Black Hills Discovery Tours

Black Hills Discovery Tours

*We operate under Special Use Permit in the Black Hills National Forest


Southern Black Hills Tour
Monument Tour

  Welcome to the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Since 2001 Discovery Tours has provided quality and relaxing fully narrated, day long adventures in air-conditioned comfort.

  • Frequent stops for rest and photos.
  • Learn Black Hills history, legends and stories.
  • Tours run year round. Credit Cards accepted.
  • Enjoy our small tour groups of 14 people or less!
  • Stop for All You Can Eat lunch buffet, at the beautiful and historic Custer State Game Lodge.
      (Price of meal not included.)

Call for Pricing
No Money is Due until Day of the Tour

ALL Tour Prices Include:

  • We Pay Admission to ALL Attractions on tour
  • FREE pickup and drop-off to most accommodations   
    (Lead/Deadwood, Hill City, Keystone, Sturgis or Rapid City)
  • Small groups, never more than 14 per van!

Mount Rushmore Memorial: – Inspiring! America’s Shrine to Democracy. Great photo stop. Watch for Mountain Goats.

Crazy Horse Memorial: Mankind’s largest sculpture in the making! Includes one of the finest Indian Museums.

Needles Highway: Breath-taking beauty and surprises around every curve. (Note: highway closed in winter.)

Sylvan Lake: The Black Hills’ most beautiful mountain lake.

Custer State Park: 72,000 acres filled with buffalo, bighorn sheep, deer, antelope.

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL: Located near Rapid City, the national memorial is a testimony to freedom. The tour includes admission to the monument. You will enjoy close up views of the monument with special telescopes located at the memorial. Also, visit the museum, amphitheater, and dining areas. The memorial also has clean and modern restrooms.

Sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s Shrine to Democracy: Blasting and carving on the mountain took place from 1927 to 1941. Approximately 3 million visitors annually stop to admire this granite colossal monument. The heads (l-r) of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln are six stories high from chin to top of head.

Washington’s Profile: In a recent nationwide poll, Mount Rushmore was the second most recognized American Landmark/Memorial, second only to the Statue of Liberty in New York. Fourteen years in the making, with no loss of life and a cost of less than one million dollars, Mt. Rushmore will stand above the Ponderosa Pines in the Black Hills for thousands of years to come.

Rocky Mountain Goats: These beautiful and often elusive animals can often be seen grazing around Mount Rushmore or on hilltops on Iron Mountain Road. The goats were introduced into the Black Hills in the 1920s. Today’s goats are descendants of those captured in Glacier National Park in Montana. Our tour will traverse the Iron Mountain Road on our way deeper into the southern Black Hills.

Iron Mountain Road: Tunnel View of Mt. Rushmore: Iron Mountain Road between Mt. Rushmore and the NE corner of Custer State Park offers many photo opportunities, incl: tunnels, spiral bridges, scenic overlooks, and wild animals. Note: Iron Mountain Road is closed in winter, and is not offered in the winter itinerary of this tour. Don’t worry, we have an exceptional alternative.


CUSTER STATE PARK: There is no doubt about it, there is a wildlife surprise around every corner when visiting Custer State Park, so bring your camera and plenty of film. You may see Big Horn Sheep cross the road in the park. The sheep were transplanted in the Black Hills from the Rocky Mountains in the 1920s.

General George Armstrong Custer: Gold was discovered on French Creek in what is now Custer State Park during General Custer’s 1874 expedition to the area. The discovery of gold created a stampede of miners who spread out far and wide across every stream, cranny, and canyon in the hopes of striking it rich.

North American Bison:
 Over 1200 bison roam free through the 72,000-acre Custer State Park, one of the largest state parks in the country. Often called “buffalo” they are actually North American Bison. The first explorers and fur trappers to enter the west had never seen creatures such as these. They looked similar to the African Cape Buffalo or the Water Buffalo of India, so they called them “buffalo” and the name stuck and is still with us today.

North American Pronghorn Antelope: This fleet-footed animal of the plains can often be seen in sections of Custer State Park. This male has near trophy-sized horns (not antlers…horns do not fall off and regrow like antlers of deer, elk, moose, etc.).

Big Horn Sheep: The rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep were transplanted into the Black Hills beginning in 1924. This sheep replaced the Black Hills Audubon Sheep (a beautiful sheep found only in the Black Hills . . .but was hunted to extinction by 1920). The wild sheep are often spotted on the roads running through Custer State Park.

Panhandling Donkeys and Burros: We most likely will encounter these friendly donkeys and burros that often stop traffic in Custer State Park looking for handouts. Donkeys and burros were favorite work animals of early prospectors and miners. Many were abandoned and wild herds roamed the hills near mining camps throughout the west.

Needles Highway: One travel magazine called the Needle’s Highway one of the top 10 scenic roads in America. A highlight is the popular Needle’s Eye. Tunnels, Cathedral Spires, majestic overlooks, and the beautiful Sylvan Lake can all be found on this great highway

Iron Mountain Road: US 16A is famous for its scenic, one-lane tunnels aligned to frame the faces on Mount Rushmore, its “pigtail bridges“, and its sections of the divided highway but with single (and narrow) lanes on each roadway. It is the only route that can be used to drive through Custer State Park without having to pay an entrance fee for the park, provided the traveler does not stop in the Park.

Sylvan Lake: This trout-filled, spring-fed lake is a haven for hikers, fishermen, and nature lovers. Without a doubt the most scenic lake in the Black Hills. Nearby are picnic and camping areas, a general store, and the beautiful Sylvan Lake Lodge, with clean modern restrooms. This is a crowning jewel along the famous Needles Highway in Custer State Park. 

Cool Clear Water: 
Rainbow trout are often seen leaping for bugs in the clear, cold water of Sylvan Lake. The lake was dammed up in 1896, and a beautiful white wooded lodge with a gazebo extending into the water created a paradise for high society in summers of the turn of the century. The lodge burned down in 1933 and was replaced by the current lodge overlooking the lake.

State Game Lodge: We stop for an All You Can Eat Lunch Buffet, souvenir shopping and restroom break at the magnificent State Game Lodge located within the park. The lodge recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation.
(Price of Meal Not Included)

CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL: This spectacular mountain sculpture is the largest man has ever attempted — destined to become the 8th Wonder of the Modern World. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski began blasting on this mountain in 1948.

Today, his wife and children continue his dream of creating a memorial dedicated to all North American Indians. 

When completed, the sculpture will be taller than the highest pyramid in Egypt and higher than the Washington Monument in Washington, DC. The face alone is nearly 9-stories high. The horse’s head will be about 22-stories high!

Crazy Horse Blast: Dust begins to settle after a blast in front of what will become the horse’s head on Crazy Horse Mountain. When finished the statue will be 563 feet high and 641 feet long. Crews work on the mountain year-around, with blasting occurring about 2-3 times a week.

This is a “must-see” attraction on your Black Hills visit. 
Visitors can enjoy a 20-minute DVD movie prior to checking out the extensive artwork and artifacts in the huge visitor’s center, museum, the original log cabin home built in 1949, Korczak’s workshop and studio, and the Native American Cultural Center. 

Dine at the popular Custer State Park Game Lodge, sometimes referred to as the ‘Summer White House’. (Additional Fees Apply)

Enjoy the rustic country store with antiques and Hall of Fame Rodeo Clown Museum. Choose from a huge selection of buffet entrees, salads and desserts.