The name Black Hills is derived from the Lakota's "paha sapa," or "hills that are black." Viewed from a distance, the pine-covered hills appear black.
The most famous man-made monument in the Black Hills is Mount Rushmore National Memorial, with its carved faces of four U.S. presidents.
Arguably as famous as Rushmore is the natural marvel of Devil's Tower, which sits on the western edge of the Black Hills in the state of Wyoming.
Natural Bridges and Caves
The Black Hills are home to five confirmed natural bridge rock formations. The area is also honeycombed with caves, many of which remain unexplored.
Made of lithium ore, the largest single crystal ever mined was pulled out of the area around Keystone, South Dakota, and sent to the 1896 Chicago World's Fair. It weighed several tons and required a railway flatbed to move.
The Lakota Indians maintain that the Black Hills were seized in violation of a lawful treaty between themselves and the U.S. government. The Supreme Court ordered that they be paid compensation in 1989, but as the Lakota rejected any such settlement, the matter remains in dispute.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.