Pine Ridge Travel Guide

Pine Ridge in South Dakota is the second-largest Indian reservation in the United States and comprises the Oglala Lakota Sioux Native Americans. The reservation is located in the southwest of the state on the Nebraska border and increased in popularity with summer tourists after it featured as the setting for the 2002 Chris Eyre movie, Skins.

The actual town of Pine Ridge is located near the Wounded Knee massacre site and the drive there features some fine scenery. The town happens to be located in the US’s poorest county, where tatty prefab homes contrast with the spectacular surroundings. Thankfully, the Prairie Wind casino has increased income into the town of late.

The Oglala Nation Fair, held on the first weekend in August, is worth seeing and features a powwow and rodeo. Most sites of the reservation lie elsewhere and include the Red Cloud Indian School.


Pine Ridge Heritage Center: was built by Jesuit missionaries in 1888 and features some great pieces from the Northern Great Plains tribes.

Prairie Wind Casino: somewhat of a God send for Pine Ridge, the casino is on Highway 18 and includes a pretty good restaurant.

Wounded Knee: is about 10 miles to the northeast of Pine Ridge and marks the spot where the US Cavalry massacred 153 Indians at Wounded Knee creek in 1890. The site is now a hillside cemetery.

Red Cloud Indian School: just outside Pine Ridge, is where a popular Indian art show is held each summer featuring work by tribes in the US and Canada.

Oglala National Fair: experience this lively powwow and rodeo, organized by the Oglala Sioux Tribe and held annually in August.