Welcome to the Black Hills National Forest
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.
Photo: Mountain Goats at Bridal Veil Falls, Spearfish Canyon
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Black Hills offers over 3,600 miles of motorized travel on the forest, including over 700 miles of system trails.
Fall colors typically peak the last week of September, first week of October in the Black Hills. (Photo by Dakota Baker, Black Hills National Forest)
Several Black Hills National Forest campgrounds remain open during the off season for your enjoyment!
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..."
It’s a lot like putting together the pieces of a puzzle, digging into history, there are clues here and there and you must go digging for the right piece to complete the picture.
The Black Hills National Forest is beginning the process of revising its current Plan which was first released in 1983, revised in 1997 and amended in 2006.
- Off-Highway Vehicle Workshop Collaboration
- Timber Sustainability on the Black Hills National Forest
- Westside Vegetation Management Project
- Spruce Vegetation Management Project
- Black Hills Resilient Landscapes Project Storymap
- Want to Fly a Drone?