Take a trip through time at one of the many Black Hills museums. From the Wild West to Native culture, our museums will paint an accurate picture of the days past.
Lakota Sioux Museums
The Lakota Sioux Indian culture pervades South Dakota and accounts for an important era in South Dakota’s history. The Crazy Horse Memorial near Custer is the Black Hills’ most notable tribute to our native people and the facilities there include an impressive North American Indian Museum.
Superlative collections of Sioux artifacts can be found at the Akta Lakota Museum in Chamberlain, at the Oglala Lakota College's Historical Center at Kyle, at the SD Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre and at The Journey Museum in Rapid City.
The Red Cloud Heritage Center on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation has one of the premier collections of original Sioux artworks and also an artifact collection dating from 1888. It is near the famous Wounded Knee battlefield. In the town of Wall, you will find the area’s finest interpretation of the tragic 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee — The Museum.
The Museum at Black Hills Institute features the Black Hills Institute collection. Displays exhibit fossil vertebrates, invertebrates and plants from around the globe. Ancient skeletons, starring "STAN" T.rex, fill the room! Signboards depict area history (maps, photographs & cave schematics). Enter through Everything Prehistoric. Open all year.
The Dinosaur Museum is located on Hwy 16 next door to the Reptile Gardens. Visitors will see over 50 life-size dinosaurs as they appeared in the flesh millions of years ago. The Museum also features a Mirror Maze, movie theatre, children's fossil dig, birthday party area & a gift shop. Free mini golf w/admission.
On Main Street in Lead, the Black Hills Mining Museum, the Official Mining Museum of South Dakota, is dedicated to the thousands of hard working men and women who were responsible for the rich 130-year history of mining in the area.
On the SD School of Mines campus. World-class fossils of Badlands mammals, marine reptiles & dinosaurs. Superb exhibits of meteorites, minerals, ores & gold replicas. Free admission. Opportunities for summer field paleo classes.
Where wood comes alive! Celebrating over 40 Years! Step into the intricate & entertaining world of woodcarving. Thousands of works by the original Disneyland animator. Museum. Carving studio, Gallery offers over 70 woodcarvers' art. Wooden Nickel Theatre, gift & snack shop. So real, you'll think it's magic!
Celebrate America's proud heritage with a parade of U.S. presidents in dramatic historical settings. Recall our nation's leaders. Relive history's great events. And, recapture a spirit of patriotism as you witness the evolution of American democracy, particularly with our breathtaking display "911 Remembered."
Fort Meade was established during the winter of 1878-79 by the 1st & 11th infantry as well as the reorganized 7th Cavalry. It outlived all other frontier posts of the Upper Missouri West, surviving as a military installation until 1944 when it became a Veterans Administration Hospital as it remains today. Journey back in military history through the many exhibits.