"Where Prairie Skies Meet Western Life"
Population: 598 • Elevation: 2,136
Located 23 miles south of I-90 at the junction of Highway 83 and 44; White River is a gateway to the Badlands and Rosebud Reservation. Settled in 1911, White River has become known as favorite hunting area for grouse, pheasant, deer, varmint and wild turkey. Experience fishing, ranch vacations, rodeos, powwows and other outdoor activities where the prairie skies meet western life.
Sunsets and More
Camping, photography, bicycling, bird watching, listening to the sounds of nature such as coyotes howl, historical museums, the beautiful badlands and more.
Natural Beauty Abounds in Mellette County
Badlands: Once a wooded forest where dinosaurs roamed — now a haunting lunar-like landscape. A wonderland of colorful spires and pinnacles, massive buttes, deep gorges and even changing colors. Leaving White River on Highway 44 will take you to the main entrance to Badlands National Park. There is an excellent visitor center, and an opportunity to purchase authentic Lakota crafts and feast on a local dish — the Indian Taco.
Started in 1912 in White River as a community celebration, Frontier Days continues today as a yearly event and attracts people from around the world. The rodeo features all of the major events and includes a wild horse race on Sunday. Also incorporated into the celebration are a parade, wagon train, 5K run, rodeos, arts festivals, dances under the stars and a traditional Lakota Powwow.
Being outdoors is who we are. Mellette County has an abundance of wild game, fishing opportunities, hiking, camping, bird watching, ranch vacations and more. Game and fish include: antelope, deer, pheasant, grouse, turkey, duck, geese, prairie dogs, coyote, bass, perch, northern pike, bluegill, crappie, catfish and bullheads. There are opportunities to hunt private or tribal land. Licenses, supplies and lodging are available.