- Black Hills
a group of mountains in W South Dakota and NE Wyoming. Highest peak, Harney Peak, 7242 ft. (2205 m).
* * *Group of mountains in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, U.S. Occupying about 6,000 sq mi (15,540 sq km), they lie between the Cheyenne and Belle Fourche rivers and rise to a maximum elevation of 7,242 ft (2,207 m) at Harney Peak.Their name refers to the dark appearance that their rounded hilltops and well-forested slopes present at a distance. The Sioux Indians were guaranteed treaty rights to the region in 1868; however, the discovery of gold in 1874 led to an influx of white miners and to the Black Hills War (1876), including the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Tourist attractions include the mining town of Deadwood, Mount Rushmore and Jewel Cave national monuments, Wind Cave National Park, and Custer State Park, all in South Dakota, and Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming.
* * *isolated, eroded mountain region in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, U.S., lying largely within the Black Hills National Forest. The hills lie between the Cheyenne and Belle Fourche rivers and rise about 3,000 feet (900 m) above the surrounding plains; they culminate in Harney Peak (7,242 feet [2,207 m]), the highest point in South Dakota. The Black Hills formed as a result of an upwarping of ancient rock, after which the removal of the higher portions of the mountain mass by stream erosion produced the present-day topography. From a distance the rounded hilltops, well-forested slopes, and deep valleys present a dark appearance, giving them their name.The Black Hills were a hunting ground and sacred territory of the Western Sioux Indians, whose rights to the region were guaranteed by the Second Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. But after a U.S. military expedition under George A. Custer discovered gold in the Black Hills in 1874, thousands of white gold hunters and miners swarmed into the area the following year. Indian resistance to this influx led to the Black Hills War (1876), the high point of which was the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Despite that Indian victory, the U.S. government was able to force the Sioux to relinquish their treaty rights to the Black Hills in 1877, by which time the Homestake Mine had become the largest gold mine in the United States.Besides the old mining town of Deadwood and the Mount Rushmore National Monument, the Black Hills' tourist attractions include Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park, and Custer State Park, all in South Dakota. Devil's Tower National Monument is located in Wyoming.
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