The Belle Fourche River is a tributary of the Cheyenne River, approximately 290 mi (467 km) long, in the U.S. states of Wyoming and South Dakota. Via the Cheyenne and Missouri rivers, it is part of the watershed of the Mississippi River.
Beaver trappers worked these rivers until the mid-19th century, and Belle Fourche became a well known fur trading rendezvous point. These days, the river provides significant flood control, recreation and irrigation for agriculture in western South Dakota. The total irrigation area of the river in South Dakota is approximately 57,000 acres. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish including Channel Catfish.
It rises in northeastern Wyoming, in southern Campbell County, approximately 15 mi.(24 km) north of Wright. It flows northeast, past Moorcroft and Devils Tower. Near the state line with Montana, it turns abruptly southeast and flows in western South Dakota, past Belle Fourche and around the north side of the Black Hills. In southern Meade County near Hereford, it turns ENE and joins the Cheyenne approximately 50 mi (80 km) ENE of Rapid City. The point at which the river flows out of Wyoming and into South Dakota is the lowest point in the State of Wyoming at 945 meters (3,099 feet) elevation. This is the second-highest low point of any U.S. state.
Fishing in Belle Fourche River is greatly increasing in popularity because it is both challenging and pleasurable. Fishing in the river provides fishermen with a variety of potential fish to catch as well as a variety of methods in which to do so. Fishing in the Belle Fourche River is an enjoyable way to spend time outdoors with friends or family. Socially, fishing is a fun activity that provides some exercise and plenty of fresh air to keep you happy and healthy. You can expect to catch fish such as Smallmouth Bass, Black Bullheads, Yellow Perch, Cutthroats, Catfish, and Rainbow Trouts.
The rivers and lakes in South Dakota provide canoeists and kayakers with excellent opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, breathe fresh air, enjoy nature, learn about area history and participate in physical exercise. Canoe/kayak trips can be as short as a couple hours or a week-long adventure depending on the river and your time. The Belle Fourche River winds through gentle-to-steep rolling plains, interspersed with buttes, peaks and pinnacles. The numerous spring-fed creeks that empty into this river often make it possible to paddle in the fall. If the water is high enough, many paddlers put in at Spearfish Creek near Spearfish. From here they float to the Red Water River and on to the Belle Fourche. After a portage at a diversion dam just downstream from the city of Belle Fourche, the river can be paddled to where it joins the Cheyenne River.