Our famous three-level Sky Dome is the most iconic building at Reptile Gardens, and probably one of the most iconic in South Dakota. Step into our Safari Room a veritable oasis filled with beautiful orchids, bromeliads, caladiums, and other tropical plants from all around the globe. Be amazed as you encounter sculptures from Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia as our free-roaming lizard and frog friends give you and the family a proper Reptile Gardens welcome. The Sky Dome is home to one of the largest collection of reptiles in the world! Climb up to the Mezzanine level where you’ll encounter our collection of venomous and non-venomous snakes. Venture down to the lower level of the Sky Dome where you’ll encounter the giant croc, Maniac, and his crocodilian friends. Continue your journey in the lower level of the Sky Dome and see where our amphibian friends and our "BIG BUGS!" dwell.
Exotic Reptiles, Amphibians & Bugs
The Mezzanine Level features our collection of exotic reptiles. Meet the most venomous snakes on earth, the Fierce Snake (we have the only specimens of this rare species in North America), as well as the rarest snakes in the world, the Rough-scaled Python, as well as Giant Pythons, Mambas, Cobras, venomous lizards, and rattlesnakes.
The lower level of the Dome houses some of our cool Crocodilian friends, the most famous (and most feared) being Maniac, our giant saltwater crocodile. The lower level of the dome also houses our collection of amphibians, like the brightly colored (although deadly) Poison Dart Frogs. You’ll also be able to see our collection of "Big Bugs!" and get up close and personal with some visitor favorites like the giant tarantulas.
For those not particularly fond of snakes and lizards, many of the exhibits in the Sky Dome feature fossils, beautiful mineral specimens, photos, and woodcarvings. The Sky Dome also houses an exact cast of an Archelon Turtle Fossil, the largest ever found. The fossil was actually discovered by paleontologists a short distance from Reptile Gardens in the 1970's! In spite of efforts by Reptile Gardens' founder Earl Brockelsby to keep the original in South Dakota, it was sold to a museum in Vienna, Austria.
You can’t miss us!
The Sky Dome is hard to miss and one of the most popular attractions at Reptile Gardens. One of the largest collection of reptiles in the world is located just 6 miles south of Rapid City, SD at 8955 S. Highway 16. Just look for the giant dome at the bottom of the hill on Highway 16.