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Attention: Due to saturated soils, high water, and the potential for landslides, the Black Hills National Forest has closed the Cook Lake Recreation Area to protect human life and provide public safety. Further evaluations of the conditions in and around the Cook Lake area are ongoing. The area will be closed until further notice.

COOK LAKE REC AREA, WY

part ofBlack Hills National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Sun May 17 2015   Season Dates
 

Overview

Situated in a heavily forested area adjacent to Cook Lake, this campground is a peaceful setting for guests seeking recreation and relaxation in the Black Hills National Forest in Wyoming.

Some sites in the campground are widely spaced and open up to views overlooking the lake, and others sit snugly along a hillside. Separation, rather than vegetation, provide visitors with a sense of privacy. Tall mature trees and grass underbrush give the campground a groomed character.

Natural Features:

Located in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming, Black Hills National Forest encompasses nearly 1.25 million acres of rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, open grassland parks, tumbling streams, deep blue lakes, and unique caves.

Derived from the Lakota language, the words "Paha Sapa," meaning "hills that are black," honor the dark, pine-covered hills rising several thousand feet above the surrounding prairie.

Wildlife in the area abounds. Bighorn sheep navigate mountainous terrain, while elk, deer and pronghorn gather in forests and prairies. Bald eagles, hawks, osprey, peregrine falcon, and hundreds of other bird species can be found in the forest, especially along streams, lakes and rivers. Mountain lions, although rarely seen, also call this area home.

Recreation:

The forest offers highly accessible recreation for all ages. Visitors can take advantage of opportunities for hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and riding off-highway vehicles (OHVs) on moderate terrain. Approximately 4 miles of hiking and bicycling trails are available at the recreation area.

Adjacent to the campground is Cook Lake, an ideal spot for fishing and boating. The lake supports populations of rainbow and brown trout, a variety of sunfish, and catfish. Fishing is best in June and July.

The Cook Lake Trail is an easy 1.5 mile loop trail with stairs and a stream crossing over Beaver Creek. Hikers will see various types of waterfowl along with osprey and bald eagles. White amur may be spotted in the water. These hybrid fish were introduced into the lake over 10 years ago to help control aquatic vegetation.

Facilities:

The Cook Lake Recreation Area has sites able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs.

The campground is equipped with picnic tables, campfire rings, vault toilets, and drinking water; however, electrical hook-ups are not available.

There is also a pier accessible to wheelchairs, and access to the lake for small watercraft.

Nearby Attractions:

A hike to Warren Peak Lookout Tower makes a scenic day trip for guests.

Devils Tower National Monument is also a great location to visit. Established as the first United States National Monument on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt, this unique geological formation is valued for its natural, cultural, and recreational significance.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Accessible Fishing Dock
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Boating
  • Campfire Rings
  • Canoeing
  • Drinking Water
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Host
  • Lake Access
  • Mountain Biking
  • Picnic Area
  • Trails
  • Vault Toilets
  • Wildlife Viewing
Know Before You Go
  • These campsites are non-electric sites. Generators may run from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. only.
  • Non-reservable sites may be available on a first come, first served basis
  • Open fires allowed if contained and attended to; be sure that fire is completely extinguished before leaving; check with the local Forest Service Office for fire restrictions
  • Prevent the spread of invasive species by inspecting and cleaning packs, equipment, and tires before using lake or trails
  • A pet fee of $2 per pet per night is required upon check in
  • Click here for more information about Black Hills National Forest.
  • Don't Move Firewood: Prevent the spread of tree-killing organisms by obtaining firewood at or near your destination and burning it on-site. For more information visit dontmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
44.59472, -104.40861
44°35'41"N, 104°24'31"W

Interstate I-90 to exit 199 (Aladdin). North on Rt 111 for 4 miles, left on Farrall Road (Rt 843) for 10 miles to Cook Lake.

OR

From Sundance, WY, take US 14 west or exit 185 off Interstate 90 to US 14 west, for 1.4 miles to Cook Lake Recreation Area sign at Forest Route 838. Turn right onto FR 838 and go 12.9 miles to FR 843. Turn right and go 5.4 miles to another Cook Lake Recreation Area sign on FR 842. Turn left and go 1.1 miles to campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

COOK LAKE REC AREA
BLACK HILLS
  WY 

Phone Number:

Project Office: (605)574-4402
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