Guided Trail Rides

People riding horses

Saddle up!

Our guided horseback rides depart from Blue Bell Lodge and are one of the most peaceful, scenic ways to experience the park's trails. All ages are welcome, with pony rides at the stables available for the youngsters. However, to go out on the trail, children must ride alone and meet minimum safety requirements. Open through the end of September.

Hours of Operation

Our season runs from mid-May to the end of September. From June-August our hours of operation are from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. During May and September, we operate based on demand. 


Reservations are required. Call the Blue Bell Lodge Stables at 605-255-4700 to reserve your spot (stables open in May). Please arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled trail ride to complete the required paperwork. Weight limits apply.

Prepare to Ride

  1. Each rider must turn in a completed Registration & Liability Waiver Form
  2. All participants under the age of 18 are required to wear a helmet. Those 18 and older who do not wish to wear a helmet must complete our Helmet Waiver
  3. Each rider will be assigned an individual horse baed on weight; no double riding.
  4. Maximum weight limit: 230 lbs for individuals 6-feet or less. (For those who are 6-feet or taller, please call to inquire about maximum weight limits). Our wranglers will ensure that you are matched with the proper horse and fit safely in the saddle. 
  5. Riders must be able to follow wranglers' instructions.


The Black Hills are set in an ever-changing climate. For safety, rides may be delayed or rescheduled due to active thunder and/or lightning...but just like the cowboys before us, we will ride in the rain.

What to Bring

To ensure the safety of all riders, we ask that you leave behind: backpacks, purses, large cameras, ponchos, neck accessories and water bottles. If you chose to wear a jacket, it must remain on and zipped for the duration of the ride. Cellphones are permitted to take pictures. 

Cowpoke Attire

During your ride you will experience tall grasses, brush, treed areas, and creek crossings. We ask that each rider wear long pants and closed-toe shoes.

Pony Ride

This ride is perfect for Lil' Buckaroos who are experiencing a horse for the first time! Your little rider will be led by a wrangler for three times around the pony circle. Generally a 10-15 minute ride, there is plenty of time to take pictures and to interact with the horse. This ride is open to children of all ages.

Children: $15

Questions? Contact us online or at 888-875-0001.

Trail options

1-hour trail ride

Have you always wanted to ride a horse? The one-hour is our most popular and signature ride. Are you stepping outside your comfort zone? That’s ok. The one-hour was created for those who haven’t been in the saddle.

After dropping down into a draw you will follow French Creek, one of the most beautiful natural areas within Custer State Park. In the tall willows and grass, deer make themselves at home. Along the creek, Blue Heron fish and turtles lounge on granite rocks. Sit back and relax, cowpokes!

Adults & Children (age 5+): $50 

2-hour trail ride

Have you ridden before? Does an adventurous spirit lie within you? The two-hour takes you deep into a draw lined with granite faces. Wild Blue Bell and Butter-and-Egg Snapdragon blossom adding bits of color. You will navigate numerous creek crossings. After opening into a valley, you will see the true magnificence of the Black Hills. Get ready to blaze your new frontier.

Adults & Children (age 7+): $90 

Half-day trail ride with lunch

You’re sure to work-up an appetite with the Half-Day (3-3.5 hours). After following French Creek, the trail branches from the two-hour toward the Wildlife Loop. Due South, you will ascend beyond the tree line overlooking the loop. Among the Ponderosa Pines, you may find Bison wallowing and grazing. Upon return to the stables, you will be accompanied by your wrangler to lunch at Blue Bell Lodge. What’s on the menu? Good ole’ comfort food.

$190 per person (age 10+)

Full-day trail ride with lunch

Do you want to go where the buffalo roam? The full-day is our longest excursion (6 hours). Taking you along French Creek, out onto the Wildlife Loop, and then, descending into Parker Canyon. At the farthest end of Parker Canyon, lunch will be waiting for you to enjoy. Hitch-up the horses, grab some grub, and immerse yourself in western heritage.

$275 per person (age 10+)


Blue Bell Lodge hosts this peaceful adventure; why not stay right here?

All Booked Up?

Explore our three other wildlife resorts in the Park; all within 20 minutes of Blue Bell.

Find where the trail begins on our map