong winds constantly blow in the corridors and cavities, sometimes reaching speeds of 15 m/s.

In the center of the cave there is a second artificial entrance, through which excursions can be carried out on most of the speleological site. A visit to the Jewel is divided into two stages, the first of which is designed to explore the halls closest to the exit. There is no need to have additional equipment and training, and the journey will take a little time. If you wish, you can order a tour of the remote labyrinths in the company of a professional speleologist who will tell you about the history of the discovery of each site.

The walls of the cave are almost everywhere covered with calcite, a mineral that, when illuminated, can take on a variety of colors, while creating an impressive sight. The brothers Frank and Albert Michaud, who discovered the cave in 1900, without thinking twice, called it Jewel Cave, which means “jewel cave”.

Terry Peak Ski Resort

The slope of Terry Peak is a real paradise for snowboarders and skiers, because the length of the track here is 3219 meters with a vertical drop of almost 351 meters. The ski slopes are open from November to April. The resort has two lifts, and at the foot of the mountain there is a service where you can rent houses or sit in a cafe. A snow park is equipped on the territory of the ski base, where numerous obstacles and springboards have been erected, which allows eminent athletes to train here.

South Dakota - Mount Rushmore State