Fall in the Black Hills: Unparalleled Experience | Black Hills Travel Blog

Fall in the Black Hills: Unparalleled Experience

  • Fall in the Black Hills: Unparalleled Experience
    Fall in the Black Hills: Unparalleled Experience
Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2019
By : 
Alyssa

Fall is just around the corner. As the leaves begin to change and the air fills with a crisp coolness, our thoughts turn to sweaters and scarves, ghouls and goblins, and pumpkin-flavored everything! The Black Hills and Badlands are filled with inspiration for embracing the transition into autumn, offering a cornucopia of experiences for all. It’s clear why visitors can’t help fall-ing for the Black Hills this time of year.

Fall Colors

The vivid red and gold hues of shimmering leaves on tree-lined hills set the stage for an unforgettable drive through meandering roads in the Black Hills and Badlands. Five major routes unveil exquisite displays of vibrant color, waterfalls, and fascinating wildlife. 

1. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway
Waterfalls, hiking trails, and limestone cliffs with jagged peaks line this 20-mile route on U.S. Highway 14A.

2. Vanocker Canyon
Birch and aspen provide a glowing backdrop on this 17-mile drive on Forest Service Road 26.

3. Boulder Canyon
Take U.S. Highway 14A for a short, 12-mile drive on a high-walled, valley road that is filled with colors of autumn.

4. Belle Fourche to Devils Tower
This 52-mile route on Highway 34 offers rolling landscapes with abundant fall beauty.

5. Pine Ridge
This 218-mile trek is the hidden gem of fall in the Black Hills. Take Highway 79 to Highway 18, through Pine Ridge, and out on Highway 44 for a spectacular fall view.

Gas up your car, pour yourself a large mug of cider, and prepare to “ooh” and “ahh.” Be sure to bring your camera!

Fresh Autumn Air



Autumn ushers in the perfect combination of sunny afternoons and clear, brisk nights. These ideal conditions beckon visitors to lace up their boots, zip up their fleece jacket, and explore the natural beauty outdoors. Quiet trails tucked within the hills will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding or ATVing. When the sun shies away and fog rolls in, cozy up inside a museum or gallery and discover days gone by.

Fewer Crowds



The hustle and hum of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is behind us, making way for the beginning of the region’s shoulder season. The time between traditional peak and off-peak travel means fewer crowds, off-peak prices, and more lodging options for fall travelers. Plus, take advantage of shorter lines at even the most popular attractions

Events Galore

Celebrate the fall harvest at a family-friendly festival, sample seasonal libations with friends at local breweries and wineries, or feel the rush of more than 1,000 bison thundering past you. Plan your travels around the many Black Hills and Badlands beloved events that quickly turn into annual traditions. A few of the region's key fall events include:

Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup & Arts Festival
Friday, September 27, 2019 (All day) to Sunday, September 29, 2019 (All day)

Feel the thunder and join the herd at the annual Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. Watch cowboys and cowgirls as they roundup and drive the herd of approximately 1,300 buffalo (number of animals vary depending on rangeland conditions) to the corrals.

7th Annual Fall Volksmarch at Crazy Horse Memorial®️
Sunday, September 29, 2019

This autumn hike is the public’s second chance of the year to walk up the world’s largest mountain carving in progress.

Black Hills Powwow
Friday, October 11, 2019 (All day) to Sunday, October 13, 2019 (All day)

The Black Hills Powwow or He Sapa Wacipi is a preeminent Black Hills event that’s three days filled with Native American singing, dancing, drum groups, art show, handgames, athletic competitions and a variety of other events. Over the decades, the Black Hills Powwow has become one of the premier American Indian cultural events in the United States attracting hundreds of dancers, singers, artisans and thousands of spectators from across North America.

Deadweird
Friday, October 25, 2019 to Saturday, October 26, 2019

Come celebrate Halloween in Deadwood. Deadweird is a little crazy, a little spooky and a WHOLE lot of fun! Make plans for the 7th annual Monster Ball on Friday, Oct.

From pumpkin chuckin’, stein holding competitions, wiener dog races, and spooky haunts—the overflowing list of fall events will have you celebrating well into the Christmas season! See our Fall Events Blog or, for a complete list of fall happenings, check out our events calendar.

A visit to the Black Hills and Badlands in the fall will have you quickly planning your next trip. Share your fall vacation with #DiscoverBlackHills.

About the Author

Alyssa is a Chadron State College graduate with deep roots in the Black Hills and Badlands. As an English Major, she has a passion for writing, people, animals, stationary, and (of course) South Dakota. Her friends often describe her as loyal, funny, and someone who always keeps things interesting. 

Enjoy These Upcoming Events

You May Also Be interested In