Swimming in the Black Hills

Once your kids have learned how to swim, there are numerous lakes and streams in the Black Hills sure to beckon on those warm summer days.

Favorites with locals and visitors alike include Pactola and Angostura Reservoirs; Sheridan Lake; Hippie Hole; and Devil’s Bathtub.

Be sure to practice safety at all times; stick to designated swimming areas, never let your children swim unattended, and have them stick to water depths they are comfortable with. Apply sunscreen frequently and make sure they drink lots of fluids. Head for shore at the first sign of thunder, and never swim after dark.

Swimming Lessons

There are plenty of places that offer swimming lessons to people of all ages throughout the Black Hills. 

The YMCA—with locations in Rapid City, Custer, and Edgemont—offers programs year-round and has scholarships for those who can’t afford the cost of lessons. Other places in Rapid City that offer swim lessons include Horace Mann Pool, Jimmy Hilton Pool in Sioux Park, Parkview Pool, and Roosevelt Swim Center.

In the northern Hills, the Donald E. Young Fitness Center at Black Hills State University and the Spearfish Rec & Aquatics Center, Deadwood Recreation Center, Sturgis Community Center, and Belle Fourche Area Community Center all offer lessons. Evan’s Plunge in Hot Springs also has swim classes available.