Black Elk Wilderness & Norbeck Wildlife Preserve


  • Black Elk Wilderness

    A placeholder image

    Black Elk Wilderness is located in in the center of the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve & was designated as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System by Congress in 1980.

  • Norbeck Wildlife Preserve

    A placeholder image

    Within the heart of the Black Hills of SD, lies the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve. Visitors experience a legacy left behind by a man named Peter Norbeck who had a vision for preserving natural beauty and protecting wildlife, while making a special area accessible to everyone.

Activities

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Only primitive, non-mechanized methods of transportation are allowed in the Black Elk Wilderness. Items such as bicycles, strollers, chainsaws, handcarts, and hang gliders are prohibited.

The water in forest streams may look safe to drink, but usually it is not. There is no drinking water available along the trails, so it is best to carry water with you.

To reduce conflicts with wildlife and other visitors, pets must be leashed or under strict voice control.

Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness Trail System brochures are available at most Ranger District Offices and at the Forest Supervisor's Office.

Backpacking

Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

The Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness Trail System provides many opportunities for 2-3 day backpacking trips. Camping is allowed anywhere except within 1/4 mile from Harney Peak and the Harney Peak Trail (Trail #9).  Do not camp or dispose of human waste within 100 feet of streams or other water sources.

The water in forest streams may look safe to drink, but usually it is not. There is no drinking water available along the trails, so it is best to carry water with you.

Open fires are prohibited throughout the forest at all times.

Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness Trail System brochures are available at most Ranger District Offices and at the Forest Supervisor's Office.

Horse Riding

Recreation areas with activity Horse Riding:

Norbeck Wildlife Preserve and Black Elk Wilderness Trail System brochures are available at most Ranger District Offices and at the Forest Supervisor's Office. 

The water in forest streams may look safe to drink, but usually it is not. There is no drinking water available along the trails, so it is best to carry water with you.

Horses must use certified weed-free and seed-free hay and pellets. Scatter manure before you leave. Use highlines or hobbles to tie up stock at least 100 feet from water.

Only primitive, non-mechanized methods of transportation are allowed in the Black Elk Wilderness.  To minimize congestion and enhance wilderness solitude, group size is limited to 25 people and stock combined.

Viewing Wildlife

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Wildlife:

Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:

Interpretive Areas

Recreation areas with activity Interpretive Areas:

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities