Spotted Tail Trailhead

Spotted Tail trailhead and trail sign near some hillsides

This trailhead area accesses both the Pine Ridge Trail and Spotted Tail Trail. The Pine Ridge Trail and the Spotted Tail Loop Trail are non-motorized, open to mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. From this trailhead you can do the Spotted Tail Loop Trail (about 6 miles) which uses part of the Pine Ridge Trail in order to make the loop. This section of the Pine Ridge Trail provides access to several other trails, including motorized and non-motorized. This area was burned in the 2006 Spotted Tail fire. 

Distances to the following are:

  • From Spotted Tail Trailhead to Chadron State Park, using the Pine Ridge Trail is 7.7 miles
  • Spotted Tail Loop Trail is 6 miles

Dispersed camping is allowed off of Forest Road 711 near the trailhead. There is no garbage service, so please pack it in and pack it out and Leave No Trace.

For additional details and maps, please call the Pine Ridge Ranger District at (308) 432-0300.

At a Glance

Fees: No fee
  • Certified noxious weed-free hay/feed is required on national forest lands.
  • Motorized vehicles are prohibited on Pine Ridge and Spotted Tail Trails. 
Closest Towns: Chadron, NE
Water: No potable water.
Restroom: No. Bury all human waste 6".
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


From Chadron, NE travel south on Highway 385 from the intersection with Highway 20 for about 5 miles to King Canyon Road. Turn east on King Canyon and travel for ½ mile to Forest Service Road 733. Travel on Road 733 for approximately ¾ mile to Forest Service Road 711. The trailhead is located a short distance after turning onto Road 711.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Dispersed Camping

Day Hiking

Fire Information Parking. Pack in/pack out site

Horse Riding

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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