White River Visitor Center
The White River Visitor Center (Hwy. 27, Pine Ridge, 605/455-2878, June 1–Sept. 15 daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m., closed in off-season) is located 20 miles south of the town of Scenic off of Bombing Range Road (Hwy. 27) on the Pine Ridge Reservation. It is a remote location that services people interested in Pine Ridge and in serious backcountry camping and hiking.
Exhibits at the center include fossils and Lakota artifacts, as well as some information about historical events in Lakota history. The South Unit, or Stronghold District, of the Badlands is not easily accessible, with just one road and no hiking trails.
The Palmer Creek Unit of the South Unit is surrounded by private property and hikers must get permission to cross private lands to get there. The center has a list of property owners and maps to help hikers plot their routes and gain permissions.
The Stronghold District was used as a bombing range during World War II, and there is unexploded ordnance in the area. Hikers are asked to report any finds to the Park Service. Do not touch.
© Laural A. Bidwell from Moon Mount Rushmore & the Black Hills, 1st Edition