Dinosaur Park | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Dinosaur Park

  • Dinosaur Park
    Dinosaur Park
  • Dinosaur Park
    Dinosaur Park
  • Dinosaur Park
    Dinosaur Park
Find Us: 
940 Skyline Dr.
Rapid City, SD 57701
Call: 
(605) 343-8687

Free family fun at one of the Black Hills’ original tourist attractions, open to the public since 1936!  Dinosaur Park is located on a ridge of sandstone that encircles the Black Hills.  Along this ridge dinosaurs of the Late Jurassic and Early Cretaceous have been found.  Not far from the park dinosaur footprints have been found.

As you stand on Dinosaur Park with spectacular 100-mile views and look to the east you can see the South Dakota Badlands.  Most rocks of the Badlands are too young to have dinosaurs preserved, but fossil mammals are superbly represented.  To the west and north of the Black Hills, dinosaurs have been found in great abundance in the basins of Wyoming and on the Northern Great Plains.

Construction in Progress

From the City of Rapid City, Communications Division:

WORK STARTS THIS MONTH ON DINOSAUR PARK IMPROVEMENTS

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Iconic park will be closed October 1-April 30 during multi-phase renovation project

RAPID CITY, SD—Work has started on the Dinosaur Park Accessibility Improvements project.  The park will be closed to all public access beginning October 1.

Demolition work began September 20. The Dinosaur Park Visitor Center and Gift Shop will remain open through September 30 but the stairs will be inaccessible to visitors beginning September 20. Visitors are invited to access the dinosaurs via a hiking trail north of the staircase through September 30. Starting October 1, the park will be closed to all public access through April 30, 2023. Officials with the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department indicate the park closure will not affect any other trails within the Skyline Wilderness Area. A limited number of parking spaces in the Dinosaur Park lot will remain open for visitors wishing to access the Skyline Wilderness Trail system.

Officials indicate traffic control measures will be necessary along Skyline Drive when work is performed in close proximity to Skyline Drive.  Motorists are advised to drive with caution during the construction period and be aware of construction traffic, traffic signs and flaggers in the affected area.

“This project has been many years in the making,” said Melissa Petersen, City Parks and Recreation landscape designer.  “Anyone who has visited the park over the years realizes the limitations with access and these improvements will only enhance the visitor experience for generations to come.

“The improvements are extensive and we are working to do much of the work during the visitor off-seasons.  We know many people like to visit the park throughout the year, but this closure will allow the work to get done in the safest and most efficient manner.”

The multi-phase project is scheduled for completion in December 2023.  The project will upgrade Dinosaur Park with accessible pedestrian routes, bring safety features up to code and provide new and upgraded visitor amenities including site interpretation.  Dinosaur Park improvements were among the items approved in the 2019 Vision Fund allocations by the City Council.  The projected $3.5 million project is scheduled to be funded with $1.6 million from the Vision Fund and the remainder from the Rapid City Parks and Recreation Department’s Capital Improvements Project (CIP) Fund and government facilities fund.

The park was dedicated in 1936 and was constructed by city crews and the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The dinosaur sculptures were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.  Over the years, maintenance and renovations have been made to parking, some pedestrian access, pavement and to the dinosaurs.

For more information on the Dinosaur Park project, visit the City of Rapid City Official Website.

  • 9/20/22: Phase 1 stair demolition begins, gift shop remains open, limited parking spaces available, stairs inaccessible to the public, trail access available to those willing and able to climb the hill.

  • 10/1/22: Phase 1 continues, gift shop closed for the season, limited parking spaces available, no public access to Dinosaur Hill.

  • 5/1/23: Phase 1 continues, gift shop open for the season, limited parking spaces available, trail access available to those willing and able to climb the hill.

  • 5/26/23: Phase 1 to be complete, gift shop remains open, limited parking spaces available, stair access to the hill to be restored.

Hours: 
Open Daily
May
  • 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
June-July
  • 8:00 am - 8:00 pm
August
  • 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
September
  • 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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