Heintzelman's Black Hills Vacation 2010 travel blog

1880's Train

Black Hills Museum of Natural History

Ancient Crinoids. Ancestors of todays Sea Lillies

Ancient ammonites. Ancestors of today's Nautilus

camping neighbor

Rafter J Bar Ranch campground, our home for 10 days

We stayed at a campground outside Hill City. I recommend using Hill City as your base camp / hotel for trips to the Black Hills. This is because it is centrally located and a short drive to all attractions. It has plenty of hotels and restaurants. It also has a full service grocery store and hardware store for any needs you might have. Hill City, like all towns in the Black Hills, was founded as a mining town. All their mines have closed but two attractions keep the town alive; The 1880's Steam Train and the Black Hills Museum of Natural History. The 1880's Train use old steam engines to provide two hour excursions to Keystone through the most scenic areas of the Black Hills. The Black Hills and Badlands are famous for their fossils. Due to all the erosion through time, fossils are easy to find. Some of the most intact dinosaurs were found in the Black Hills. The Black Hills Museum of Natural History displays some of the best fossils found in South Dakota.

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