The Northern Hills Ranger District covers the northern portion of the Black Hills on the South Dakota side.  They have 36 permanent employees and have an an office located in Spearfish, SD. 

Click Here for office hours, contact information, location.



Spearfish Canyon and SnowmobileSpearfish has nearby access to over 300 miles of snowmobile trails, groomed and ungroomed cross-country ski trails, a 100 mile long hiking trail (Centennial Trail) and many other trails, a 110 mile long biking, hiking and horseback trail (Mickelson Trail), and 2 downhill ski areas (ski areas are near Deadwood, SD - 15 miles away). Game species on the district include white-tailed deer and mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, Merriam's turkey and ruffed grouse.


Scenic Areas

The Northern Hills Ranger District includes many popular scenic locations, such as Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, which is a beautiful drive all year round.  Speafish Canyon contains many campgrounds, hiking trails, rock formations, and waterfalls such as Roughlock Falls.  The Northern Hills is also home to Friendship Tower, a historic landmark that was build in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. 

Friendship Tower and Waterfall


District Activities

The district also has very active programs in lands and minerals, wildlife habitat improvement, recreation, cultural resources, and livestock grazing.  Timber harvest, related silvicultural activities, and fuels reduction activities are the largest resource programs on the district. The District is known for being wetter and having more water sources than surrounding areas. For this reason, there is a relatively high proportion of land that provides habitat suitable for sensitive plant species.

 Northern Hills RD employees cut timber