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Willow Creek Horse Camp

This horse camp is nestled at the confluence of Willow Creek and Palmer Creek within the Black Elk Wilderness area of the Black Hills National Forest. From this camp, hikers and horseback riders can access a network of trails into the backcountry.

Each site has a picnic table and campfire ring. Tie-up areas are provided for horses, and campers are allowed to bring portable corrals. Drinking water and vault toilets are provided.

Named for South Dakota's former governor and U.S. Senator, the Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway offers 70 miles of outstanding sights including Mount Rushmore, which is only 6 miles from the camp, The Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road and Custer State Park. The Norbeck Overlook provides views of Harney Peak and Mount Rushmore.

The Black Hills in western South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming feature a varied landscape of rugged rock formations, canyons and gulches, open grassland parks, tumbling streams and deep blue lakes. The Black Elk Wilderness is its only wilderness area, and it sits in the center of Norbeck Wildlife Preserve. Norbeck is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk, deer, bighorn sheep and mountain goats. Its most prominent landmark is Harney Peak, which, at 7,242 feet, is the highest point in the country east of the Rockies.

Hikers and horseback riders can access the trailhead for the Willow Creek Loop, which provides scenic views of the Black Elk Wilderness. There is also easy access to the Lost Cabin Trail, which offers many views of Harney Peak on its descent. Willow Creek Horse Camp provides a good starting point for a day-long hike or horseback ride to Harney Peak. Both the Willow Creek Loop and the Lost Cabin Trail connect with the Harney Peak Trail.

  • Campfire Rings
  • Creek Access
  • Drinking Water
  • Equestrian Sites
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Parking Area
  • Pets Allowed
  • Picnic Area
  • Scenic Overlooks
  • Trailheads
  • Vault Toilets

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