Welcome to Deadwood, SD, the historic frontier town that reached its pinnacle during the gold rush era of 1876-1879. Known for its lawlessness and famous residents like Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, and Wyatt Earp, today Deadwood is a popular tourist destination due to its historic architecture and proximity to the beautiful Black Hills National Forest. While the town is small, there is still plenty to here. Check out our top 5 list for Deadwood, SD – Things to Do.
1. Deadwood, SD – top thing to do – take a walk in historic downtown
By far, the most unique experience in Deadwood is its historic downtown. Start by walking down historic Main Street. Look for the 21 interpretive signs provided by the city, which explain the unique history of the area. Make sure to stop into the local shops and browse for souvenirs. Pro Tip: download the Walking Tour Brochure, provided by the Historic Preservation Office.
2. Visit Mount Moriah Cemetery
Located a little over half a mile from the city center, you can either walk or drive to this historical site. Here, you’ll find the famous gravesites of Wild Bill and Calamity Jane. Make sure to stop into the Visitor’s Center to watch a 15-minute video on life in Deadwood from 1875-1900.
3. Pan for gold at the Broken Boot Gold Mine
Tour an underground mine and learn about the gold rush era in South Dakota. The candlelight ghost tour (starting at 5:30 pm) is highly recommended. This is also a great opportunity to experience panning for gold, and the best part is that you get to keep the gold!
4. Deadwood, SD – active things to do – bike on the George S. Mickelson Trail
Deadwood is located at the terminus of the George S. Mickelson Trail, a 109-mile biking path. Meandering through the infamous Black Hills, biking on this trail is a great way to get some exercise while exploring nature. Look for the access point near the old railroad depot on Sherman Street. Traveling without with your bike? Check out Axbow Rentals for half and full-day bicycle rentals.
5. Get a locally inspired spa treatment
For a truly unique experience, check out the available services at Akela Spa. After your treatment, enjoy some time gazing at the Black Hills at Akela Garden, which is the outdoor portion of the spa, including hot tubs, as well as a sauna and steam room.
Now that you’ve learned about the history and culture of the South Dakota Black Hills, make sure to take time to explore the area’s parks, as well. Check out Custer State Park and the Badlands National Park, which are just a hop, skip, and a jump away.