Boulder Hill, South Dakota

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay

From the north, Boulder Hill is a square topped crag that looks like it's in the middle of wilderness. When I actually tried to get there, I found to my embarrassment it's actually only a couple of miles off Highway U.S. 16, the main road from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore. There's a passable, if winding unpaved road from U.S. 16 to Sheridan Lake Road passing right by it and a spur leading right to the base. When I took a field trip group there, there was a family there holding a reunion; they were relatives of a former fire warden who occupied the tower that used to be on the summit. So much for wild and inaccessible. Still, it's geologically interesting with nice views.

View from Buzzards Roost. Boulder Hill is the third peak from the left in the cluster of four on the horizon
Enlarged view. The steep, square top of Boulder hill is evident.
Telephoto view of Boulder Hill from the summit of Mount Wheaton.
Left and below: views of the summit from the north on the Boulder Hill Road

It's possible to drive right to the base of the crags.

On the summit
The hill owes its prominence to a lens of quartzite, an oddity in the otherwise impure deep water metasedimentary rocks in the Black hills.
Bench mark.
Views from the top. This might be one of the best views in the Black hillssince there are unobstructed views in all directions, into the interior and out over the High Plains.

Views looking south to Harney Peak.

Some dramatic Black hillsweather. This storm dropped inch-sized hail in places.

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Created 26 August 2012, Last Update 07 June 2020