Stay in the loop!

Want to know when we share big things? Subscribe today & keep up-to-date with our posts.

Unlock History And Escape The Mysteries Of The Black Hills

There is a craze sweeping across the nation that even celebrities are getting in on. Escape Rooms! This activity involves themed rooms with different scenarios and brain teaser clues to help you escape. Rapid City has not one but two Escape Rooms in Downtown Rapid City, Rapid Escape and Black Hills Escape Rooms.

Recently the fantastic Do Big Things team took the challenge to escape at Black Hills Escape Rooms. Let me tell you they are a blast as long as you’re not afraid of being locked in a small (sometimes dark) place. 


Black Hills Escape Rooms_2017 (61).jpg


Which room to choose?

Black Hills Escape Rooms has 5 different rooms to choose from, my friend Dani had been to the rooms before and escaped from the most difficult, Terror at Holy Terror, which tells the story of a mining accident in the Black Hills. Most of the rooms only take an hour to complete, although if there is no one else waiting you can take longer. We decided to break in to two teams and see who could escape the fastest. Which rooms were chosen? Haunting in Room 812 and Saloon no. 10.

What these 2 rooms have in common are the events that took place in them. One a mysterious suicide that left the Hotel Alex Johnson haunted and the other, the murder of a wild west hero. I was in Room 812 so I will speak to my haunting experience but those from our group who did the Saloon #10 room had just as much fun as we did. Another great thing about the Saloon no. 10 room is there are two of them so if you really want to race your friends you can do the exact same room. 


Black Hills Escape Rooms_2017 (2).jpg


Which clues are real?

The most challenging part of room 812 was the clues. There were times that we couldn’t tell which clues were real and which were fake. Since many of our clues involved numbers in getting our locks open we had to try multiple codes and write down everyone so we knew what worked and what didn't. Some clues were obvious, but others had us using special tools to help get the right answer. For instance, the clocks were mentioned in a previous clue so we knew they had to have significance. We could see they were all set to different times but the numbers we needed to unlock the code were actually hidden on two different clock faces and we had to use a special light to figure them out. Since every clock had codes and only a couple were right but we had to write down all of them so we could find the ones that worked.  PRO TIP: Even if it seems ridiculous or unnecessary try it. More than once someone would suggest something that seemed out of the ordinary that actually worked.  When something crazy worked we all got really excited. 


IMG_2764 (1)_0.JPG


It’s ok to call for help

One nice thing is if you are really stumped you can call for help on a walkie talkie. Yes, we had to do this twice but we were glad we did! The clue we were stuck on was a pretty tricky one. Again, this is because there were multiple clues that we were not sure correlated.  We were truly stumped and spent way too long rearranging the bottles arguing over different code combinations finally we surrendered and asked. Then we still couldn’t figure it out and called for help again! It was a tough clue but once we figured it out it was smooth sailing to our final escape!

Keep in mind that the clues only get trickier as the game progresses, if you are not getting something right away just take a minute and think about it. There was another clue where we had to unscramble letters from tombstones, after a few different combinations one of the girls figured it out and exclaimed DEATH! We were able to unlock our next clue and advance in the game. Moral of the story, always try everything you can before you call for help. Your brain is sure to figure out the puzzle but if you are lost someone will come to your rescue.   

Learn about the area

While the scenarios are fictional the stories behind them are real. That was my favorite thing. On the wall, they have different pamphlets of the actual story that give you clues so make sure you read everything. I had read stories about the ghost in The Hotel Alex Johnson but I never really knew the full story. The escape room gave me a crash course in the lives behind the Lady in White and the mystery behind her suicide. The detail these rooms go into is amazing so check every corner for a clue to get out. I promise you will have fun, even if you are digging through graves and examining bones.  




After calling for help two times and solving all of the puzzles our team finished before our co-workers! It took us a little over an hour and it was a ton of fun. When you Visit Rapid City, make sure you add a little time to your schedule to escape!

Want more thrills?

Sign up for our E-Newsletter

Follow Us on Social Media

Request a Visitors Guide

Meet the Author

Anne Orban

After 25 magnificent years in Rapid City, Anne traded the Black Hills for some of the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains. While she loves high altitude living she misses all the must See's, hidden gems, and food back home. Together with her partner Kris, and her dogs Elsie and Honey, she tries to travel as much as possible and explore the hidden wonders where ever she is. 

latest blog posts

Anne Orban
Social Media and Content Developer

After 25 magnificent years in Rapid City, Anne traded the Black Hills for some of the highest peaks of the Rocky Mountains. While she loves high altitude living she misses all the must See's, hidden gems, and food back home. Together with her partner Kris, and her dogs Elsie and Honey, she tries to travel as much as possible and explore the hidden wonders where ever she is. 

View More

Latest Blog Post

  • Hibernation Is Overrated For The Critters Of The Black Hills
    December 5, 2019 - Anne
  • 5 Reasons I Love Downtown Rapid City
    May 31, 2019 - Anne
  • Get Your Hike On
    March 25, 2019 - Anne
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 5 Reasons I'm Thankful for Rapid City
    November 27, 2019 - Kelsy
  • Who’s Ready For A Boot Scootin’ Good Time?
    November 14, 2019 - Kelsy
  • The Season Of Fun At The Civic Center
    October 23, 2019 - Kelsy
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City's "Little Secret"
    November 20, 2019 - Chris
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Planning A Meeting In Rapid City Is Easy - And Adventurous
    November 13, 2019 - Tyson
  • 5 Reasons Meeting Planners Love Rapid City
    February 6, 2019 - Tyson
  • Amazing Rush Season 2: Day One Adventures
    October 27, 2017 - Tyson
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Best Of Both Worlds
    November 5, 2019 - Cody
  • Construction at Mount Rushmore? More Like Enhancements
    September 3, 2019 - Cody
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The 7 Wonders In and Around Rapid City, SD
    October 10, 2019 - Allie Bast
  • Latest Blog Post

  • IN HISTORY: 1st Custer State Park Buffalo Auction, Feb. 12, 1966
    August 23, 2019 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • In History: First Blast On Crazy Horse Memorial, June 3, 1948
    April 5, 2019 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • IN HISTORY: Rapid City Founded, Feb. 24, 1876
    February 22, 2018 - Black Hills Knowledge Network
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Summer In Rapid City
    August 1, 2019 - Stephanie
  • Latest Blog Post

  • An Oz Experience: Flying With The Oldest Balloon Company In The USA
    July 26, 2019 - Danielle
  • My Daughter's First Time At Storybook Island
    June 7, 2019 - Danielle
  • Big, Bold Flavors Where The Buffalo Roam
    December 8, 2017 - Danielle
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 10 Must-Do Adventures In And Around Rapid City
    July 3, 2019 - Chris Brinlee Jr.
  • How To Get The Most Out Of A Black Hills Adventure
    August 17, 2017 - Chris Brinlee Jr.
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Most Exciting Social Event Of The Summer
    May 10, 2019 - Jennifer
  • Get Lost, Play Tag…Be Brave
    May 8, 2019 - Jennifer
  • Make Unbearably Perfect Memories at Bear Country USA
    March 2, 2018 - Jennifer
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Outdoor Campus West: Free Family Fun!
    April 24, 2019 - Shiloh
  • Experience the Magic at Storybook Island
    December 5, 2018 - Shiloh
  • Add Some Color to Your Life
    April 25, 2018 - Shiloh
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Mount Rushmore Questions You’ve Been Dying to Ask
    February 8, 2019 - Michaela
  • Top 5 Trails Within 30 Minutes of Rapid City
    March 8, 2018 - Michaela
  • Rapid City from Michaela’s point of view.
    October 17, 2016 - Michaela
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City Myth Busting
    January 25, 2019 - Sarah
  • Downtown Shopping
    January 3, 2019 - Sarah
  • My Favorite Parks and Monuments
    January 29, 2016 - Sarah
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Custer State Park Trail Challenge
    October 26, 2018 - Amy
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Our Family Vacation To South Dakota
    September 21, 2018 - Liz Beatty
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Black Hills Powwow: A Kaleidoscope of Color
    September 5, 2018 - Kris Monroe
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Wild Adventures Out West
    July 12, 2018 - Kevin Stinehart
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City Blog: Spearfish Canyon
    June 25, 2018 - Aiden Lynn-Klimenko & Madison Perrins
  • Rapid City Blog: Trail System
    November 14, 2016 - Aiden Lynn-Klimenko & Madison Perrins
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Top Picks For Outdoor Adventure At 9 Parks & Monuments
    April 11, 2018 - Lisa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The Mount Rushmore of Summer Vacations
    April 9, 2018 - Ginny
  • 8 Great Reasons to Love Spring in the Black Hills
    January 29, 2018 - Ginny
  • Four Ways Rapid City Lives Up To The Hype
    June 23, 2016 - Ginny
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Refresh Your Adventure At Rapid City Microbreweries
    January 16, 2018 - Stephen Sebestyen
  • Latest Blog Post

  • In The Spirit Of The Season: The Story Of Devils Tower National Monument
    October 10, 2017 - Amanda Hitchcock
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City's Wildside
    October 5, 2017 - Adrian Munoz
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Rapid City - Reptile Gardens, Bear Country USA, Watiki Water Park, Outdoor Campus West
    July 7, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Rapid City South Dakota - We Made It!
    July 6, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Custer State Park Jeep Tour, Chuckwagon, Buffalo, Antelope!
    July 6, 2017 - Heather & Pete Reese
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Beginners Guide: Being A Tourist In Your Backyard
    June 2, 2017 - Tessa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • The adventure of a lifetime in Rapid City
    March 20, 2017 - Ellen and Mike
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Basil, Tomatoes, Olive Oil, Wine…Just A Few Of My Favs
    January 27, 2017 - Stacie
  • 1,200 Degrees of Taste Bud Paradise
    January 15, 2017 - Stacie
  • Latest Blog Post

  • A Black Hills Winter
    December 23, 2016 - Jesse
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Travelin with Tiff: Rush Mountain Adventure Park
    December 13, 2016 - Tiffany
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Downtown Trails and Recreation
    July 5, 2016 - Lisa
  • Latest Blog Post

  • 3 Mountain Bike Rides to Jump Start Your Black Hills Adventures
    May 20, 2016 - Craig
  • Latest Blog Post

  • Shredding in the Black Hills
    March 10, 2016 - Bill