Black Hills State University is located in beautiful Spearfish, SD, the hub of the Northern Black Hills with a population of over 12,500. Located on I-90, 10 minutes from the Wyoming border, Spearfish is only 46 miles from Rapid City, 65 miles from Mount Rushmore National Memorial and is an hour drive from Devils Tower and the Badlands of South Dakota. Spearfish Canyon, one of the oldest and most scenic canyons in the west, is a local favorite for hiking, biking and sightseeing.

As the second largest city in Western South Dakota, Spearfish offers a wide variety of restaurants, hotels, specialty stores, historic landmarks, movie theatres and other entertainment outlets. Students can enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills while skiing, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing and hiking. 


BHSU offers the best of both worlds - a welcoming, small-town atmosphere and easy access to all the activities and amenities of a larger town, and it's just 50 miles from the second-largest city in South Dakota.


The BHSU experience goes beyond the classroom. The scenic Black Hills that surround our 123-acre campus not only offer endless options for recreation, they are also host to many unique research opportunities.


Our Spearfish campus is within an hour and a half drive of 2,000+ climbing routes and endless bouldering. Just minutes from our doorstep, the Northern Black Hills offer great ice climbing, mountain biking, skiing, and snowboarding.

Take a Study Break: Ride your Bike!

The Black Hills of South Dakota offer virtually endless miles of biking trails for students at Black Hills State to explore in their free time.

Watch the video

Take a Study Break: Take a Hike!

What do Black Hills State University students do during their study breaks? Take a Hike! Explore the wonderful Black Hills of South Dakota.

Watch the video

Get to know Spearfish, SD

Population: 12,500

1 University - BHSU
1 water park
2 18-hole disc golf courses
2 golf courses
2 museums
4 art galleries

7 banks
2 bike shops
1 bowling alley
6 campgrounds
5 coffee shops
31 hotels & lodges

15 houses of worship
1 movie theater
7 pizza places
40 restaurants
10 salons & spas
31 speciality shops

While visiting Spearfish, don’t miss the D.C. Booth Historic Fish Hatchery and Matthews Opera House.

In 2009, National Geographic Adventure magazine named Spearfish one of 100 of "America's Best Adventure Towns". See National Geographic Article

In 2013, South Dakota's Mickelson Trail was named one of the World's Top 10 Bike Rides.

South Dakota was named America's 2013 Top State for Business by CNBC. Watch the Video.

From 2013-14, Black Hills State University Business School was "Best for Vets"

Spearfish ranked #7 on "10 Best Small Towns" in 2014.

Read the Denver Post article on Spearfish's wonderful fishing, biking and other great activities. 

Are you coming to BHSU and need a place to stay? This website offers a list of hotels in the surrounding area.

Spearfish ranked 8th in the Top 100 Small Towns 2015 by Livability. Read the Article.

Outside Magazine - Spearfish included on Best Towns 2015: The Road Trip listing. Read the Article.

In 2015, South Dakota Public Broadcasting ranked Spearfish #1 community to retire.

In 2015, the Military Advanced Education (MAE) Guide named Black Hills State University a top school.

Spearfish ranked #12 on The 16 Best Places to Live in the U.S. by Outside Magazine

Spearfish ranked number 8 on Top 100 Best Small Towns by Livability

Rapid City Journal - 10 Best Reasons Spearfish makes the Top 10 list of places to live

Spearfish ranks number 8 in Top Small Town Getaways by Infogroup based on consumer and business data in 2015.

Spearfish was one of 64 towns across the United States that was included in Outdoor Magazine’s Best Town’s 2015 contest. Spearfish made in to the final four in the online voting contest.

Winds of Change Magazine named Black Hills State University one of the Top 200 Colleges for Native Americans in 2016.

Spearfish named Best Hippie Town in South Dakota by in 2016.

Black Hills State University ranked number 7 on The Top 10 Best US Colleges and Universities for Outdoor Adventurers by in 2016.

Victory Media named Black Hills State University a Military Friendly School for the 6th consecutive year. Read the Article. - America the Beautiful Series: The Best Pumpkin Patch in Every U.S. State: Spearfish Valley Produce (owned by BHSU alum Nicole Krautschun) in 2016.

Black Hills State University ranked number 17 on Most Affordable Undergraduate Business Schools by in 2016.

Black Hills State University ranked number 9 on 20 Best Colleges and Universities for Outdoor Adventurers by in 2016.

Black Hills State University ranked number 25 on 50 Most Affordable Small Colleges for a Master’s in Education by in 2016.

Spearfish listed in 21 of the Best Small Towns in America by Architectural Digest Magazine in 2016.

Spearfish named a Perfect Autumn Destination by in 2016. Read the Article.

Top Small Town Getaway