The Black Hills are named after the thickly forested slopes that look black from far away. In the past wood from the Black Hills was important to Native Americans, white settlers, and railroad companies. It was used for fuel and building material.
The Black Hills area is a popular destination for recreation in the northern plains - many tourists come here every year. Most of the slopes are located in two national forests. Wind Cave National Park, Jewel Cave National Monument, and Custer State Park are just some of the attractions you can find here. And of course, the 6,000 feet Mt. Rushmore famous for its gigantic sculptures of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and T. Roosevelt, is a sight you can't miss.
Rapid City, South Dakota is the best place to start if you're heading for the Black Hills National Forest because several major airlines and bus routes serve Rapid City. The major east/west road for the area is U.S. Interstate 90. U.S. 85/385 serves as the north/south connection to the area. U.S. Highway 16 runs east/west through the forest between Newcastle, Wyoming, and Highway 385.