High in the Black Hills, perched precariously on its steep inclines stands one of South Dakota’s most memorable communities – Lead. While located just minutes from Presidents Park, Deadwood, Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Spearfish Canyon, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, Custer State Park and Devils Tower, Lead is your ideal vacation headquarters. A half-dozen hotels, bed and breakfasts, unique restaurants, private attractions, parks and museums allow visitors to relax and savor the beauty of the Northern Black Hills.
Lead was originally founded as a company town by the Homestake Gold Mining Company, which ran the nearby Homestake Mine in 1876. Phoebe Hearst, wife of one of the principals, was instrumental in making Lead a good place to live, establishing the Hearst Free Public Library in town, and in 1900 the Hearst Free Kindergarten. She donated regularly to Lead’s churches, and provided college scholarships to the children of mine and mill workers. Lead and the Homestake Mine, now closed from mining, have been selected for the site of the Deep Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, a proposed NSF facility for low-background experiments on neutrinos, dark matter, and other nuclear physics topics, as well as biology and mine engineering studies. The Homestake mine is the largest and deepest mine in existence at 8,240 feet.
Daylight hours offer hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting or fishing in spring, summer or fall. In winter, 7,000 foot peaks and crisp mountain air greet guests at Deer Mountain and Terry Peak ski resorts. Snowmobilers enjoy 300 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, while cross-country skiers explore a limitless sea of white.
The Homestake Visitor’s Center and Black Hills Mining Museum provide an inside look at mining and its history in the Black Hills.
- Lead Area Chamber of Commerce, 160 W. Main Street, Lead, SD 57754
- Phone: 1-877-428-5590
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org