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HORSETHIEF LAKE CAMPGROUND, SD

part ofBlack Hills National Forest, US Forest Service
Status: Closed through Thu May 15 2014   Season Dates
 

Overview

Located 10 miles south of Hill City, South Dakota, Horsethief Lake Campground is a delightful setting for visitors seeking recreation and relaxation in Black Hills National Forest.

This campground is 2 miles from Mount Rushmore National Memorial and adjacent to Horsethief Lake. Sites are tucked into a forest of towering ponderosa and lodgepole pine.

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.

Recreation:

Black Hills National Forest offers visitors a multitude of recreational opportunites throughout all seasons. Hiking, fishing, horseback riding, mountain biking, and riding off-highway vehicles are popular in summer and early autumn. Winter landscapes are ideal for snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling.

Hundreds of miles of trails and roads offer a variety of terrain for mountain bikers.

Hikers and bikers can access the nearby George S. Mickelson Trail, which traverses over 100 miles through the heart of the Black Hills. The majority of the trail follows an abandoned railroad branch line and includes 4 tunnels, over 100 converted railroad bridges, and 15 established trailheads. The trail surface is packed gravel, traversing mountain, meadow, and forest terrain. The trail is named in honor of the former South Dakota governor who crusaded for the trail.

For those seeking higher elevations, a day-long trek to the summit of nearby Harney Peak is worth the effort. Harney Peak is the highest natural point in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Most of the summit is bare granite and offers expansive views of the surrounding area. An old stone tower at the top, once used as a fire lookout, is still open to hikers.

Facilities:

Horsethief Lake Campground has sites able to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. There are several tent-only and walk-to tent-only sites.

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

Roads in the campground are paved.

Nearby Attractions:

Explore Mount Rushmore National Memorial, host to almost 3 million visitors a year from across the country and around the world. Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the birth, growth, development and the preservation of the United States, and take in the beauty of South Dakota's Black Hills.

Nearby Jewel Cave is the second longest cave in the world at 159.29 miles. It features sparkling calcite crystals and other rare formations, as well as some of the largest concentrations of passageways in the world.

Other possible day trips include Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Monument and Wind Cave National Park.

Activities and Amenities

Within Facility
  • Biking
  • Birding
  • Campfire Rings
  • Drinking Water
  • Fishing
  • Hiking
  • 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.
  • Vehicles towing trailers of any type and motorhomes over 25 feet in length will not be allowed into the area of Sites 23 through 28
  • Non-reservable sites may be available on a first come-first serve basis
  • 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 don'tmovefirewood.org.

Getting There:

GPS Info. (Latitude, Longitude):
43.8951, -103.48423
43°53'42"N, 103°29'3"W

From Hill City, take U.S. Rt. 16/385 south 3 miles to State Rt. 244. Turn left onto Rt. 244. Travel 5.9 miles to campground road symbol. Turn right at road symbol into campground.

Contact Information:

Mailing Address:

HORSETHIEF LAKE CAMPGROUND
BLACK HILLS
SD

Phone Number:

Project Office:(605)574-4402
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