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Black Hills seen from Black Elk Peak in South Dakota
The Black Hills, an island of rock thrusting out from an ocean of the surrounding prairie, seen from Black Elk Peak (aka Harney Peak), South Dakota's highest point at 2,208 m (7,244 ft).
Image: Navin75

___ Reference Maps of South Dakota (SD)

About South Dakota

South Dakota Flag
Time Zone Central:
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Location map of South Dakota state USA
Where in the United States is South Dakota? Location map of South Dakota in the US.

South Dakota is a landlocked Midwestern state in the Great Plains region, bordered to the north by North Dakota; to the south by Nebraska; to the east by Minnesota, in southeast by Iowa and to the west by Wyoming and Montana.

South Dakota is divided in 66 counties.

The United States acquired almost all of the area of South Dakota from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1889 the Dakota Territory was split in two and divided into North and South, later in the year on 2nd November 1889 South Dakota, together with North Dakota, was admitted to the Union.

South-Dakota Topographic Regions Map
Topographic Map of South Dakota showing the location of the Black Hills, the Missouri Plateau and the Coteau des Prairies. (click map to enlarge)

The state covers an area of 199,730 km² (77,116 sq mi) [1], compared it is about twice the size of Iceland or South Korea. Compared with other US states, South Dakota is almost 9 times larger than New Jersey, but it would fit into Texas 3 and a half times.

The Missouri River is running north to south in the center of the state, in south east the stream forms a section of the South Dakota-Nebraska state line. Main tributaries of the Missouri in South Dakota (N to S) are the Grand River, the Moreau River, the Cheyenne River, the Bad River, and the White River. The James River drains the flat lowland area of the Dakotas.

South Dakota's landscape in the east is occupied by the Coteau des Prairies an upland (plateau) with numerous small glacial lakes, 320 km in length and 160 km in width (200 mi by 100 mi), separated by the James River Basin from the Coteau du Missouri (Missouri Plateau), another plateau with low, undulating rolling hills, potholes, grasslands, and incised stream valleys, a typical landscape of the Great Plains.

Buffalos on the Great Plains of South Dakota
Buffaloes on the Great Plains of South Dakota.
Image: Jerry and Pat Donaho

In south west are the geographical highlights of South Dakota, the Badlands and the Black Hills. The Black Hills is a small isolated mountain range with towering rocks and ponderosa pines rising from the Great Plains, for the Sioux and Cheyenne people the sacred center of the world.
The state's highest point is Black Elk Peak (formerly known as Harney Peak) at an elevation of 2,207 m (7,242 ft), situated in the Black Elk Wilderness area of the Black Hills.

South Dakota National Parks
Badlands of South Dakota, Badlands National Park
Badlands of South Dakota.
Image: Kimon Berlin

Four miles to the east of Black Elk Peak is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, features some 18 m (60 ft) high sculptures of the heads of four United States presidents. The project of carving Rushmore was undertaken to increase tourism in the Black Hills region.

The United States seized the area of previously granted land from the Lakota tribe after the Great Sioux War of 1876. To the Plains Indians, the area is sacred. The remote wilderness became of sudden interest for the White Men when gold was found in the 1870s. When the miners left some years later, the region’s economy sagged. To crank up tourism to the remote area an idea was born, carve one of the oldest rock on Earth into a national monument. Work began in 1927 under the direction of sculptor Gutzon Borglum and a ceremony overseen by then President Calvin Coolidge, the monument was completed (more or less) in 1941. For the local Indians it was a desecration of their sacred lands. [2][3][4]

Welcome to South Dakota Sign
Welcome to South Dakota – Great Faces • Great Places.
Image: Dominik "Dome"

The Badlands in southwestern South Dakota is an amazing collection of eroded buttes, pinnacles, spires, and the largest undisturbed mixed grass prairie in the United States. The White River Badlands are a significant paleontological resource, they contain the largest assemblage of known late Eocene (56 to 33.9 million years ago) and Oligocene (33.9 million to 23 million years ago) mammal fossils.

Wind Cave National Park, one of the longest and most complex caves in the world famous for its net-like limestone formations called boxwork.

Major rivers in South Dakota are, the Missouri River, the longest river in North America flows north to south through the center of the state, at the city of Pierre, the river turns southeast, and later forms a section of the state's border with Nebraska. The James River or Dakota River is one of many tributaries of the Missouri. Other Missouri tributaries in South Dakota (from north to south) are the Grand River, the Moreau, the Cheyenne, the Bad River, and the White River. The Big Sioux River is also a tributary of the Missouri River in eastern South Dakota, the river rises in the Coteau des Prairies and flows generally southward, it defines the state's border with Iowa.

South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre, capital city of South Dakota
3D image of South Dakota State Capitol in Pierre, the state capital. The building houses the South Dakota State Legislature.
Image: Google Earth

South Dakota has a population of just 866,000 people (2018 est.) [5], making it the third least populated US state. It is the state with the third highest American Indian population in the US (8.8%).

State capital is Pierre, largest city is Sioux Falls, largest metropolitan area is Sioux Falls metro area (pop. 256,000 in 2016).
Busiest airports in the state are Sioux Falls Regional Airport (IATA code: FSD), and Rapid City Regional Airport (IATA code: RAP).

Cities and Towns in South Dakota
The map shows the location of following cities and towns in South Dakota:

Big Sioux River Fall, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls' main attraction, the Big Sioux River Fall in South Dakota. The building to the left is the replica of the long-gone turbine house for a water powered wheat-grinding machine.
Image: PunkToad

Largest cities in South Dakota with a population of more than 20,000:
Sioux Falls (pop. 174,000), Rapid City (74,000), Aberdeen (28,400), Brookings (24,000), Watertown (22,200)
Population figures in 2017

Other cities and towns in South Dakota:
Belle Fourche, Bison, Box Elder, Buffalo, Canton, Chamberlain, Custer, De Smet, Deadwood, Dell Rapids, Dupree, Edgemont, Faulkton, Fort Pierre, Gettysburg, Hot Springs, Huron, Ipswich, Kadoka, Lake Andes, Lead, Lemmon, Madison, Martin, McIntosh, Milbank, Miller, Mission, Mitchell, Mobridge, Murdo, Olivet, Philip, Pierre, Pine Ridge, Plankinton, Redfield, Selby, Sisseton, Spearfish, Sturgis, Timber Lake, Vermillion, Webster, Winner, and Yankton.

The detailed map below is showing the US state of South Dakota with boundaries, the location of the state capital Pierre, major cities and populated places, rivers and lakes, interstate highways, principal highways, and railroads.

You are free to use this map for educational purposes (fair use), please refer to the Nations Online Project.

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Reference Map of South Dakota
Reference Map of South Dakota

Map is based on a state map of The National Atlas of the USA.
Map of the USA Map of Montana Map of North Dakota Map of Minnesota Map of Iowa Map of Nebraska Map of Wyoming
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