South Dakota Map: Geography, Facts & Figures

South Dakota is a beautiful state located in the Midwestern region of North America. It is the seventeenth largest state in the country and covers an area of over 77,000 square miles. The state is bordered by North Dakota to the north, Minnesota to the east, Iowa to the southeast, Nebraska to the south, Wyoming to the west, and Montana to the northwest. The state capital is Pierre, which is also the second smallest capital city in the country.

If you want to discover more in-depth information on South Dakota as an American state, check out our South Dakota Profile!

Plus, test your knowledge with our U.S. state geography quiz, How Well Do You Know South Dakota?

History of South Dakota

The state of South Dakota has a rich history dating back to the Native American tribes who have lived in the region for thousands of years. The state was also part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which doubled the size of the USA.

It was later explored by Lewis and Clark in 1804, who were sent by then-President Thomas Jefferson to explore the western territories of the country. During the late 1800s, the discovery of gold in the Black Hills led to a gold rush and the establishment of the town of Deadwood. The state also played a major role in the development of the railroad in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which helped to connect the state to the rest of the country.

Geography of South Dakota

The map of South Dakota is known for its vast prairies and rolling hills, as well as the Black Hills in the western part of the state. The James River runs through the eastern part of the state, and the Missouri River forms the western border. Other major rivers in the state include the Cheyenne, White River, and Big Sioux rivers. South Dakota has a continental climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The state is also home to several national parks, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Wind Cave National Park, which are popular tourist destinations.

For those who are interested in exploring the state, a South Dakota map is a useful tool. The state map shows all of the major cities and attractions in the state, as well as the different regions and topographical features.

Major Cities

South Dakota has several major cities, including Sioux Falls, which is the largest city in the state with a population of over 180,000 people. Other major cities include Rapid City, Aberdeen, Brookings, Watertown, Huron, Vermillion, and Yankton. Each city has its own unique attractions and cultural events that make it worth visiting.

Pierre is the state capital of South Dakota, and it is located in the central part of the state. The city has a population of just over 13,000 people and is known for its historic downtown area and beautiful parks.

Tourist Attractions in South Dakota

South Dakota is home to several popular tourist attractions, including Mount Rushmore National Memorial, which features the faces of four U.S. presidents carved into a mountain. The state is also home to Badlands National Park, which is known for its unique geological formations and beautiful scenery.

Other popular attractions include Custer State Park, the Black Hills, Spearfish Canyon, the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Deadwood, Sioux Falls, and Black Elk Peak. Each of these attractions has its own unique history and significance and is worth visiting for anyone who wants to experience the beauty and culture of South Dakota.

The White River area of South Dakota has a rich natural history, including herds of bison that still roam the region today. Box Elder Creek, a tributary of the White River, is known for its excellent fishing opportunities. Mitchell, located in the eastern part of the state, is home to the world-famous Corn Palace, a unique building decorated with corn motifs that draws thousands of visitors each year.

Brilliantly Sunlit View of Mount Rushmore National Monument
Image Source: Getty Images​​​

People Also Ask…

If you're inspecting maps of South Dakota, you may have some queries about the region. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions, along with their answers.

What Is South Dakota Famous For?

South Dakota is best known for its beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and wide open spaces. It is also the home of Crazy Horse Memorial, which commemorates the life of the great Lakota warrior. The state is also famous for Mount Rushmore National Memorial, where four presidents are carved into a granite mountainside.

Is South Dakota a Good Place To Live?

South Dakota is an excellent place to live, thanks to its cost of living, strong economy, and abundance of outdoor activities. Many people also enjoy the Midwest culture and friendly people in the state. There are plenty of job opportunities and recreational activities to take advantage of here.

What Is There To Do in South Dakota?

Visitors to South Dakota can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking in the Black Hills and attending the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. South Dakota is also home to several national parks, including Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial.