Horseback Riding near Hill City, South Dakota

South Dakota is one of the best horseback riding areas in the country because of the large variety of terrain. You could saddle up on the prairie, head down a winding trail, or ride a rocky ridge. Almost every state and national park near Hill City and Rapid City has designated horse trails including Custer State park, Black Hills National Forest, Badlands National Park, and Bear Butte State Park. Regardless of your skill level, you'll be able to learn from experienced riders and ride a trained horse.

For those who are traveling with their own horse, there are also other horse hotels and camps near hill city where people can stable their horses, but the easiest way to ride is to take one of these guided tours with experienced professionals. While you're staying at the Lantern Inn, the closest and most popular horse riding experience is only seven miles away at Palmer Gulch.

Stables at Palmer Gulch

  • Address: 12620 Hwy 244 Hill City, SD
  • Phone: (605) 574-3412
  • Distance from Lantern Inn: 9-Minute Drive

The most popular horseback riding in the Black Hills is found at the Stables at Palmer Gulch. These horse rides take you through the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve in the Black Hills National Forest. With a 200 pound weight limit, the starting Cost is $50 per person for an hour-long trail ride. Typical ride groups are five to eight people but larger groups can be requested.

Palmer Gulch is the only large horse ranch with riding permits in the Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, making it a unique experience you won't find anywhere else. 

Andy's Trail Rides

  • Address: 11264 Highway 14A Lead, SD
  • Phone: (605) 645-2211
  • Distance from Lantern Inn: 1-Hour Drive

Andy's Trail Rides are known for their more adventurous routes. With decades of horsemanship experience, Andy and his crew can help any beginner enjoy their horse-riding experience. Although they tend to take unique routes that other horse tours wouldn't take, they've got dozens of reviews saying that Andy's Trail rides make beginners feel comfortable on a horse.

Rockin R Trail Rides

  • Address: 24853 Village Ave Custer, SD
  • Phone: (605) 673-2999
  • Distance from Lantern Inn: 15-Minute Drive

Rockin R Trail Rides is one of the most popular horseback riding tour companies near Hill City. With a starting price of $50 per adult / $45 per child, you can take an hour-long scenic loop ride. Rockin R Trail Rides even offers a half day horseback riding tour to give you the full rider experience. They have a strict 230 pound weight limit to ride and generally require 1-2 day reservations in advance to guarantee a ride.

Hollingsworth Horses

  • Address: 24853 Village Ave Custer, SD
  • Phone: (605) 517-0860
  • Distance from Lantern Inn: 30-Minute Drive

Hollingsworth Horses is a family owned horse ranch where they offer custom guided or unguided horse tours based on your level of experience. Starting at $100 for the first hour and $60 per hour afterwards, it is the more expensive option but is well worth your time. As they are a family owned business, you will have more customization with your route and you only ride with your family. No riding with strangers. People love Hollingsworth because there is no nose-to-tail riding on a trail. You take the horse wherever you want. They also offer a frequent rider program allowing riders to take a tour multiple times a year for a flat fee. 

Sage Meadow Ranch

  • Address: 26840 Iron Shoe Trail Hot Springs, SD
  • Phone: (605) 745-4866
  • Distance from Lantern Inn: 50-Minute Drive

Another Private trail guide is Sage Meadow ranch. Just like Hollingsworth, you won't ride nose-to-tail and they offer their rides starting at a more affordable $75 dollars for an hour-long ride. Their intermediate riding experience is an hour-and-a-half and includes special horse-riding instruction and a route through rolling hills and winding trails. With any of the rides you take with Sage Meadow Ranch, you are likely to encounter wildlife. The maximum weight to ride Sage Meadow horses is 200 pounds.