‘The Mount Rushmore State’
The state of South Dakota is home to the ‘Mount Rushmore National Memorial‘ – the monument consists of the faces of the 4 Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln chiseled in the rock.
The state in a nutshell
The state of South Dakota is home to the ‘Mount Rushmore National Memorial’. This monument consists of the faces of the 4 presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln – chiseled in the rock. Beyond this it is the home of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes, which make up the so-called Sioux Nation.
But this is not all that South Dakota has to offer : Pierre, the capital, is situated in the center of the state at the Missouri River. The landscape in the easterly part is characterized as flat plains.
To the west the country rises up to the Black Hills with South Dakota’s highest point (2.200 m / 7.218 ft) on Harney Peak. Many of the attractions of the state, such as limestone caves, bison herds, wild horses, National Parks, gold mines, can be reached in a radius of 2-3 hours trip around Rapid City (on I-90).
Wild West Some major places of the wild west history can be found in South Dakota and several names are connected with it: Wild Bill Hickok, General Custer, Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Red Cloud, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, Calamity Jane, to name just a few.
South Dakota was the home of the Sioux, the Great Sioux Nation, which was formed from seven different tribes. This union was named: ‘Seven Council Fires’.
Within the Great Sioux Nation three different dialects were spoken which also led to the fact that the members of the Great Sioux nation grouped themselves after their dialects: Dakota, Lakota and Nakota.
Louisiana Purchase: The United States bought the blue marked area (see map) from France for $15 million dollars.
What to do / Sightseeing
Corn Palace in Mitchel
Cultural Heritage Museum in Pierre
National Guard Museum in Pierre
Akta Lakota Museum in Chamberlain
Sturgis motorcycle event (August)
Black Hills National Forest
Black Hills Scenic Byways
Custer State Park
Wind Cave National Park
George S. Mickelson Trail
-> see Visiting the Black Hills
Badlands National Park
Best time to travel / Season
Best time to travel is the summer. In winter you can expect harsh winter conditions and a lot of snow.
Climate and Temperatures
Weather can change rapidly. In general travelers may expect blizzards during the winter time, which can be very dangerous. The summer brings temperatures up in the 30’s C (higher 80’s F).
State Data & Essentials
South Dakota – State Abbr.: SD
– Statehood Ranking: 40
75,885 square miles (196,535 qkm)
– Land Area Ranking: 16
814,180 (2010 Census); 754,844 (2000 Census)
The Mount Rushmore State
Under God the People Rule
2.207 m / 7,241 ft (Harney Peak)
293 m / 961 ft (Big Stone Lake)
2 time zones. Think of a vertical boundary through Pierre. Mountain Standard Time (GMT-7hrs, MEZ-8hrs) west of Pierre and Central Standard Time (GMT-6hrs, MEZ-7hrs) east of Pierre
Daylight Saving Time: yes
Black Hills Spruce
Pasque (also called May Day Flower)
Chinese ring-necked Pheasant
“Hail, South Dakota” (1943, March song by Deecort Hammitt)