Fall can be a great time to visit the Black Hills of South Dakota. The popular tourist destination is a relatively short drive from Billings and the area remains a popular weekend getaway for many Montana residents who are looking for a quick trip out of town.

Fall and winter hours at Mount Rushmore.

Everybody should see Mount Rushmore at least once in their lifetime. The towering presidential faces carved into the granite mountain top make for a pretty spectacular sight. The visitor center is open year-round.

  • Effective 10/28 the Lincoln Borglum Visitor Center and Information Center will open at 8:00 a.m. and close at 6:00 p.m.
  • Effective 11/7 those hours are reduced to 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • The sculpture is lighted nightly at 9:00 p.m.

The gift shop and Carver's Cafe at Mount Rushmore are both open year-round, with reduced hours throughout the winter months.

Michael Foth ~ Townsquare Media Billings

Over 14 million people visit South Dakota annually.

KOTA TV reported over 14 million visitors came to South Dakota in 2019. Those numbers have increased every year for 10 years straight. Many of those tourists are likely including the Black Hills and Mount Rushmore as "must-see" stops on their way to Yellowstone National Park or Grand Teton National Park.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

Slow down and enjoy the historic little towns in the Black Hills.

Most tourists visit Mount Rushmore and maybe spend some time in Deadwood, but if you're not in a rush, consider checking out some of the small, mountain towns in the area. Lead and Central City both offer great examples of period architecture and are loaded with mining and old-west history. We found some great lunch at Lewie's (seen above) a dive-bar-looking saloon, high in the hills of South Dakota.

Photo by Michael Foth, Townsquare Media

It's always a fun time in Deadwood.

Deadwood is crowded in the summertime. Come fall and winter, hotel rates are traditionally much lower and you're more likely to meet a group of snowmobilers from Minnesota at the blackjack table, instead of tourists and RV'ers from Florida. Deadwood can be a nice romantic winter getaway, especially around the holidays.

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