Open Mid-May thru Mid-Oct
Photo of the Black Hills National Forest

The Black Hills National Forest spans western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming.  With 1.2 million acres of forested hills and mounts, the Black Hills National Forest is approximately 110 miles long and 70 miles wide.  Named after the Lakota pahá sápa, which means “hills that are black,” the Black Hills National Forest was officially created in 1905 in conjunction with the Forest Service.  Until that point, the area had been known as the Black Hills Forest Reserve, which had been established in 1893 by President Grover Cleveland.  Seen from a distance, these pine-covered hills stand over the surrounding prairie, appear black.  For many people, from early Native Americans to today's visitors, the Black Hills has been a special place to come for physical and spiritual renewal.


Described by many as an, “Island in the Plains,” the Black Hills National Forest contains a rich and diverse ecosystem that reaches from the eastern forests to the western plains until the landscape morphs into the Badlands. Black Hills lodging in the cabins at the Powder House Lodge allows you and your family to experience the multipurpose forest from a centralized location.  Activities in the Black Hills National Forest range from hiking, camping, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, mining, wildlife viewing, and many, many others. 


Experience the Black Hills National Forest and enjoy the many rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, open grassland parks, tumbling streams, and deep blue lakes.  Because we’re centrally located, Black Hills lodging at the Powder House gives you and your family easy access to all of these incredible features we’re pleased to call home.  Millions of visitors come to the Black Hills each year to experience the rich and diverse heritage.


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The Black Hills National Forest encompass a wide variety of activities for you and your family to explore, from Black Elk Peak and Sylvan Lake to Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park, Black Hills lodging at the Powder House puts you right in the middle of the best the area has to offer.

1019 N. 5th Street Custer, SD 57730

No Entrance Fee!

There is no entrance fee for the Black Hills National Forest.  The Forest is open year-round for a variety of recreational activities and uses.

However, there are fees at campgrounds and day-use areas operated by the Black Hills National Forest's concessionaire, FRM, Inc. from May to September.  

A few campgrounds are operated by Forest Service staff during the summer and before and after the concessionaire's full service season.

While engulfed by the wondrous scenery of the Black Hills National Forest, you’ll find 11 reservoirs, 30 campgrounds, 26 picnic areas, 2 scenic byways, 1,300 miles of streams, 13,000 acres of wilderness, 353 miles of trails, and much more.