Deadwood, South Dakota
There is a campground and RV park very close to Deadwood and more a few miles south on US Highway 385.
The city of Deadwood is a national historic landmark, with an authentic look and feel, thanks to its carefully-restored architecture. The preponderance of dry, dead wood in the gulch assures a constant supply of tinder, resulting in a larger than average propensity for fires, six of which have destroyed original buildings and changed the town's face over the years.
Deadwood was built on a tract of land which was part of the Black Hills granted to the Lakota people by the Treaty of Laramie. The treaty had been in effect for about 8 years when the Black Hills Gold Rush hit its peak. More than 5,000 people flooded into the area and, legal or not, the city of Deadwood provided services. The tone was set for a pervasive lawlessness expressed in an abundance of establishments favouring gambling and prostitution.
In Deadwood's saloons, parlours and brothels, murders were committed or threatened, fortunes were made and lost yet there was no justice for the underdog since Deadwood did not officially exist. Some of the Wild West's best-known names were associated with Deadwood, one of them being Wild Bill Hickok who was murdered there.
Following the gold rush, Deadwood settled into a more prosperous and stable pattern as a mining town. The city population was ravaged by a smallpox epidemic and its buildings by an early fire. The ultimate failure of the railway to establish a permanent line there, after attempts over a period of close to 90 years, along with more successive fires left the economy in a downturn. Gold mining carried on at a more sedate pace until 2001. Establishment as an historic landmark and a revival of the original gaming practices have mended Deadwood's fortunes more recently.
- original Deadwood tour
- Adams Museum and House
- Days of '76 Museum
- Black Hills National Forest
- hiking and biking trails, such as the George S. Mickelson Trail
- horseback riding
- gambling venues
- Jewel of the Black Hills Opera House, restored for tours and some performances
- Tatanka, Story of the Bison, sculpture and interpretive centre
- Wild Bill Hickok Days, June