Welcome to the Black Hills National Forest

Pactola Visitor Center Update

June 2024 - The Pactola Visitor Center is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. MT.  Learn More about the Center

An "Island in the Plains"

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: Little Spearfish Trail, Northern Hills Ranger District, Black Hills National Forest/USDA FS

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.

  • Forest Offices

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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.

  • 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 3,800 miles of motorized travel on the forest, including over 700 miles of system trails.

  • Smokey Bear 80th Birthday Coloring Contest

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    The Black Hills National Forest is hosting a coloring contest for our local children to celebrate Smokey Bear’s upcoming 80th birthday.

  • 2024 Forest Visitor Programs

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    The Forest is offering several programs for the 2024 season including guided hikes, Junior Ranger Programs and more...

  • Campground Reservations

    Grizzly Creek Campground by Leslie Barton

    Secure your site and get ready for some fun family time this summer! (Grizzly Creek Campground by Leslie Barton, USDA FS/Black Hills National Forest)

  • 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..."