Rapid City (Lakota: Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe; "Swift Water City") is the second-largest city in South Dakota (after Sioux Falls) and the county seat of Pennington County. Named after Rapid Creek, on which the city is established, it is set against the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range. The population was 67,956 as of the 2010 Census. Known as the "Gateway to the Black Hills" and the "City of Presidents", it is split by a low mountain ridge that divides the western and eastern parts of the city. Ellsworth Air Force Base is located on the outskirts of the city. Camp Rapid, a part of the United States Army National Guard, is located in the western part of the city. The historic "Old West" town of Deadwood is nearby. In the neighboring Black Hills are the popular tourist attractions of Mount Rushmore, the Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.
Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe
|City of Rapid City|
Downtown Rapid City
|Nickname(s): Gateway to the Black Hills, City of Presidents|
Location in Pennington County and the state of South Dakota
Rapid City is located at Harney Peak; which at 7,242 feet (2,207 m), is the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains.. The downtown elevation of Rapid City is 3,202 feet (976 m) and Rapid City sits in the shadow of
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 55.49 square miles (143.71 km2), of which, 55.41 square miles (143.5 km2) of it is land and 0.08 square miles (0.2 km2) is water.
Rapid City is located on the eastern edge of the Black Hills, and is split in half by the Dakota Hogback. Rapid City's "Westside" is located in the Red Valley between the foothills of the Black Hills proper and the Dakota Hogback, so named for the red Spearfish formation soils and the way the valley completely circles the Black Hills. Rapid City has grown up into the foothills, with both ridges and valleys developed, especially in the last 20 years, and wildfire is a distinct threat to these residential areas, as shown by the Westberry Trails fire in 1988.
Skyline Drive follows the summits of the Dakota Hogback south from near Rapid Gap (where Rapid Creek cuts through the Hogback) to a large high plateau which forms the current south edge of Rapid City. The Central and Eastern portions of Rapid City lie in the wide valley of Rapid Creek outside the Hogback, which includes a number of mesas rising a hundred feet or more above the floodplain.