Sure Signs of Spring in the Black Hills | Black Hills Travel Blog
  • Sure Signs of Spring in the Black Hills

For many people, today is a day flooded with universal symbols and traditions of Irish-American folklore—shamrocks, leprechauns, pots of gold, corned beef and green beer. Whether or not you tailored your outfit to include something green, St. Paddy's Day also corresponds with the onset of spring.

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Here in the Black Hills, we have some sure signs of spring of our own. Nothing beats the fresh, woodsy scent that begins to emit from the pines, and the elusive pasque flowers—South Dakota's state flower—begin to make their debut in discrete, sunlit areas along the trails.

My husband and I have made it a family tradition to seek out pasque flowers each spring. In our fourth annual hunt, we were delighted to spot a few last Saturday near the summit of Buzzard's Roost, just a few miles outside of Rapid City.

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Another sure sign of the season is the new life that's abundant throughout the Hills. New baby buffalo calves begin to make their grand entrances any time from mid-March through May. A drive through either Custer State Park or Wind Cave National Park is your best bet for spotting these new members of the herd.

You'll also likely see begging burros, mule and whitetail deer, antelope, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, coyotes, and once in a while, if you're really lucky, you'll spot a small herd of elk. (They are more prevalent near the road in the spring time as they seek warmth from the road and graze on the fresh blades of grass.)

Visiting early in the morning or late afternoon is your best guarantee for spotting a variety of wildlife, as most are feeding during these times.

While most people know that summer is a great time to be in the Hills, spring is still the best season in my book!

About the Author

Alicia is a South Dakota native with family roots in Beresford. She attended Augustana University in Sioux Falls—a year of which she spent studying in Norway and traveling throughout Europe. She acquired her degree in Sociology and International Studies. Despite her love of travel, she and her husband have thoroughly enjoyed making Rapid City their home. She satisfies her wanderlust by soaking up the beautiful scenery and historic treasures that the Hills have to offer. She is the Communications Director for Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association.

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