We have all heard of the 7 wonders of the world, but did you know we also have 7 amazing wonders of South Dakota? Our great state boasts manmade and natural wonders that will have you itching to hit the road and visit them all.
1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Visitors from around the nation and the world travel by the millions each year to visit this National Memorial and wonder of South Dakota. Creation of the memorial started way back in 1927 and ended in 1941. A little known fact about Mount Rushmore is that the original concept had the presidents sculpted from head to waist. The memorial stands in its current, unfinished state still today due to a lack of funding to complete the project. Even in its unfinished state, Mount Rushmore National Memorial is South Dakota's most well-known feature. It brings awe to all who visit.
2. Bear Butte State Park
Located near Sturgis, this South Dakota State Park is a special landmark for Native Americans. Spiritual ceremonies and rituals are common place near the mountain, which is named after its striking similarity to a bear lying on its back. This natural wonder of South Dakota is worthy of your weekend vacation list. You can hike Bear Butte, horseback ride and camp near by, all while taking in the beauty of this sacred landscape.
3. Spearfish Canyon
Deep and narrow, Spearfish Canyon is a gorge that runs through western South Dakota. Wildlife, plant-life and waterfalls are abundant in this area making it absolutely stunning. The history of this area is as extensive as the the Canyon is beautiful.
4. Crazy Horse Memorial
Still under construction, this monument is a tribute to Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota warrior. Crazy Horse has been under construction since 1948. This work in progress is stunning from any angle.
5. Oahe Dam
This enormous dam stretches 231 miles wide across the Missouri River. This impressive piece of architecture is responsible for providing power to much of the north-central US. It also helps provide flood control and well as irrigation benefits. If you've never visited Oahe Dam, you need to. It truly is one of the wonders of South Dakota.
6. Badlands National Park
This jaw-dropping national park offers unique views of eroded buttes and spires mixed that will leave you breathless. As well as being an area that protects wildlife, Badlands National Park is also home to the black-footed ferret, North America's most endangered land mammal. The Badlands play a significant role in Native American history and archeological digs. The land is rich with lessons and beauty.
7. Wind Cave National Park
Not only was Wind Cave the first cave to be named a National Park, it is also the sixth longest cave in the world. The cave is famous for its boxwork formations. Currently, there are more than 140 miles of explored passageways with even more miles being discovered every year.