USDA Forest Service, Black Hills National Forest

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Welcome to the Black Hills National Forest

Described as an “Island in the Plains,” the multiple-use Black Hills National Forest has an activity for everyone. Explore the many formations, canyons and gulches, open grasslands, tumbling streams, and deep blue lakes.

Plan Your Next Adventure

Photo: Pactola Reservoir by Black Hills National Forest/USDA Forest Service

The Black Hills, in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, consists of 1.2 million acres of forested hills and mountains, approximately 110 miles long and 70 miles wide.

The name "Black Hills" comes from the Lakota words Paha Sapa, which mean "hills that are black." Seen from a distance, these pine-covered hills, rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie, appear black.

Millions of visitors come to the Black Hills each year to experience the rich and diverse heritage.

  • Passes & Permits

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    The Black Hills National Forest is open, free of charge, for your use and enjoyment. Fees may be charged and permits required for some activities and locations, including camping and parking fees.

  • Maps & Publications

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    The Forest Service publishes a variety of map products to help you enjoy your visit. Many maps and brochures are available online and more options are available at our Forest offices.

  • OHV Information

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    The Black Hills offers over 3,600 miles of motorized travel on the forest, including over 700 miles of system trails.

  • Fourth of July Fire Safety

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    Black Hills National Forest officials are reminding the public that fireworks are prohibited on the Black Hills National Forest and within the Black Hills Fire Protection District.

  • The Black Hills | from More Than Just Parks

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    Experience the Forest like never before with this beautiful video featuring "Dazzling rock formations, beautiful pine forests, incredible wildlife, mesmerizing magic hour and an insane amount of recreation opportunities..."

  • Campground Reservations

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    Memorial Day through Labor Day, campground reservations may be made through Recreation.gov at 1-877-444-6777 or online at Recreation.gov. Due to high demand, reservations are recommended.

  • Vicinity Map

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    The Forest has four Ranger Districts and a Forest Supervisor’s Office. Offices are located in Sundance and Newcastle, Wyoming and Custer, Rapid City and Spearfish, South Dakota.

  • Upcoming 2022 Forest Moon Walks

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    During its 27th year of guided hikes, Forest visitors will learn about local fire history and the important role it plays, about critters that prefer the night, the relationships between the Civilian Conservation Corps and Forest, and about bats and their role in the Black Hills and Bearlodge Mountains.

  • Songbird of the Black Hills Campground Sing-Alongs

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    Join the Songbird of the Black Hills, Sally Svenson, for an evening of campfire music (sing-a-longs included) and the Black Hills stories behind her original songs.

  • 2022 Naturalist Programs - Pactola Visitor Center

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    The Black Hills National Forest and South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department are teaming up and offering educational programs at the Pactola Visitor Center.

Jeff Tomac, Forest Supervisor

Jeff Tomac, Forest Supervisor

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