Horseback Riding | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota
  • Horseback Riding

    You can really appreciate the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota from the back of a good saddle horse.

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You can really appreciate the Black Hills and Badlands of South Dakota from the back of a good saddle horse. You can ride among the tall pine trees, cross water, skirt granite cliffs or take in panoramic views from lofty mountain summits. You will find an unlimited number of horseback riding opportunities on the 1.2 million acres of public land. You may ride anywhere on National Forest Service land, including old and new logging roads. Please be respectful of the privately owned lands that intermingles with National Forest land and ask the owner permission before entering. Camping is permitted almost anywhere in the Black Hills National Forest as long as you don't build a fire.

Many vacationers trailer their own horses to the Black Hills, then ride on their own or join up with weekend treks organized by local horse clubs. Custer State Park is the most popular riding area, but much of the hiking trail network in the Hills is suited to trail riding. We even have "horse camps" located throughout the Black Hills. At these camps, the people-camping is primitive, but the horse camping is deluxe with corrals, water wells, feed bunks, picket posts and parking for you stock trailer.

There are several maps that can assist you in your horseback adventure in the Black Hills. Please stop at a National Forest Service Office or at the Black Hills Visitor Information Center to get one. An official Forest Service map shows not only public and private land, but also trails, tracks, mines, springs, fire lookouts. etc.

Riding your horse through the Badlands can also be an unforgettable experience through the 64,000 acres of eroded spires and mixed grass prairie. Horseback riding is permitted anywhere in the park unless posted otherwise. There are maps for sale at the visitors centers to help with some of the back country. Just remember to pack drinking water. There is no water for human consumption in the Badlands National Parks' backcountry. In fact your horse, unless used to it, will probably not drink the water either.