The Gold Rush Byway denotes the discovery of gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874. When the Army stopped enforcing the treaty reserving the Black Hills for the Sioux Indians, miners began to pour into the gold regions. Until 1881, the 267-mile Sidney-Deadwood Trail carried the bulk of the traffic, supplies, and gold to and from the mining towns of Deadwood and Custer from Sidney. During 1878 to 1879 alone, over 22 million pounds of freight moved along the Sidney-Deadwood Trail. Gold shipments worth up to $200,000 each moved south from the Black Hills to Sidney and the railroad.
Part of the CANAM Highway (U.S. 385) that stretches from Mexico to Saskatchewan, Canada, the Gold Rush Byway follows one of the most historic and scenic routes through America's heartland. The traveler is rewarded with a number of panoramic vistas-valleys, gently sloped hills, rolling plains, sand hills, buttes and pine-covered canyons. Along this byway, you'll see unique scenic, historical, recreational, cultural and archeological features. From beautiful lakes, lazily flowing rivers, and national forests to bustling communities, art centers and museums, this byway will entice you off the beaten track.
The Gold Rush Byway, extending from the Colorado border north to the South Dakota border, offers extensive Native American, military, westward expansion, and natural history.