Bear Butte State Park | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Bear Butte State Park

  • Bear Butte State Park
  • Bear Butte State Park
  • Kelsey Cox

This geological formation is one of several intrusions of igneous rock in the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago. From the 4,426 foot summit, you can view four states. Bear Butte State Park is considered a sacred site to the Lakota and a unique natural landmark in the Black Hills. The park's namesake, Mato Paha or “Bear Mountain” is the Lakota name given to Bear Butte State Park. The mountain a towering formation that rises 1,200 feet above the surrounding prairie and offers breathtaking views of the region.

Hiking Trails

Explore the park's natural beauty on its 9 miles of hiking trails. From easy walks to challenging hikes, the trails offer something for everyone. Enjoy stunning views of Bear Butte, the Black Hills, and the surrounding prairies.

Scenic Views

Take in the panoramic views of Bear Butte and the surrounding landscapes from different viewpoints. With its unique geology and location, visitors can enjoy stunning views of the Black Hills and the surrounding plains that stretch for miles.


Enjoy a meal while surrounded by the stunning beauty of the Black Hills. Bear Butte State Park offers several picnic areas, including the North and South Pavilions, which provide stunning views of Bear Butte and the surrounding area.

Spiritual and Cultural Significance

Learn about the cultural and spiritual significance of Bear Butte to Native American tribes. Several indigenous tribes consider Bear Butte to be a sacred site, and visitors can learn more about the area's history and significance at the park's visitor center.

Bear Butte State Park is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the natural beauty and cultural significance of the Black Hills region. With its stunning natural landscapes, unique cultural significance, and diverse array of activities, this park offers something for visitors of all ages and interests.


Bear Butte State Park is open year-round, day use only.


Daily - $8.00 per vehicle

Annual - $36 first vehicle, $18 for second, and $80 for transferable license. 


Bear Butte State Park is located 6 miles northeast of Sturgis off SD Hwy. 79.

Visiting Bear Butte

Bear Butte is considered to be a sacred mountain to many American Indians as it is seen as a place where the creator has chosen to communicate with them through visions and prayer. Visitors may see colorful pieces of cloth and small bundles or pouches hanging from the trees. These prayer cloths and tobacco ties represent the prayers offered by individuals during their worship. Guests are asked to respect these offerings and leave them undisturbed. Visitors are also asked to not photograph prayer offerings. Please stay on the trail and respect those who are participating in religious activities.

At Bear Butte State Park warm days and cool nights are common in the summer, but July and August are typically hot. Moderate temperatures usually prevail in the winter months with some below zero temperatures. Afternoon thunderstorms in the summer may bring lightning, hail, strong winds and heavy rains. Snow may fall as early as September and may last until mid-May.

Horseback riding is allowed west of Hwy. 79 only. Riders can use the Centennial Trail west of the horse camp. The Summit Trail is too narrow to safely accommodate hikers and pets. Pets may be taken across Hwy. 79 to the horse camp area and are allowed to be exercised while on a leash.

Please remember that bison are dangerous, so please give them plenty of space. While hiking, biking or horseback riding at Bear Butte State Park visitors should be aware of prairie rattlesnakes, ticks and poison ivy.

Things to See and Do at Bear Butte State Park

Programs, Activities & Tours

Interpretive Programs

Hiking at Bear Butte State Park
Programs, Activities & Tours

Hiking at Bear Butte State Park

Wildlife Viewing
Things to Do

Wildlife Viewing

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