A historic gold rush town transformed into a hub for scientific discovery and outdoor adventure.

Welcome to Lead

A historic gold rush town transformed into a hub for scientific discovery and outdoor adventure.

Lead, South Dakota, is a town steeped in history and draped in the natural beauty of the Black Hills. Once the site of the legendary Homestake Gold Mine, Lead has reinvented itself as a center for scientific research while retaining its rich historical charm. The Sanford Underground Research Facility, which delves into the depths where miners once toiled, now explores the frontiers of particle physics, creating a unique blend of past and present.

This town, surrounded by dense forests and rugged terrain, offers its residents a lifestyle deeply connected to the outdoors with modern conveniences subtly woven in. The community in Lead is tightly-knit, characterized by a shared appreciation for both its heritage and its role on the cutting edge of science. Seasonal events, historical tours, and local arts bring the colorful history of Lead to life, making it a fascinating place to live and explore.

What to Love

  • Rich historical sites and ongoing scientific exploration
  • Access to outdoor recreational activities year-round
  • Strong community spirit with deep historical roots
  • Proximity to Terry Peak for skiing and snowmobiling
  • Local breweries and unique dining experiences

Local Lifestyle

Residents of Lead enjoy a lifestyle that offers both adventure and tranquility. The community is engaged and proud of its heritage, frequently coming together for events and initiatives that celebrate their town's unique history and bright future. Outdoor enthusiasts revel in the year-round recreational opportunities provided by the nearby Black Hills, including hiking, biking, skiing, and snowmobiling. The local economy is bolstered by both tourism and the Sanford Lab, providing a stable foundation for businesses and services in the area.

Dining and Shopping

Lead offers a variety of dining experiences that cater to all tastes. The Sled Haus is a local favorite, known for its German-inspired dishes and cozy atmosphere, making it a perfect stop after a day on the slopes. STAMPMILL Restaurant & Saloon provides a taste of the Old West with a modern twist, serving up hearty meals in a historical setting. Lotus Up Espresso & Deli offers excellent coffee and deli sandwiches for a lighter fare or a morning boost, emphasizing local ingredients and friendly service.

Shopping in Lead reflects its rich history and vibrant community. Cheyenne Crossing offers a range of locally made crafts, gifts, and essentials, capturing the spirit of the Black Hills. Dakota Shivers Brewing serves not only craft beer but also a sense of local pride, with brews that are as unique and storied as the town itself.

Things to Do

Lead provides a wealth of activities that highlight its historical and natural assets. The Sanford Lab Homestake Visitor Center offers insights into both the past operations of the Homestake Mine and the current scientific endeavors underground. This blend of history and science fascinates visitors and residents alike, offering a glimpse into the earth’s depths and the cosmos beyond.

For those seeking spiritual and scenic solitude, Pathways Spiritual Sanctuary is a peaceful retreat nestled in the beauty of the Black Hills. It offers a quiet place to walk, meditate, and reconnect with nature. Meanwhile, the Historic Homestake Opera House presents a variety of performances and events, providing cultural enrichment and entertainment to the community throughout the year.


The schools in Lead provide quality education with a focus on community involvement and academic excellence. The presence of advanced scientific research facilities like the Sanford Underground Research Facility enriches the educational landscape, offering unique learning opportunities for students in science and engineering fields.

Overview for Lead, SD

2,989 people live in Lead, where the median age is 52.5 and the average individual income is $29,952. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population

52.5 years

Median Age


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Average individual Income

Around Lead, SD

There's plenty to do around Lead, including shopping, dining, nightlife, parks, and more. Data provided by Walk Score and Yelp.

Walking Score
Somewhat Bikeable
Bike Score

Points of Interest

Explore popular things to do in the area, including Lou Lou’s Bombdiggity’s, Dakota Shivers Brewing, and Stan & Ollie's Pub/Three Cousins Pizza.

Name Category Distance Reviews
Ratings by Yelp
Dining 2.33 miles 51 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining · $ 0.28 miles 15 reviews 4.9/5 stars
Dining 2.46 miles 19 reviews 4.8/5 stars
Dining · $ 0.48 miles 4 reviews 5/5 stars
Dining · $ 2.37 miles 20 reviews 4.6/5 stars
Dining 2.44 miles 11 reviews 4.5/5 stars

Demographics and Employment Data for Lead, SD

Lead has 1,516 households, with an average household size of 1.96. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. Here’s what the people living in Lead do for work — and how long it takes them to get there. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau. 2,989 people call Lead home. The population density is 1,452.12 and the largest age group is Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Total Population


Population Density Population Density This is the number of people per square mile in a neighborhood.


Median Age

43.39 / 56.61%

Men vs Women

Population by Age Group


0-9 Years


10-17 Years


18-24 Years


25-64 Years


65-74 Years


75+ Years

Education Level

  • Less Than 9th Grade
  • High School Degree
  • Associate Degree
  • Bachelor Degree
  • Graduate Degree

Total Households


Average Household Size


Average individual Income

Households with Children

With Children:

Without Children:

Marital Status


Blue vs White Collar Workers

Blue Collar:

White Collar:

Commute Time

0 to 14 Minutes
15 to 29 Minutes
30 to 59 Minutes
60+ Minutes

Schools in Lead, SD

All ()
Primary Schools ()
Middle Schools ()
High Schools ()
Mixed Schools ()
The following schools are within or nearby Lead. The rating and statistics can serve as a starting point to make baseline comparisons on the right schools for your family. Data provided by the U.S. Census Bureau.
School rating
Lead-Deadwood High School - 01
9th - 12th
Lead-Deadwood Middle School - 02
6th - 8th

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