ATV & Off-Roading | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

ATV & Off-Roading

1.2 million beautiful acres of forest with over 3,600 miles of road

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. It currently consists of more than 3,600 miles of open roads — over 650 miles are designated trails for all types of Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV) — and has 21 designated motorized trailheads.

The motorized trail system includes 90 miles of single-track trails for motorcycles, 347 miles of trails for vehicles 62 inches or less in width in South Dakota, and 72 miles of trails for vehicles 50 inches or less in width in Wyoming. There are also 148 miles of trails open to all. The system incorporates a large number of looped trails and has parking access from 20 trailheads.

View or download the Black Hills Off-Road Adventures Guide.

OHV Permits

A Black Hills Motorized Trail Permit is required to access the SD portion of the motorized trail system and when riding an unlicensed OHV on a forest road designated “open to all vehicles.” Permits are available as a seven-day consecutive pass ($20) or an annual pass ($25). Prices are subject to change.

Permits may be purchased online at or any of the forest service offices.

They may also be purchased at the Black Hills Visitor Information Center, conveniently located off Interstate 90 at Exit 61 in Rapid City. The visitor center is open seven days a week, year-round, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers extended summer hours.

Please note that the State of Wyoming requires a separate permit when operating an OHV in Wyoming. There is no reciprocity for out-of-state registrations.

Rules & Regulations

In South Dakota, state motorcycle law governs ATVs and UTVs.

  • On-the-road drivers need a licensed OHV, must be 14 years of age or older and possess a valid driver’s license.
  • ATV/UTV use is strictly prohibited on the interstate highway system at all times.
  • Eye protection is required for ATV/UTV operators on all public roads unless a windshield is in place.
  • Helmets are advised for all ATV/UTV operators and riders on all roads. Helmets are required by law for anyone under 18.
  • Operators on roads must be able to provide registration and proof of insurance.

There is no minimum age or license requirement for off-road drivers on trails. However, please follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on age and size requirements.

The forest is closed to cross-country travel except for the open roads and motorized trails, as shown on the free Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM).

ATVs/UTVs may be used on most roads and highways as long as they are registered and licensed. If you live in a state where ATVs/UTVs cannot be licensed for road use, you may not ride on roads in South Dakota unless you obtain a special road travel permit, available at any county courthouse in South Dakota.

Maps & GPS

Download and view the MVUM on your mobile device using GPS apps, such as Avenza Maps. Cellular service is not required for GPS navigation once you download the map. Visitors are responsible for using the information on these maps and knowing which roads and trails are open for various motorized use types.

Ride Responsibly

Motorized vehicle operators are responsible for knowing and abiding by OHV travel regulations. Minimize your impact on the environment when you ride by traveling responsibly, respecting others' rights, educating yourself, and avoiding sensitive areas.

For tips on riding ethically and responsibly, visit Tread Lightly!

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