Rapid City offers unlimited recreational activities: fishing, golfing, tennis, biking, jogging, hiking, bowling, swimming, picnicking, skating and ball games are only a few of the possibilities. For the spectator, there is car racing, rodeos, movies, big name entertainers, symphony orchestra, band concerts, theater, and sporting events.
While Rapid City stays relatively mild and dry in the winter, just 35 miles away and some 4,000 ft. higher, Mother Nature has been known to give us up to 220 inches of beautiful powder snow annually. We have two challenging Alpine areas and our cross-country and snowmobiling is unsurpassed anywhere in the United States, according to the experts. In fact, our over 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails (and over one million acres of national forest lands), made this a testing area for many of the world’s snowmobile manufacturers and a favorite location for advertising agencies filming commercials for snowmobiling equipment.
Summer outdoor activities allow golfers to test their skill at Meadowbrook’s 18-hole municipal course, Hart Ranch’s 18-hole course or at one of three 9-hole Executive golf courses, or play the private Arrowhead or Elks Valley High Country clubs. Black Hills golf courses twist deep into pine forests, cross rushing trout streams, and open up to distractingly spectacular mountain vista. And there are some interesting hazards: giant rock outcroppings, steep canyon walls, beaver dams and grazing deer.
In the winter, there’s a peace and serenity in the Hills contrasting sharply with the hustle and bustle of summer. Most scenic routes are open and maintained throughout the winter, and the mantle of virgin snow on pine-clad mountains gives the Hills a Christmas-card look that’ll have you diving for your camera.
Rapid City has developed a bike path that meanders through the City’s greenway following Rapid Creek through the City. Free of motor traffic, the 12 mile bike path is ideal for a family outing or the individual out to get exercise.
Mt. Rushmore National Monument, Crazy Horse Monument, Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, Custer State Park, and the Badlands National Park to the east are only a few of the attractions in the area with forested hills and rock formations lying in between. Streams and lakes provide fishing to please any sportsman. The Hills are a wonderland of caves. Of the 72 known crystal caves in the world, 68 are located in the Black Hills. The Hills also have some of the longest cave systems in the world.
Rapid City is the gateway to the Black Hills which offer unlimited hours of recreation including sight-seeing, hiking, camping, swimming, sailing, water skiing, fishing, rockhounding, spelunking, horseback riding, hunting, downhill and cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
The Parks System
Rapid City is the “City of Parks.” There are 18 city parks throughout the City which contain approximately 500 acres. This does not include the municipal golf course or approximately 1500 acres of greenway that runs through the city. The Rapid City Parks Department and the Rapid City Garden Club, in a cooperative effort, maintain three formal garden settings.
Hiking, biking, horseback riding and sightseeing are just a few of the many other summer attractions enjoyed throughout the Black Hills area. While our area has long been one of the nation’s favorite summer vacation areas, it is now beginning to be one of its winter favorites as well.
The Black Hills region is richly blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, family attractions, great wildlife parks, and brand name Old West history. The Black Hills are laced with trout streams, hiking trails, mountain lakes, and super-scenic highways. The area offers four seasons of superb outdoor recreation.