Storybook Land, Aberdeen, South Dakota (The Black Hills)

Sylvan Lake, Black Hills, South Dakota (Stefano Salvetti/Photodisc/Getty)

Black Hills, South Dakota (South Dakota Tourism)

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What to do in Black Hills National Forest

The Lakota maintain there’s a spiritual power in the sacred grounds of Paha Sapa , or “hills that are black.” More than 60 Native American tribes still worship at the Bear Butte, in the northern part of this 1.2 million-acre wilderness. Black Hills National Forest rises several thousand feet above the prairie, its pine forests thick with wildlife, like bald eagles and pronghorn. Some four million visitors come to Black Hills National Forest each year (making it more popular than Yellowstone) to see icons like Mount Rushmore and the in-progress Crazy Horse Memorial. Savvy travelers get off the tour bus and hike among the rocky gulches, or camp along deserted streams. Spiritual it is, indeed.

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