Spring is coming alive in the Black Hills and my family and I never tire of seeing Bear Butte from the top of our property. Bear Butte is called Mathó Pahá, or Bear Mountain, by the Lakota, or Sioux and is located near Sturgis SD.
The mountain is sacred to many indigenous peoples, who make pilgrimages to leave prayer cloths and tobacco bundles tied to the branches of the trees along the mountain’s flanks.
The mountain is a place of prayer, meditation, and peace. The peak rises 1,253.5 feet (382.1 m) above the surrounding plain and is 4,426 feet (1,349 m) above sea level.
Eons ago, volcanic activity forced magma up against the earth’s crust to push out rock. For some reason, the volcano failed to erupt. Time, weather and wind eroded the landscape around the rocks to give us what we see as Bear Butte today.
This is one of South Dakota’s most interesting and special state parks and I hope you have an opportunity to come and hike the trail to the top of this beautiful and spiritual site.
© High Prairie Life 2017