One of the most fun ways to get off the beaten path and into the back country is by ATV, ORV or dirt bike.
Crook County has lots of great places to explore including the popular Blacktail ATV Trails. Before venturing out you will want to familiarize yourself with Wyoming's ORV rules and regulations. Wyoming off-road vehicle laws and rules have been developed to promote safety and protection for users, property, and the environment. A good place to start is by downloading ORV rules from here: https://wyoparks.wyo.gov/index.php/orv-trails
All ATVs and trail bikes, including those owned by non-residents, are required to display a Wyoming ORV permit while operating on designated roads, trails, areas on public lands and state trust lands. This $15 annual permit may be purchased from several area businesses across the state or by calling 307- 777-7477. When on roads, operators must have a valid drivers license.
Once you know the rules and have a good map to ensure you are on an ORV designated trail it's time to get out and start your adventure!
Blacktail Motorized Trailhead is the primary gateway to dozens of miles of OHV trails west of Cook Lake.
The trailhead provides access to extensive ORV routes in the Bearlodge Ranger District. The Bearlodge Ranger District encompasses the northern portion of the Black Hills on the Wyoming side. The Bearlodge Ranger District has an office located in Sundance, Wyoming and is a great resource to help you plan. Call them at 307-283-1361 and they will help answer any questions you might have.
The trails are located between the communities of Sundance & Hulett, Wyoming in the Bearlodge Ranger District off CR-2019 Blacktail Country Road then turn south onto Forest Service Road 849. There will be a staging area on the east side of the road about a quarter of a mile down the road or proceed further approximately 3/4 of a mile to the trailhead on the west side of the road.
This US Forest Service map is a good resource to help you find your best route: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5341596.pdf
The trails are open May 15 (weather permitting) through December and feature lush evergreen forests, beautiful vistas and the occasional view of Devils Tower to the west. Keep a lookout for wildlife including white-tailed and mule deer, Rocky Mountain elk, Merriam’s turkey and Ruffed grouse. Be aware that the max width these trails is 50 inches.