Exploring Black Elk Wilderness

If you are looking for an adventure while staying at the Lantern Inn, you can explore the Black Elk Wilderness. This rugged terrain is one of the most remote pieces of land in the area and is home to some spectacular wildlife. With almost no roads accessible to motor-vehicles, you can venture out into the area on an undisturbed hike or horse-ride. Hunting, fishing, and camping are all popular activities in the Black Elk Wilderness. Access to the Black Elk Wilderness can be found at multiple locations but the most common is at the Black Elk Peak Trailhead near Sylvan Lake, only a 20-minute drive from Lantern Inn.

Black Elk Wilderness Wildlife

The Black Elk Wilderness is home to a wide range of wild animals, many of which are rarely seen in more populated areas. If you are lucky you may be able to spot a mountain goat, moose, bighorn sheep, or even a grizzly bear. The badger, mule deer, and coyote are common wild animals that can be spotted year-round. You might see a golden eagle or even a black-footed ferret, both of which are endangered species in the area.

Black Elk Wilderness Hiking

Hikers exploring the Black Elk Wilderness can choose from a range of trails, including a 72-mile trail that follows the rugged terrain, or a shorter 9-mile hike to the stunningly beautiful Sylvan Lake. Habitat in the area is suited to various species of wildflowers, including Indian paintbrush, columbine, and fireweed. During spring, the whole area turns a beautiful yellow as the wildflowers bloom, and in summer, the lake is a stunning blue, reflecting the surrounding peaks and pines. Hikers should be aware that Black Elk Wilderness is located in the northern part of South Dakota, so the weather can change quickly and is often unpredictable. Make sure you are prepared for any conditions, with plenty of water and layers of warm clothing. To get the most from your trip, it is also worth reading up on the natural and cultural history of the area.

Black Elk Wilderness Fishing

The creeks and rivers of the Black Elk Wilderness are home to some of the most prolific trout fishing in the area. Fishing is best between the end of February and the end of May, when the water is at its warmest and the trout are most active. There is no license required, and you can use bait or fly-fishing equipment, so this is an inexpensive trip that is perfect for families. The best places to fish in the Black Elk Wilderness are the Little Missouri River, the Buffalo River, and the Cheyenne River, though you should always check the fishing regulations for the most up-to-date information.

Black Elk Wilderness Hunting

Hunting is permitted in the Black Elk Wilderness year-round and is an excellent way to appreciate the wilderness while also providing sustenance for the area. There are various types of game to hunt in the Black Elk Wilderness, including elk, deer, antelope, and wild turkey. You should check the regulations and licensing requirements for hunting in the area. All hunters over the age of 16 need a license, and some species are restricted to certain hunters.

A Fantastic Escape

The Black Elk Wilderness is a spectacularly rugged piece of land, perfect for those who crave solitude and want to experience the great outdoors to the fullest. The area is home to a wide range of wildlife and stunning natural beauty, and is the perfect place for an adventurous getaway. If you want to learn more about the fun things you can do while visiting Lantern Inn in Hill City SD, Check out some our Things to Do page.