Pine Ridge National Recreation Area

Yellow wildflowers in a meadow near a ridge

National Recreation Areas (NRA) have been designated by Acts of Congress since 1964. Nationally there are 34 NRA’s managed by three Federal land agencies: the Forest Service, the National Parks Service and the Bureau of Land Management. The Congressional intent was to embrace the following values: a nationally planned system of recreation; a Federal role in providing a high quality of recreation not found at the State and local level; the capacity to address complex resource management problems; a need to meet urban demands; and for recreation. 

The 6,600 acre Pine Ridge National Recreation Area was established south of Chadron, NE on October 20, 1986. The intent was to provide backcountry recreation opportunities in a primitive/semi-primitive ponderosa pine environment. Wildfires swept through the Pine Ridge region in 2006 and again in 2012, burning thousands of acres of forest and meadow areas. 

Typical activities include hiking and walking, horseback riding, hunting, nature study and cross-country skiing. Motorized recreation is not permitted and there are no developed sites or facilities in the area. Hikers should carry water on trails in the area as water supplies are few and far between. 

Primary access points:

For more information about the area please contact the Pine Ridge Ranger District (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 within Pine Ridge National Recreation Area.
Closest Towns: Chadron, NE
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Pine Ridge Ranger District 
16524 Hwy 385
Chadron, NE 69337
308-432-0304 TDD


Mountain Biking

General Info:


Access via Roberts Tract Campground/Trailhead 

Day Hiking


Horse Riding

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities