Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns, Rapid City

#5 of 9 in Parks in Rapid City
Cave · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns is a limestone cave complex nine miles south of Rapid City, South Dakota on the way to Mount Rushmore and by the Wind Cave National Park. For eight decades, the cave was open for the public to tour daily from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend.
The cave was discovered by the Duhamel family, Alex and Mamie and their sons, Bud and Pete, in 1929, at their property in Rockerville Gulch. The gulch is a red rock canyon east of Rockerville. They organised tours and a Sioux Indian Pageant to promote the caverns with a friend, Black Elk, who chose the name of the caverns in honor of his friend Sitting Bull. Black Elk held the show for over a decade from 1934 to educate people about Lakota culture. In 1992, Bud received the Ben Black Elk Award for "promotion of Native American culture." When he was 93 he retired and passed operations of the cave to his grandson, Peter Heffron.

In 2015, remaining family members decided that they no longer wanted to operate the business, and the cave was closed to the public. At that time, the cave and about 730 acres of land were put up for sale.

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Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.0
99 reviews
  • We found the Crystal Caves quite nice, very informative and a great photo opportunity. Tip - take a jacket with you, it's cold underground. $13 per person.  more »
  • Fun crystal cave. Really nice tour. Lots of stairs, and really cold, which is nice on a hot summer day. The guides do a really great job of explaining everything. The tour is not too long which is...  more »
  • The place was amazing. In fact, that entire region is FULL of awesome things to do, at incredible places. A Mammoth dig is near there, Rushmore, Sitting Bull's mountain, that was incredible! Rushmore is humongous, but Sitting Bull is WAY bigger. Great area for recreation. Those caverns were gorgeous, will upload a couple more photos from our visit.
  • We went to the cave with 6 people, 2 seniors, 2 adults, 2 kids under 10. It entertained all of us. The climb of stairs scared me the most, the other members of my group were fine. Our tour guide, Daniel was charming and informative. We tipped Daniel a few extra dollars and we all left smiling!

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