Rapid City, named for the creek that runs through it, is located in Pennington County, just east of the Wyoming state line. In Black Hills, Badlands & Lakes Region, it lies on I-90, US 16, and Hwys 79 and 44, east of the Black Hills National Forest.
Founded in 1876 during the Black Hills Gold Rush, Rapid City was incorporated in 1882.
Today Rapid City, population 57,513 (est. 1998), is the state's second-largest city, a trade and tourist hub with mining, lumbering and agricultural industries. The average high temperature is 34 degrees in January and 86 degrees in July. The average annual rainfall is 16.7 inches and the annual snowfall is 39.1 inches.
Attractions include Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial and Black Hills National Forest. The Journey Museum presents a timeline of the Black Hills' formation to the Western Frontier era. Buffalo herds roam Custer State Park, the Badlands and Devil's Tower. Ellsworth Air Force Base is nearby.