Outdoor Recreation | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Outdoor Recreation

The Black Hills and Badlands region of western South Dakota is an outdoor recreational paradise, covering over 10,000 square miles of vast prairies, grasslands, badlands landscapes, and rugged mountains. Year round opportunities abound, and beg to be explored and experienced. Whether an individual excursion or a family adventure, solitude and nature await to invigorate your senses and revitalize your soul.

Home to seven National Parks, Monuments, Memorials, Forests, Grasslands and many State Parks and Recreation Areas, we are definitely a very public place. Elevations in the region vary from 2,500’ to 7,242’. A variety of hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, horseback riding, snowmobiling and ATV trails criss-cross the region. Scenic Byways and Wildlife Loops offer driving excitement and panoramic vistas of our great outdoors.   

The beauty of our region is accessible to all who wish to enjoy it. We invite you to be our guests and explore the many opportunities we offer. If the great outdoors is what you’re looking for, you’ve found it! Right here in the beautiful Black Hills and Badlands region of South Dakota.

The Black Hills National Forest boasts one of the largest motorized trail systems in a National Forest that is open to vehicles 62 inches or less in width.

The Black Hills are full of monumental works of both human and nature, evident too in the world-class hiking, biking, motorized and non-motorized trail offerings one can find here.

The uncrowded, natural surroundings of Western South Dakota are ideal for walking, hiking and backpacking.

Canoeing and kayaking on the waters of the Black Hills and

Prepare for plenty of impromptu encounters with the animals of the northern plains and mountains in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.

Be on the lookout for bison, deer, pronghorn (commonly called antelope), bighorn sheep, prairie dogs, elk and more.

There's plenty to discover beneath the surface in the hundreds of miles of caves throughout the Black Hills, including two that are national parks. Find rare, intricate rock designs and stand in massive chambers.

Abundant snow, hundreds of miles of groomed trails, jaw-dropping scenery and warm, western South Dakota hospitality await you and your sled.

Bicycle Touring & Road Cycling

Saddle up at a sprawling dude ranch or trot along winding trails on a scenic guided horseback ride. Stunning landscapes and trusted trails make the Black Hills and Badlands the perfect place for horseback adventures.

In South Dakota, the fishing season never closes!  Which makes the pursuit of trout in the streams and lakes of the Black Hills a year-round sport.  You can catch walleyes, northern pike, bluegills and crappies too-but trout top the list for Hills sportsmen.

Autumn is big game hunting time in western South Dakota. And the hunting opportunities are distinctly divided between prairie/range-land habitat and the mountainous Black Hills.

In the Black Hills of South Dakota water sports are an important element of enjoying the outdoors.

Rock climbing in the Black Hills is a perfect way for friends and families to add some adventure to their vacation.

Black Hills golf courses twist deep into pine forests, cross rushing trout streams and open up to distractingly spectacular mountain vistas.

If it’s photo opportunities you want, you’ll hit the jackpot in the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota.

Iconic snow-capped peaks surrounded by ponderosa pine set the scene for skiing and snowboarding fun in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Winter in the Black Hills is a snow-covered oasis for you to explore.

If the coordinates N 44 17.849 W 103 48.471 mean anything to you, then you’re probably into geocaching. Using your Global Positioning Device and a published longitude and latitude, you try to locate a treasure, or cache, which someone has hidden at those coordinates.

Get the free South Dakota Vacation Guide to help you plan your next great vacation.

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