Mount Roosevelt Picnic Area


Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower

VIDEO: Mount Roosevelt Virtual Tour

The famous Deadwood Sheriff, Seth Bullock, built the Mount Roosevelt Friendship Tower in 1919 as a dedication to President Theodore Roosevelt, his close friend of many years. Bullock wanted to create a memorial of his friend’s life and a place where people could view wide open spaces that both Bullock and Roosevelt had become so fond of during their lives.

Bullock was Deadwood’s first sheriff, founded the town of Belle Fourche, and was a U.S. Marshal for South Dakota. He was also an early Forest Supervisor on the Black Hills National Forest, appointed to the task by President Roosevelt. Bullock would help establish Wind Cave National Park, Devils Tower National Monument, and the D.C. Booth National Fish Hatchery. President Teddy Roosevelt was known as the “Conservationist President,” because of his vision for protecting public lands, wildlife, and natural resources. Together, these two historical figures played a major role in the conservation movement of the Black Hills.

In 1919, the Society of Black Hills Pioneers provided financial support to build the Tower and in 1966, the Society donated the Tower to the United States Forest Service. In 2005, the Tower was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Mount Roosevelt, also called the Friendship Tower, underwent stabilization in 2010 to reinforce the base and restore the monument for public use. At that time, North Zone Engineer, Dave Plummer, worked with Boxelder Job Corps students and a stone mason specializing in historical restoration to restore and repair the original rock masonry of the Tower. The restoration work on the Tower was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission, the Black Hills Parks and Forest Association, and the Black Hills National Forest have all contributed to the restoration of the Tower as well.

The Mount Roosevelt Picnic Area has five picnic sites. Restroom facilities are available.

At a Glance

Operational Hours: Day light to Dark
Rentals & Guides: none
Fees none
Permit Info: none
Usage: Light
Restrictions: No Camping
Closest Towns: Deadwood
Water: No
Restroom: Vault Toilet (1)
Operated By: USFS

General Information

Directions: Take US Highway 85 north out of Deadwood 1.5 miles. Turn west on Forest Service road 133 and drive for about 2 miles to the Mt. Roosevelt Picnic area. The trail begins there.

Recreation Map

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The Mount Roosevelt Picnic Area has five picnic sites.