Recreation Guide for Black Hills National Forest. Published by the U.S. National Forest Service
Trails Guide Services General Information elcome to your Black Hills National Forest where 1.2 million acres of public land recreation opportunities await you! The Forest offers hundreds of miles of nonmotorized and motorized trails. There are a variety of settings from forest to prairie, and easy to difficult opportunities to challenge your skills. • Trail Ethics We hope you enjoy the eleven reservoirs, 31 campgrounds, two scenic byways, 1,300 miles of stream, 13,426 acres of wilderness, hundreds of miles of non-motorized and motorized trails, and much more! The Forest is managed for many uses, so don’t be surprised to see mining, logging, cattle grazing, and summer homes on your travels. Please take time to enjoy the beauty and charm of this national treasure. Black Elk Wilderness has special regulations to protect and preserve this unique area including a 25 person or 12 horse rider group size limit, no motorized or mechanized equipment allowed such as bicycles, strollers, drones, wagons, etc. Wilderness Permits are required to enter the wilderness, and are available at all trailhead self-service registration stations. Please read the regulations printed on the back of the permit you keep with you during your visit. Special Use Permits are required to lead others in outdoor recreation activities (such as hunting, fishing, trail rides, etc.) on the Black Hills National Forest. A complete list of Permitted Outfitter and Guides for a variety of recreation activities and areas, is available at our Forest recreation website. Welcome W Scenic Byways Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway in the southern Black Hills leads visitors along 66 miles of scenic highways that pass through the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, the Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. A visit to the Black Hills should include a trip through this byway’s one lane tunnels that frame Mount Rushmore, and around the curling ‘pig-tail’ shaped bridges, along the Iron Mountain Road. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway in the northern Black Hills takes visitors along US Highway 14A, through 18 miles of breath taking views of waterfalls, sheer cliff walls, springs, a roaring stream, and an opportunity to view wildlife. Norbeck and Black Elk Wilderness trails are more primitive. Users should be prepared for hazardous weather, dead standing trees, high elevation, difficult terrain, limited water sources - which must be treated, and difficult rescue. Hikers and horse riders should practice Leave No Trace (LNT) Principles to be able to enjoy their visit while leaving the area pristine for the next visitors. More Activities Cutting switchbacks causes erosion. Please stay on the designated trail. Expect and respect other trail users. • Extreme Weather Once a month during the summer, Forest visitors enjoy a natural history program and hike under a full moon. Visit our website for more information at: www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/ blackhills/recreation Black Hills National Forest Hell Canyon Ranger District Supervisor’s Office 1019 N. 5th Street, Custer, SD 57730 605-673-9200 or Dial 711 for TRS www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills Clear sunny days can quickly turn into afternoon thunderstorms. Carry extra warm clothes and be prepared for snow or hail! 1225 Washington Street, Newcastle, WY 82701 307-746-2782 Streams in the forest may look safe to drink but usually they are not. Carry at least one quart of water per hiker. Bearlodge Ranger District 101 S. 21st Street, PO Box 680, Sundance, WY 82729 307-283-1361 • Water Black Hills Moonwalk Contacts Mystic Ranger District 8221 S. Hwy. 16, Rapid City, SD 57702 605-343-1567 Northern Hills Ranger District 2014 N. Main Street, Spearfish, SD 57783 605-642-4622 • Available Maps Black Hills National Forest Visitor Center located on Pactola Reservoir Dam, on US Highway 385, open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/blackhills/recreation Detailed information for trails, streams, lakes, peaks, lookout towers, private, federal and state lands, and recreation sites is available on the BHNF Visitor Map and at www.fs.usda.gov/ recmain/blackhills/recreation LNT information can be found at: www.lnt.org Sheridan Lake Thank you for being a responsible user of your National Forest! The USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. REV2016-10 Camping Horse Camping The Forest has 31 Campgrounds with 682 individual sites - including 3 Horse Campgrounds designed for campers with horses, and 2 Group Campgrounds with 6 large sites for large family or company camping & picnics. Most of the campgrounds are operated by a concessionaire, and have on-site hosts. Single family sites can hold up to 8 people. There is a fee to camp each night. Some campgrounds may have reduced rates in the fall, winter, and spring. Potable water is available at most campgrounds during the summer. Vault toilets, fire rings, and tables are available at each site. Showers, electric, sewer, and water hookups are NOT available. For more information visit our website: www. fs.usda.gov/recmain/blackhills/recreation The Black Hills National Forest requires the use of certified weed free feed. Contact the SD Department of Agriculture Hotline at 800-228-5254 or WY Department of Agriculture Hotline at 307-777-7321. Accessibility Day-use Area Fees Many recreation sites on the Black Hills National Forest have fairly level terrain and are accessible to visitors who have disabilities. Accessibility is contingent on the characteristics of each site. If you have questions about a particular recreation site, please contact a Forest Service office. Reserve a Campsite 1-877-444-6777 • Dial 711 for TRS www.recreation.gov A reservation fee is charged to make and cancel a reservation. A limited number of sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are recommended for holiday weekends. SD: www.sdda.sd.gov/ag-services/weed-and-pestcontrol/weed-free-forage WY: www.wyoweed.org/weeds/weed-free-forage Sundance Campground, north of Sundance, WY, has corrals and potable water. It has accessible sites. Iron Creek Horse Camp, east of Custer, SD, has 30’ round corrals, fire rings, tables, no potable water, but stock water is available in troughs. Willow Creek Horse Camp, southeast of Hill City, SD, has no corrals but portable corrals are permitted, has potable water, and stock water troughs. Some day-use sites charge a daily fee, per vehicle, from mid-May through mid-September. Annual Passes are also offered for frequent visitors. Passes can be purchased at most Black Hills National Forest offices, some campgrounds, and the Forest Visitor Center at Pactola Reservoir. Fees are used to maintain and operate the facilities. Fire Restrictions Campfires or open fires in the South Dakota portion of the Black Hills are allowed only in developed campground or picnic area fire grates. Campfires are allowed in the Wyoming portion of the Black Hills. Dispersed Camping Dispersed camping is a great way to get away from the crowd, but there are rules: no open campfires in South Dakota, UL approved cooking devices allowed (such as propane stoves), 14-day camping stay limit, bury human waste, take all your trash with you when you leave, no camping within ½ mile of developed campgrounds or in areas marked with no dispersed camping signs. Camper trailer self-contained waste system - no waste dumping on the ground. Dispersed motorized camping, is only allowed within 300’ of designated roads – see the Motor Vehicle Use Maps for approved locations. Large groups and any improvements (such as group horse corrals, horse drawn wagon camps, portable toilet, etc.) require a special use permit. Wilderness Dispersed Camping Visitors to the Black Elk Wilderness must fill out a Use Registration Form, available at any of the major trailhead portals into the wilderness. Camping is allowed anywhere EXCEPT within ¼ mile of Trail #9 and Black Elk Peak. NO camping in the lookout tower on Black Elk Peak. To keep our water pure, do not camp or dispose of human waste within 100 feet of trails, streams or other water sources. Campground and Cabin Information Daily Fee Units Drinking Water Lake or Stream Spur Length Bear Gulch Group (*) (R) Bearlodge Yes 1 Yes Pactola Reservoir Yes 8 No None Beaver Creek Yes 8 Yes Beaver Creek 45 ft Bismarck Lake (*) (R) Boxelder Forks (*) Black Fox Castle Peak Comanche Park (*) (R) Cook Lake (*) (R) Yes 23 Yes Bismarck Lake 55 ft Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes 14 9 9 34 34 Yes No No Yes Yes Boxelder Creek Rapid Creek Castle Creek None Cook Lake 45 45 45 55 45 Custer Trail (*) Dalton Lake (*) Yes 16 Yes Deerfield Lake 50 ft Yes 11 Yes Dalton Lake Ditch Creek (*) Dutchman (*) (R) Yes 13 Yes Ditch Creek Yes 45 Yes Deerfield Lake Campground Name Open in Winter Hosts 45 ft No No Quiet side canyon to Pactola 25 ft Partial No Just off highway to Devils Tower Yes No Remote, quiet, and high elevation Partial Yes Canoeing, fishing, electric motors less than 6 hp Partial Yes Yes Partial Partial Yes No No Yes Yes Near Centennial Trail Trout fishing, high elevation Remote, historic mining sites nearby Closest campground to Jewel Cave Campground may not be open, call 307-283-1361 No No North shore location, trailhead, high elevation 45 ft No Yes Centennial Trail, Little Elk Canyon 50 ft Yes No 5 mi south of Deerfield Lake, high elevation 50 ft Partial Yes South shore, fishing, boating & trails, high elevation ft ft ft ft ft Remarks Grizzly Bear (*) (R) Yes 15 Yes Grizzly Bear Creek 28 ft No Yes Near Mt. Rushmore, reservations recommended, no trailers/RVs, single vehicles and tent camping only Hanna (*) Horsethief Lake (*) (R) Iron Creek HORSE Camp (*) (R) Oreville (*) (R) Yes 13 Yes Spearfish Creek 55 ft No Yes Near Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, high elevation Yes 36 Yes Horsethief Lake 50 ft No Yes Near Mt. Rushmore, reservations recommended Yes 9 No Iron Creek 50 ft Closes mid-Oct No Reservations recommended Yes 24 Yes None 50 ft Closes mid-Oct Yes Near Mickelson Trail Pactola (*) (R) Redbank Springs Yes 80 Yes Pactola Reservoir 87 ft Partial Yes Fishing, boating, trails, marina, store, open in winter Yes 4 No Spring only 40 ft Yes No Isolated and remote spot, high elevation Reuter (*) (R) Yes 24 Yes None 30 ft Partial Yes Rod & Gun (*) Roubaix (*) (R) Yes 7 Yes Little Spearfish 50 ft Closed 12/1-5/15 No Near Warren Peak lookout tower Near Dances With Wolves filming site, high elevation Yes 56 Yes Roubaix Lake 45 ft Sheridan Lake North Cove Group (*) (R) Sheridan Lake South Side (*) (R) Yes 5 Yes Sheridan Lake 60 ft Partial No Yes No Fishing & swimming, high elevation Group camping, reservations recommended Yes 129 Yes Sheridan Lake 60 ft Partial Yes Flume Trail and Centennial Trail, open in winter Steamboat Rock Strawberry Yes Yes 5 5 No No Boxelder Creek Ponds N/A N/A No No No No Tent camping only Tent camping only Sundance HORSE Camp (*) (R) Timon (*) Whitetail (*) (R) Willow Creek HORSE Camp Grp (*) (R) Yes 10 Yes None 50 ft Partial No Horse facilities and trails near to I-90 Yes Yes Yes 7 17 8 Yes Yes Yes Little Spearfish Deerfield Lake Willow Creek 60 ft 50 ft 45 ft Closed 12/1-5/15 Yes Yes No Yes Yes Fishing, hiking, and mountain bike trails, high elevation Lake Loop Trail, fishing, high elevation Reservations recommended Daily Fee Units Drinking Water Lake or Stream Spur Length Open in Winter Hosts Yes 1 No None N/A By reservation No Cabin Rental Summit Ridge Lookout Cabin (R) (R) Reservations are available by calling 1-877-444-6777 or on the web at www.Recreation.gov. (*) Operated mid-May to mid-September by a private campground concessionaire under special use permit. A limited number of accessible sites are available at these campgrounds. Varying levels of accessibility exist among campground sites. At concessionaire operated campgrounds, a minimum pet fee of $2 per pet will be charged during your stay. At concessionaire operated campgrounds, an additional fee for multiple vehicles may apply. Remarks 605-673-4853 for cabin rental info, high elevation • Stay limit for camping in the BHNF is 14 days (BHNF-046-98). • All fees and open status are subject to change. • A portion of all fees collected at campgrounds will be used for repairs and upkeep of Forest Service facilities. • Generator quiet hours are 10 pm - 6 am. • Roads within the campgrounds are not plowed in the winter.