South Dakota Parks
The rugged beauty of the Badlands draws visitors from around the world. These striking geologic deposits contain one of the world’s richest fossil beds. Ancient mammals such as the rhino, horse, and saber-toothed cat once roamed here. The park’s 244,000 acres protect an expanse of mixed-grass prairie where bison, bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, and black-footed ferrets live today.
Immerse yourself within the third longest cave in the world. With over 180 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, this underground wilderness appeals to human curiosity. Its splendor is revealed through fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color. Its maze of passages lure explorers, and its scientific wealth remains a mystery. This resource is truly a jewel in the National Park Service.
National Historic Trail
Eleven States: ID,IL,IA,KS,MO,MT,NE,ND,OR,SD,WA
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States.
National Historic Site
Southwestern , SD
The Cold War was the defining historical era of the last half of the 20th century. It led to fear, panic, and distrust symbolized by a nuclear arms race between the United States and Soviet Union. The Minuteman Missile remains an iconic weapon in the American nuclear arsenal. It holds the power to destroy civilization, but is meant as a nuclear deterrent to maintain peace and prevent war.
National Recreational River
Imagine a 100-mile stretch of North America's longest river, a vestige of the untamed American West. The Missouri National Recreational River is where imagination meets reality. Two free flowing stretches of the Missouri make up the National Park. Relive the past by making an exploration of the wild, untamed and mighty river that continues to flow as nature intended.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial is visited by nearly three million people each year that come to marvel at the majestic beauty of the Black Hills of South Dakota and learn about the birth, growth, development and preservation of the country. From the history of the first inhabitants to the diversity of America today, Mount Rushmore brings visitors face to face with the rich heritage we all share.
Hot Springs, SD
Bison, elk, and other wildlife roam the rolling prairie grasslands and forested hillsides of one of America's oldest national parks. Below the remnant island of intact prairie sits Wind Cave, one of the longest and most complex caves in the world. Named for barometric winds at its entrance, this maze of passages is home to boxwork, a unique formation rarely found elsewhere.
By The Numbers
- 6 national parks
- 3,861,090 visitors to national parks
- $242,200,000 economic benefit from national park tourism »
- 1,294 National Register of Historic Places listings »
- $79,645,555 of rehabilitation projects stimulated by tax incentives (since 1995) »
- 28,203 hours donated by volunteers »
- 13 National Natural Landmarks »
- 16 National Historic Landmarks »
- $38,334,628 in Land & Water Conservation Fund grants (since 1965) »
- 201 acres transferred by Federal Lands to Parks for local parks and recreation (since 1948) »
- $23,924,778 in historic preservation grants (since 1969) »
- 15 community conservation and recreation projects (since 1987) »
- 136 places recorded by heritage documentation programs »
- 603,856 objects in national park museum collections »
- 8 threatened and endangered species in national parks »
- 452 archeological sites in national parks »
- 19 Certified Local Governments »
- 2 Teaching with Historic Places lesson plans »
- 9 Discover Our Shared Heritage travel itineraries »
- Download the summary »
These numbers are just a sample of the National Park Service's work. Figures are for the fiscal year that ended 9/30/14.