South Dakota has some epic dirt bike riding trails whether you live in Sioux Falls, Rapid City or Aberdeen. It’s time to explore!
Way too many people hide inside when the weather isn’t good, yet that’s the best time to ride. You’ll avoid the crowds and have most of these places to yourself.
Best Dirt Bike Tracks South Dakota
While the state doesn’t have that many right areas to choose from, there is still enough to keep you entertained and not needing to haul your dirt bike out of state. Plus with some of them you can camp overnight with excellent facilities on hand.
The best dirt bike trails in South Dakota are:
1. Black Hills National Forest
The most popular ride spot is Black Hills National Forest where there are many miles of riding trails to choose from. You’ll need a permit first from the Black Hills National Forest Ranger Station and then you’re ready to see everything here from hill climbs to muddy bog holes and everything in between.
When the sun starts to go down early (as it does in the forest), it’s time to find a good campground. Fortunately, there are several you can choose from including Boxelder Forks, Foubaix Lake and Dalton Lake. Some people pick a new spot each night while throwing their camping gear in pannier bags. RV’s are also welcome at Nemo Guest Ranch, Mystic Hills Campground and Trailside Park Resort.
2. Tailside Park Resort
We love dirt bike resorts and Trailside Park is just excellent. Pay the nominal fee and you’ll have more than 500 miles of trails to explore. This is why you’ve got to bring an extra fuel can or two as there isn’t any fuel on site. Many people choose Tailside as a spot to base themselves before exploring the Black Hills National Forest and Summit Peak.
The campground is quite modern with almost 40 RV sites to choose from plus numerous tent sites and some really nice lokoing cabins which you can rent. This is super close to Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument with restaurants and shopping, yet you’ll still feel like you’re a million miles away.
3. Talsmas Trail Park
Talsmas Trail Park has a good reputation for just being simple at the core. It’s only open during the weekend though if you have a group of riders together, they’ll actually let you ride mid-week. This is ideal as you’ll avoid the crowds. It’s best to make reservations for the camping facilities and there are toilets available but no showers unfortunately.
4. Shanks Quarry
Shanks Quarry doesn’t have that much to see but if you’re already in the Black Hills National Forest, then drop by here if you have registration on your dirt bike. It’s a hard packed area which is good because it doesn’t get too muddy after it rains. The terrain is pretty easy going so ideal for beginners.
5. Oahe Downstream OHV Area
Oahe isn’t the biggest off highway vehicle area but it’s certainly open to dirt bikes with their own motocross track. The Central States Racing Association maintains this area and it’s free to ride here anytime. Unfortunately there isn’t any camping facilities on site but still, it’s a free place to ride dirt bikes. Who’s complaining?
6. Baja ORV Area
If you’re not into the forests and mountains, then go for Baja ORV Area within Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. This is a very dry area where you might even see triple digits on the speedometer. This place gets muddy so avoid for several days after each rain event. You can camp here which many people do and there are almost 500 acres to explore.
Right! No excuses now! Clearly there are some damn fine riding areas around the State of South Dakota. We know the local counties are looking at opening up more riding trails in the future since the industry is growing year on year.
With most of these places, they are just much more fun with a group of people instead of doing it solo. Those who ride on their own are typically the ADV or dual-sport riders looking for some solitude. It’s safer to ride together as a group if you’re a dirt bike enthusiasts and you’ll find fellow riders in the local Facebook meetup groups.