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Bear Butte as seen from the Black Hills
This is Bear Butte as seen from approximately 12 miles away. Considered sacred by Native Americans this massive butte rises more than 1400 feet above the surrounding prairie. The second butte, on the horizon, is called Deer's Ears Butte and is about 70 miles away from where this photo was taken.

Bear Butte State Park

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Distance 65 miles
Time Needed: Give it a morning or afternoon
Best Time To Go: Anytime. Open all year, however the visitor center closes for the winter on Oct. 1.  
Directions: Follow US 16A north to US 16. Follow 16 east to I-90. Take I-90 West to Sturgis. Follow Highway 34 east then Highway 79 north. The butte is located about 6 miles northeast of Sturgis.
Cost: Daily park entrance permit or South Dakota annual park permit. 
Highlights: Majestic view, hiking, wildlife. Historically significant site.
Mt. Rushmore is Open
                      All Year.
Open All Year for day visitors.

Note: Hiking to the
top of Bear Butte
is prohibited during
certain native
American holy days.
     Many people who live in or near the Black Hills enjoy Bear Butte. Strictly speaking Bear Butte isn't a butte and it isn't in the Black Hills, being on the plains just to the northeast of Sturgis.
     Rising 1400 feet above the surrounding prairie, and standing all by itself, Bear Butte is easy to find. As a matter of fact, for millennium it was used as a landmark by the plains Indians and even today it is considered sacred by the plains peoples.
     General George Armstrong Custer is said to be taken in such awe of Bear Butte that he stopped his 1874 exploration of the Black Hills so he could ride to the top if it. Today, if you have the time -- and energy -- you can hike to the top of Bear Butte yourself. The trail from the visitor center is about two miles and you get a spectacular view of the Black Hills to the Southwest and of the great plains to the East and North.
      Contact Info: Bear Butte State Park at PO Box 688, Sturgis, SD 57785. Phone: 605-347-5240. Fax: 605-347-7627.

Updated 1/23/2013 © Roosevelt Inn. All rights reserved.