bear butte state park

Bear Butte State Park: Exploring a Black Hills Wonder

Located in the Black Hills near Sturgis, Bear Butte State Park is known for its geological formation that formed millions of years ago. This laccolith structure is considered sacred by many of the area’s Native American tribes, so hikers will likely encounter religious offerings around the park's trail system. (Please leave them undisturbed.) Along with its hiking trails, visitors can also enjoy fishing, kayaking, camping and rafting. 


Don’t miss your chance to enjoy this incredible Black Hills attraction. Bear Butte State Park is an absolute must for outdoors-lovers.


What A Butte!

Sitting at 4,426 feet tall, the view you get from this mountain sure is impressive. So impressive, in fact, that you can see 4 different states from the summit!


Gone Fishin'!

As the old saying goes, "there's plenty of fish in the...lake." At 215 acres in size, Bear Butte lake offers plenty of opportunities to reel in the catch of the day!

Centennial Trail

Celebrate Centennial Trail

Bear Butte can be either the start or end of the amazing 111-mile Centennial Trail. Designed for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, the trail cuts through some of the most scenic areas in the Black Hills and prime wildlife habitat. Portions of the trail pass near Mount Rushmore National Memorial, through Custer State Park, and across large chunks of the Black Hills National Forest.

Bear Butte

What’s In A Name?

The most popular legend about this butte goes like this: Kids disturb bear, bear chases kids. When the children outran the bear and climbed upon a tree stump, both the stump and the bear began to grow. The bear raked the sides of the growing stump (creating Devil’s Tower in Wyoming) until an eagle rescued the children. The bear gave pursuit before falling into a slumber at the foot of the Black Hills and becoming Bear Butte.

Hiking Bear Butte

Peak Enjoyment

Located just a few miles outside of Sturgis on Highway 79, this intrusion of igneous rock — commonly mistaken for a mountain — is a National Historic Landmark that offers a 1.85-mile hike to the 4,426-foot summit, where hikers can get a stunning view of four states.

Fort Meade Rec Area

Trail Mix

Fort Meade Recreation Area has plenty of places to roam. See prairie, forest, and more along a variety of nearby trails, including the Alkali Creek Nature Trail, the 7th Cavalry Trail System, and an 11-mile portion of the 111-mile Centennial Trail.

Plan Your Visit

Bear Butte State Park is the destination for outdoors-lovers. Find your next adventure at this Black Hills attraction. 

United States

PLACES to Stay near Bear Butte

With Bear Butte State Park just outside the city, Sturgis is the perfect place to stay if you plan on visiting the park.  


Where to Eat and Drink 

Sturgis has a variety of tasty options to satisfy any hunger after a long day at the park.


What to See and Do Nearby

Sturgis puts you near many of the Black Hills’ most famous attractions. Learn more.


Catch an Event

Don't miss any of the exciting upcoming events in Sturgis.


Check Out These Businesses Near Bear Butte State Park

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Nearby Attractions

Pactola Lake is a perfect destination for water recreation.

Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame

Sturgis is home to the nation's largest annual motorcycle rally, so it's only natural for the city to boast the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. Come explore the rich history and lifestyle of motorcycling. 


Fort Meade Museum

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Fort Meade was established in the late 1800s to protect settlers who traveled to the Black Hills in search of gold. Visit the Fort Meade Museum to learn the history of the fort and the region. 

Illustrated image of three bison grazing in Custer State Park. The Needles rock formation is visible in the background.
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