Mudslingers, young and old, cannot resist the aesthetic of South Dakota’s Black Hills. Nothing tops the feeling one gains while racing down a myriad of trails on a warm autumn afternoon. ATVing (often referred to as “UTVing”) is among the most exhilarating ways to explore western South Dakota, whether in the hushed Hell Canyon, the lush forestry south of Spearfish, or the towering hills around Bear Mountain. Rushmore Express, one of the most affordable hotels near Mount Rushmore, is a short drive from a bevy of Black Hills ATV rentals. We recommend three local vendors, all of which provide excellent service, state-of-the-art vehicles, and comprehensive GPS systems. Keep reading to learn more about the region’s premier rentals, trails, and overnight accommodations.
Black Hills ATV Rentals: Find Your Ride
Practiced ATVers often roll into the parking lot towing anywhere from one to four “toys.” However, most travelers don’t own an ATV or would rather not haul they prized possession across the country. There’s where the nearby Black Hills ATV rentals come in handy, particularly if you’re hoping to take a Kawasaki Teryx, Polaris RZR PRO, or Yamaha Viking for a backcountry “spin.” Hill City Adventures is the only local business that offers two-day rentals, while Wilderness Edge is exceptionally inexpensive, with full-day rides starting at just $265. Most vehicles come equipped with a pre-ride orientation, safety equipment, OnStar software, a digital off-roading app (such as Avenza Maps), and trail recommendations.
- Black Hills Wilderness Edge Adventures: $215-$395
- Adventure Rentals: $225-$425
- Hill City Adventures: $250-$850
Nearby Trails: Marbley, Hardpack, and Mud Bogs
The Black Hills National Forest’s trail maps are semi-archaic. Thus, most Black Hills ATV rentals are fully equipped with GPS systems and off-road map apps. With over 700 miles of potential off-roading trails near Rushmore Express, you’re bound to feel slightly overwhelmed. However, many ATV-friendly areas see more motorized travel than foot traffic.
You could branch out to Hell Canyon near the Wyoming border, head up to the northern hills near Spearfish, or stay close to “home” by exploring the Ditch Creek trails or Bear Mountain. And don’t fret, because these Black Hills ATV rentals feature the best tablet technology on the market. It will be immensely apparent where you should and shouldn’t traverse. Some of our favorite rides, which snake through dense forestry and past herds of wildlife, include Bluebird Trailhead, Antelope Springs, and South Boxelder. Per usual, remember to pack plenty of water, food, and an emergency kit.
Family-Friendly Hotels near Rapid City, SD
The perfect place to start and finish each day of backcountry ATVing, quintessential sightseeing, and state park hiking is Rushmore Express, your next South Dakota vacation basecamp. Not only is the inn just down the road from Mount Rushmore, but you’ll always be a short, scenic drive from the Wildlife Loop, Needle’s Eye Tunnel, and a plethora of eye-popping caverns. On-site amenities and luxuries include granite fireplaces, 55-inch televisions, free Wi-Fi, Whirlpools, and in-room coffee. You’ll also be a mere hop, skip, and a jump away from several spectacular restaurants, including the Ruby House, Sherpa’s Kitchen, and Jane’s Boardwalk Pizza. Book directly online to save money on hidden third-party fees, as well as take advantage of our Stay and Play deals!