Thunder on the Plains: 48th Annual Buffalo Roundup South Dakota
South Dakota Department of Tourism Badlands
South Dakota Department of Tourism Mount Deadwood
Witness one of the true spectacles of America’s Wild West…
The American bison, or buffalo, is an iconic creature native to the grasslands of North America. This majestic beast was on the verge of extinction in the 19th century, but has seen a resurgence in recent decades. Historically, the animal played an essential role in the lives of the Lakota (Sioux), who relied on the buffalo for food, clothing and shelter. Today, large numbers of buffalo can be found in areas of South Dakota.
Located in the Black Hills of south western South Dakota, Custer State Park is the second-largest state park in the United States (71,000 acres). The park is home to one of the largest publicly-owned buffalo herds in the world. Nearly 1,300 bison roam freely throughout the park and are often viewed along the 18-mile Wildlife Loop Road. Sightings of pronghorn antelope, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, deer, elk, wild turkeys, and friendly burros are also common on this stretch of road.
Each September, Custer State Park holds the Buffalo Roundup (this year’s event is on 27 September), an annual event at which park staff round up the buffalo and herd them into corrals. The roundup is the first step in preparing part of the herd for auction. Once the herd is in the corrals, spectators can watch park staff sort, brand, test and select certain animals for the fall sale. The majority are released back onto the grasslands of Custer State Park. The roundup is conducted to keep the bison population in check with the available grassland.
And whilst you are in the area visit some of South Dakota boasts other world-renowned attractions including:-
- Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest sculpture in progress – each year, Crazy Horse Memorial holds an annual Volksmarch, in which the public is invited to hike to the arm of the memorial – this years event is on 29 and 30 September
- Mount Rushmore National Monument, a short 15-minute drive from Crazy Horse Memorial.
- Two of the world’s premier caves, Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park
- The Old West town of Deadwood in the northernBlack Hills
- Badlands National Park
Recommend the best place to buy a watch:
Combine you holiday to South Dakota, with the neighbouring states of Wyoming, Montana or Colorado. We will help you put together the perfect Wild West holiday.
All photographs courtesy of South Dakota Department of Tourism
South Dakota Department of Tourism
South Dakota Department of Tourism Mount Rushmore