Bear Butte State Park was established as a state park in 1961 and covers a total area of 1,935 acres. This state park is located near the city of Sturgis, Meade County, South Dakota. To get to the main entrance of the park, just travel six miles northeast of Sturgis off SD Highway 79.
One of the key features of the park is the Bear Butte, which is a geological laccolith that has been sacred ground to Native American tribes for hundreds of years. The Lakota, for example, call the site Mato Paha or "Bear Mountain" while the Cheyenne, call it "Noahvose." The main butte is just one of several geological formations and intrusions of igneous rock that characterize the Black Hills that formed millions of years ago.
Visitors to the Bear Butte State Park are advised to be respectful of the religious practices and ceremonies of the worshipers in the area. If you, for example, find small bundles, and colorful pieces of cloth hanging from the trees you should leave these undisturbed as they are prayer cloths and tobacco ties that represent prayers and should, therefore, be respected. In fact, artifacts have been found in this area dating back as far as 10,000 years.
Popular activities and attractions at the park include viewing the small bison herd that roams the base of the mountain. People also love to go to the park for the cultural, historical, and educational interest. Additionally, camping and picnicking, volleyball, boating, fishing, biking, horseback riding, and hiking are popular at Bear Butte State Park as well. All these activities can be enjoyed through access to the amenities at the park that include a visitor center, several trails, campground, picnic shelter, boat ramp, horse camp, fishing dock, vault toilets, and drinking water.
You can bring your pets to the park at no extra cost, but you will have to observe certain park rules. You shouldn’t allow your dog to specifically go to the Summit Trail or into park buildings or designated swimming areas. All other trails, as well as camping and tent areas, are permissible for your dog, but you must never leave your dog unattended to. In fact, your dog must always be on a leash not more than 10-feet long and you must clean up after your dog and make sure that they are well-behaved.