OHV Riding & Camping

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VIDEO: Black Hills National Forest - Motorized Recreation

Know the Trail

Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Visitors to the Forest will find over 3,600 miles of roads and trails designated open for motorized travel.

OHV Riding Opportunities - OHV travel is allowed only on designated trails and roads. Over 700 miles of designated motorized trails are available within the Forest. Many of the trails are connected by 500 miles of “Roads Open to All Vehicles,” which together, provide abundant opportunities for planning OHV outings of various degrees of difficulty and lengths, including loop route options. There are currently 21 designated motorized trailheads on the Forest.

To determine where to ride a given type of motorized vehicle check out the current Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM), which is available free online and at Forest Offices

See Letter of Direction, OHV width Measurement

Also check out the Ride Responsibly forest brochure.

Purchase a Permit

Permits may only be purchased at the Black Hills and Badlands Visitor Center, located off Exit 61 on I-90 just east of Rapid City, online, or from a local vendor

Motorized Trail Permits - In the SD portion of the Forest, you will need to display a valid Black Hills Motorized Trail Permit for the following:

  • Riding an OHV on designated motorized trails
  • Riding an unlicensed OHV on a forest road designated as “Open to All Vehicles” (Vehicles with a valid state license plate are not required to display a permit unless they are driving on a designated motorized trail)

There are two types of permits available: Annual and 7-day Motorized Trail Permits. Permits are available at any of the Forest Offices. Permit sales support maintenance of the Forest’s motorized trail system. 

OHV Areas Open to Cross-Country Travel - There are two open riding areas designated on the Forest. These areas are less than 5 acres in size and are located at Spearfish Quarry and Bearlodge Pit. Other cross -country, motorized travel is authorized for the purposes of elk retrieval, and dispersed camping, as described on the MVUM.

OHVs & Hunting- Hunters should be particularly aware of certain regulations related to motorized travel. Refer to the current Forest MVUM for regulations pertaining to OHV use and Elk Retrieval.

OHV Camping - Dispersed camping is allowed off of many FS roads and trails, as designated in the Dispersed Camping Tables on the current MVUM. (Note: Building a campfire while dispersed camping is not allowed on SD portions of the Forest). Several of the Black Hills NF’s developed campgrounds are situated near OHV Trail Systems, and provide easy access to motorized trails. Remember: within campgrounds and other recreation sites, use cars, motorcycles, or other motor vehicles only for entering or leaving. Contact one of the Forest Offices for more info.

Join the Black Hills NF and Tread Lightly!® by following policies, regs and guidelines when participating in OHV activities. It is your responsibility to know and abide by regulations relating to OHV travel.

Click HERE for more info.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities