why we like it: You can chug along in a vintage steam train to see some of the most beautiful parts of the Black Hills not accessible by car. The train departs from either Keystone or Hill City. The ride is one hour each way. You can chose to do an immediate round trip or you can schedule your arrival and departure times so you can spend time in Keystone and Hill City. Select your tickets in advance. They sell out quickly!
location: Hill City Station is located at 222 Railroad Ave., Hill City, SD 57745
The Key Stone Station is located at 103 Winter St, Keystone, SD 57751
hours: The schedule changes by month. You can access the schedule here.
cost: Round trip tickets cost $29 for people age 13 and older, $14 for ages 3 to 12 and kids under 3 are FREE. Reserve your tickets here.
The 1880 train is included in a Black Hills Fun Pass (along with Crazy Horse Memorial, the Mammoth Site, Rush Mountain Adventure Park (Cave tour plus 1 Mountain Coaster ride), Circle B Chuckwagon Dinner and Show and the National Presidential Wax Museum). All six attractions are $55 for kids and $110 for adults, with kids 4 and under FREE. The pass is good for 10 days. You can reserve your FUN PASS here.
what the locals know: We like to start in Hill City for the free parking and to make sure we have lunch at Prairie Berry Winery. Even though it is a winery, they serve a fast casual lunch that is delicious and pleases both adults and kids. You can sit outside and let the kids run around, or take a minute to immerse yourselves in a chess match.
You can also visit Stan the T-rex and other fossilized wonders at the Black Hills Institute of Geological Research in Hill City before or after your train ride.
At your layover in Keystone, take a moment to walk the main street and get some fresh taffy at the Rushmore Taffy Shop. You can even watch them make batches! But don’t ask for the recipe. Their lips are sealed…or stuck together with taffy!
before you go:
- There are not bathrooms on the train.
- Seating is not reserved so make sure you arrive early enough to be able to sit together.
- You are allowed to bring snacks on the train. Drinks, popcorn and candy bars are available for purchase on the train.
- Check to see if there are special events happening.
Photo credit: https://www.1880train.com/