18 Facts About Black Hills


Black Hills are a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming, United States.

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Unlike most of South Dakota, the Black Hills were settled by European Americans primarily from population centers to the west and south of the region, as miners flocked there from earlier gold boom locations in Colorado and Montana.

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Devils Tower National Monument, located in the Wyoming Black Hills, is an important nearby attraction and was the United States' first national monument.

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Conflict over control of the region sparked the Black Hills War, known as the Great Sioux War, the last major Indian War on the Great Plains.

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On July 23,1980, in United States v Sioux Nation of Indians, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Black Hills were illegally taken by the federal government and ordered remuneration of the initial offering price plus interest, nearly $106 million.

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The southern Black Hills are characterized by Precambrian granite, pegmatite, and metamorphic rocks that comprise the core of the entire Black Hills uplift.

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The stratigraphy of the Black Hills is laid out like a target, as it is an oval dome, with rings of different rock types dipping away from the center.

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The granite of the Black Hills was emplaced by magma generated during the Trans-Hudson orogeny and contains abundant pegmatite.

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Black Hills has a 'skirt' of gravel covering them in areas, which are called pediments.

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Black Hills creeks are known for their trout, while the forests and grasslands offer good habitat for American bison, white-tailed and mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and a variety of smaller animals, like prairie dogs, American martens, American red squirrels, Northern flying squirrels, yellow-bellied marmots, and fox squirrels.

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Biologically, the Black Hills is a meeting and mixing place, with species common to regions to the east, west, north, and south.

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The Black Hills do support some endemic taxa, the most famous of which is probably white-winged junco.

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The central Black Hills are located in Pennington County west of Rapid City.

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The southern Black Hills are in Custer County and are administered in the national forest's Hell Canyon District.

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Finally, Wyoming's Black Hills follow the Bearlodge District, approximately Weston and Crook Counties.

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Geologically separate from the Black Hills are the Elk Mountains, a small range forming the southwest portion of the region.

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George S Mickelson Trail is a recently opened multi-use path through the Black Hills that follows the abandoned track of the historic railroad route from Edgemont to Deadwood.

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Today, the major city in the Black Hills is Rapid City, with an incorporated population of almost 70,000 and a metropolitan population of 125,000.

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