Save up to 20% for 2024 stays at Creekside Lodge.

Visitors riding horses during a guided trail ride

Guided Trail Rides

Fun for all ages and skill levels! One of the most peaceful ways to explore the park's prettiest backcountry.

Book Now

Blue Bell Lodge Trail Rides

Take part in the exclusive opportunity to ride in Custer State Park, as we are the only riding stables within its boundaries. Our guided horseback rides depart from Blue Bell Lodge Stables and are one of the most peaceful, scenic ways to experience the park's trails. All ages are welcome, with Lil' Buckaroo 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 mid-May through the end of September.

Custer State Park Trail Rides

Have you always wanted to ride a horse? The one-hour is our most popular and signature ride.

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!

Two-Hour, Half and Full Day Rides available. Check availability, pricing and options by booking online.

Book Online

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 our buckaroo 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.

Buckaroo rides are done between 8 a.m. - noon. Reserve your ride online.

Buckaroo Ride: $20

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!

2024: Adults & Children (age 5+): $55
Private Ride: Inquire

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.

2024: Adults & Children (age 7+): $110
Private Ride: Inquire

Half Day Trail Ride

Lunch included.

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.

2024: $250 per person (age 10+)

Full Day Trail Ride

Lunch included.

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.

2024: $350 per person (age 10+)

1/2-Hour Intro Trail Ride

Look out for that horse thief Lame Johnny! Take a leisurely stroll into one of the infamous horse rustlers’ cutbacks down to French Creek. An abbreviated introductory ride, The Hideaway is great for those looking for a shorter afternoon adventure before chow time, or for novice riders who are hesitant to try the full 1 Hour ride. Limited to a 2pm departure time only.

2024: Adults & Children (age 5+): $45


Ready to Book Your Trail Ride?

Book Now

At a Glance

  • Trail rides and lil' buckaroo rides available
  • Rides depart from Blue Bell Lodge Stables
  • Come prepared & dressed accordingly
  • Review the waivers when booking
  • Arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure
  • One rider per horse
  • Horses will be assigned at check-in
Reserve Now

Meet Our Herd

Horse Roundup Video Goes Viral

With over 1M views and climbing, our Blue Bell Lodge Stables proves that happy, healthy & irresistibly-curious horses still know how to steal our hearts.

Read More

A Heartwarming Story from Blue Bell Lodge Stables

Discover Isaac's heartwarming journey from rescue to beloved by Lil' Buckaroos and book a Custer State Park trail ride.

Read More
A horse shows its teeth playfully in custer state park

Open mid-May through the end of September. Closed Sundays. Departure times vary from 8:30am to 1pm. Departures vary by season. Check available departure times by booking online.

Must arrive 30 minutes prior to departure time for check-in, waivers, and horse assignments.

2024 Rates

  • Lil' Buckaroo Ride (Ages 11 & under): $20
  • 1-Hour Trail Ride: $55
  • 2-Hour Trail Ride: $110
  • Half Day Trail Ride: $250
  • Full Day Trail Ride: $350
  • 1/2-Hour Intro Ride: $45 (limited departures)

  • Advanced reservations strongly recommended.
  • Place your reservation online.
  • 48-hour cancellation policy

Must arrive 30 minutes prior to your scheduled departure time to complete required paperwork and waivers.

Children must ride alone and meet minimum safety requirements. All guests 18 and younger are required to wear a helmet (provided).

Should a ride be rescheduled due to weather, you will be contacted by the Stables staff.

Closed-toe shoes required. Maximum weight limit: 230 lbs for individuals who are 6 feet tall or less. (For those 6 feet or taller, please call to inquire about weight limits).

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.

The Blue Bell herd consists of 60+ horses at any given time. There is a variety of horses including: Quarter Horses, Draft Crosses, Halflingers, and Fjords. Just like people, each horse has its own personality and uniqueness.

Where do the horses go at night?

Our horses are alternated between the hay feedlot and grass pastures. We also supplement with mineral lick tubs.

How often do we shoe the horses?

Every six weeks! That’s a lot of horseshoes! Bring $1 with you and take home a horseshoe of your own.

Where do the horses go in the off-season?

Out to pasture, where they are allowed time-off to relax and eat.

Are we allowed to feed the horses treats?

No, our horses are trained with a working mentality, many do not know what treats are. We do not feed treats to minimize reaching for guests’ fingers. On the wellness side, we like to manage our horse’s intake.

I have never ridden a horse before, is that ok?

Of course! First-timers are welcome.

Where are you located?

Blue Bell Stables is located within the same vicinity as Blue Bell Lodge. Please follow the brown and white signs to Blue Bell Lodge. We are 100 yards South on Highway 87 from the lodge. You will see the horses; you can’t miss us! Please use this address for your GPS: 25453 Highway 87, Custer, SD 57730

Are we allowed to double ride with our kids?

No, we do not allow double riding.

Can I bring apples and carrots to feed to the horses?

No, we do not allow our horses to eat treats.

Will we see buffalo on our ride?

Buffalo are free roaming in the park. In the event we see buffalo, we will keep a safe distance and reroute if needed.

Is the trail shaded by trees or mostly sunny?

Our beautiful trails will see about half sun and half shade. Most of our guests wear sunscreen just in case.


To ensure the safety of all riders, we ask that you leave behind: backpacks, purses, fanny packs, cameras, Go-Pros, ponchos, neck accessories and water bottles. We do not allow anything hanging from or tied to you. 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.

So You Want to Be a Wrangler?

We would love to have you! Each season, we hire a select group of seasoned individuals to join our team. Here are a few prerequisites:

  • Must be 18 years or older (to live on-site; dorm style housing)
  • Drug and alcohol free
  • Physically fit, able to lift 50 pounds repeatedly
  • Must be able to mount a horse from the ground (in adverse terrain); no assistance or loading dock
  • Dedicated to learning our system in a fast-paced environment
  • Willing to continually grow and apply Horsemanship
  • Have enthusiasm for fun and safety
Lodge building at Custer State park Resort

Lodging at Custer State Park Resort

Ready to start planning your trip? Explore lodging options and book your stay.

Lodging