For an unfurgettable experience in Meade County, don't miss Bear Butte State Park! Located 6 miles northeast of Sturgis off of Highway 79, this religious site is home to Bear Butte, an intrusive igneous rock formation that is sacred to several American Indian tribes. Many non-Native Americans also visit the park to climb the mountain, whose 4,426-foot summit offers pawmazing views of the Black Hills.
Visitors who wish to reach the top of Bear Butte must follow the 1.85-mile Summit Trail, which has been designated a National Landmark and National Trail. Unfurtunately, four-legged adventurers are not allowed on this trail as it is too narrow to safely accommodate both you and your furry pal. Since it isn't a quick and easy hike and takes about a couple of hours total to complete, it's best to have Fido stay in your campsite with another person from your pawty should you decide to tackle this route.
If you're not camping and only visiting the park for a day, head straight to the horse camp area west of the highway, which is more suited for canine guests. Here, you and Fido will find the Lake Trail, a 2.5-mile grassy loop that goes around Bear Butte Lake. This trail has a fairly even surface that should be no problem for active pooches, and you and your pup can start your hike from one of many trailheads. Enjoy puptacular views of Bear Butte and the water as you hike along the trail, but stay alert for rattlesnakes.
Expect warm days and cool nights at the park during the summer months, but you might want to avoid visiting in July and August when temperatures are higher. Regardless of when you and Fido swing by, always keep your woofer on a leash and clean up after them so that everyone can have a pawsitive time at Bear Butte State Park!