The Black Hills are an island of mountains and pines surrounded by the high plains. Gen. George Custer helped start one of the later gold rushes after his 1874 expedition into the Black Hills discovers gold. The U.S. government could not stop the thousands of miners from coming into the hills that were, by treaty, supposed to belong to the Lakota forever. Today, the Black Hills are home to many amazing destination and may be the perfect destination for a family vacation. Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse carving and Deadwood are probably the most famous attractions today. From a more natural and/or recreational standoint, Custer State Park with it's bison herd, Black Hills National Forest, Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, the Mickelson Trail, the Centennial trail, the Black Elk Wilderness and 7000+ ft Harney Peak make this beautiful area an outdoor mecca.