Visit Johnson Siding, South Dakota with Mighway

Rent an RV in Johnson Siding, South Dakota

Johnson Siding is an unincorporated community in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 659. It is located in the Rimrock Area, about 10 miles west of Rapid City. It is surrounded by the Black Hills National Forest. It is the only significant business district in the Rimrock Area, with a gas station/general store, deli, casino, tavern, the Johnson Siding Volunteer Fire Department firehouse, the Rimrock Evangelical Free Church meetinghouse, and a community center. However, most inhabitants work in Rapid City or Deadwood. Johnson Siding is named for a siding on the old Rapid City, Black Hills and Western Railroad (the Crouch Line) which ran up Rapid Creek between Rapid City and the Black Hills Highline at Mystic, which was originally constructed to serve the Johnson Sawmill, located a short distance upstream from the existing town. Many bikers attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally traditionally make at least one visit to Johnson Siding during Rally Week. Johnson Siding is located on South Dakota Highway 44 at the intersection of Norris Peak Road, a paved county road, which connects the Rapid Creek valley with the Box Elder Creek valley and Nemo Road to the north. Johnson Siding has been assigned the ZIP code 57702. Johnson Siding was the site of the political convention which first organized the South Dakota Libertarian Party in 1992, at which Costas "Gus" Hercules was nominated to the U.S. Senate. Johnson's Mill was also the head of the Hisega Flume, a wooden waterway constructed high on the south cliffs of the Rapid Creek canyon to supply a small hydroelectric plant at Big Bend near present-day Thunderhead Falls in the early 1900s, one of several National Engineering Landmarks in the Black Hills, which is now a popular bed and breakfast. This small Dakota Power plant delivered electricity to Rapid City until the community's needs out-grew the plant's capacity. It was shut down in the late 1930s. Dakota Power became a part of Black Hills Power and Light, eventually becoming Black Hills Corporation. A few remnants of the flume are still visible high on the south side of the canyon at the big curve of SD Highway 44 before one gets to Johnson Siding. To reach Johnson Siding, take US-385 north from Hill City, South Dakota past Sheridan Lake and Pactola Lake and turn east on SD-44 at Pactola Junction and go 5 miles; or take SD-44 (Jackson Boulevard) southwest from Rapid City.

Places to Visit near Johnson Siding, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore

The Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore near Keystone, South Dakota, in the United States. Sculpted by Danish-American Gutzon Borglum and his son, Lincoln Borglum, Mount Rushmore features 60-foot sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. The entire memorial covers 1,278.45 acres and is 5,725 feet above sea level. South Dakota historian Doane Robinson is credited with conceiving the idea of carving the likenesses of famous people into the Black Hills region of South Dakota in order to promote tourism in the region.  Robinson's initial idea was to sculpt the Needles; however, Gutzon Borglum rejected the Needles site because of the poor quality of the granite and strong opposition from environmentalists and Native American groups. They settled on the Mount Rushmore location, which also has the advantage of facing southeast for maximum sun exposure. Robinson wanted it to feature western heroes like Lewis and Clark, Red Cloud and Buffalo Bill Cody but Borglum decided the sculpture should have a more national focus, and chose the four presidents whose likenesses would be carved into the mountain. After securing federal funding, construction on the memorial began in 1927, and the presidents' faces were completed between 1934 and 1939. Upon Gutzon Borglum's death in March 1941, his son Lincoln Borglum took over construction. Although the initial concept called for each president to be depicted from head to waist, lack of funding forced construction to end in late October 1941. The U.S. National Park Service took control of the memorial in 1933, while it was still under construction, and has managed the memorial to the present day. It attracts nearly three million people annually. National Treasure 2 might have been a complete fabrication of American history, but Nicolas Cage was right about one thing: there's a secret room hidden away in Keystone, South Dakota's Mount Rushmore.. and it's filled with awesome stuff! 

Bear Country U.S.A

Very few people have had a full-grown black bear look in the window of their family car, or if they have, it was not by choice. Even fewer have seen a reindeer or a elk up close. However, many people are getting experiences like these at Bear Country U.S.A. in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Nestled over 250 acres amidst towering pines and along rolling meadows just eight miles south of Rapid City, Bear Country U.S.A. offers visitors intimate views of most North American mammals. Visitors take a leisurely three-mile drive through several enclosures and encounter black bear, elk, reindeer, deer, cougars, bobcats, rocky mountain goats, bighorn sheep, dall sheep and buffalo. At this "the home of the largest collection of privately owned black bear in the world", Bear Country U.S.A. guests are guaranteed to see more than they bargained for. From the comfort of their own car, visitors watch as these clowns of nature frolic in a pool, climb trees and amble across the road in front of their vehicle.

Jewel Cave National Monument

Jewel Cave is a unique world of sparkling calcite crystals and other spectacular cave formations. The cave is currently the second longest in the world, at 155.12 miles. Immerse yourself within the second longest cave in the world. With over 160 miles of mapped and surveyed passages, this underground wilderness appeals to human curiosity. Its splendor is revealed through fragile formations and glimpses of brilliant color. Its maze of passages lure explorers, and its scientific wealth remains a mystery. This resource is truly a jewel in the National Park Service. Jewel Cave is world renowned for its crystal-lined passages and rare cave formations such as hydromagnesite balloons and conulites.

Reptile Gardens

Reptile Gardens is an animal park located south of Rapid City, South Dakota on the road to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Its mission is to "offer Guests an amazing experience while positively contributing to the future of our animal residents, as well as our community, by educating the public about important environmental issues and working closely with many major zoos worldwide to promote species survival". Housing a large variety of unique reptiles and exotic plants, Reptile Gardens has a strong tradition of community involvement and wildlife education for people of all ages. Reptile Gardens was cited in the 2014 Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's largest reptile zoo.

Campgrounds and RV Parks near Johnson Siding, South Dakota

Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

nothing but beauty

Lewis and Clark Lake, near Yankton, is one of the state park system's most popular resort parks. Three separate campgrounds comprise this modern recreation area, attracting visitors from throughout the Midwest. Modern resort facilities - from marinas to camping cabins to sandy beaches - attract water lovers to Lewis and Clark.

Visit Lewis and Clark Recreation Area

Sylvan Lake

Perfect place to kick back and day dream

Sylvan Lake, known as the "crown jewel" of Custer State Park, is located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Created in 1881 when Theodore Reder built a dam across Sunday Gulch, it offers picnic areas, rock climbing, small rental boats, swimming, and hiking trails. It is also popular as a starting point for excursions to Harney Peak and The Needles. A hotel was operated on the shore of the lake in the early 20th century.

Visit Sylvan Lake

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