Explore Black Hills - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Black Hills Map
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hiking
11 days ago

WOW! Not what I was expecting at all, but then this trail is so varied and amazing I don’t think anyone will be left disappointed. I’ve been blowing off this trail because I usually aim for longer hikes and this one hardly seemed worth the drive. Boy, was I wrong! I expected it to take about 2 hours, but it took me nearly 3 and even then I wish I’d left myself more time to really slow down and enjoy it. It’s one of those places that is so gorgeous, I wish I had the photography skills to do it justice. I read discussions about whether it’s better to take the trail clockwise or counter-clockwise; I opted for clockwise and I’m REALLY glad I did. I carry my daughter in a backpack, so it would have been far more difficult for me (and potentially dangerous) to carry a 50 pound pack down that steep descent as opposed to hitting it uphill. Not only that, but WOW! Talk about saving the best for last! I will DEFINITELY be doing this one again soon!

hiking
15 days ago

As stated by most others, trail is not well marked. I saw trees with orange paint on them and metal diamonds with “50” posted on tree trunks along the actual trail... trail also coincides with spur trail, easily confused the two. Had to use AllTrails multiple times to find and stay on trail. Trail is variable in elevation and development, lots of time in dirt/grass/road. Once to Boulder Hill, moderate rock scaling to get to top. Not hard but pay attention, especially if it’s windy. Enjoyed it!

hiking
18 days ago

We went Oct 19th and chose to go counter clockwise which I guess is backwards from the way Alltrails wants you to go. The way we went, the steepest part is at the end but definitely the best part. The final section is up the creek. Snow had mostly melted when we went. If it were more icy it would definitely be a challenge. Fun hike. Whole family went. Ages 8 to...well, my age!

19 days ago

This time we stayed left on the trail until we saw the rock barricade on the right & then the trail led us right to the canyon. There were some areas of the trail that were tough to maneuver but the moss & the little flowing waterfalls made up for it. Very cool!

Short but sweet

So beautifull!

hiking
26 days ago

Didn't spot a single cairn; never found the "beautiful moss &ferns" but did find a beautiful canyon overlook. We will try it again but will take a different route next time.

1 month ago

Trail head is to the right of the gate. I totally missed it. Not very well marked. Good trail. Discarded furniture and trash and graffiti at the base of the scramble to the summit.

hiking
1 month ago

we hiked this trail during a beautiful snow storm October 15th 2018, there were some of the most breathtaking views of the snow covered trees and the peaks and rocks along the way. the trail was pretty easy to hike up until we came to the fork where you can follow the slate creek or continue on following the rapid creek, we choose to go the slate creek way and found several creek crossings that were narrow boards and that portion of the trail was moderately strenuous in my opinion, alot of inclines and the snow was making the rocks rather slick. we had decided to turn around because of the slick conditions from the snow and not wanting to
take the risk of an injury.
we will probably through hike this trail in the summer sometime when the conditions are a little better for back packing and probably start at Deerfield lake this next time. so overall I say this is definitely an awesome trail and well worth the time!!

Wonderful hike! We hiked it, with a break in the middle to play on some rocks and grab a snack. It was no problem for our 6 yr old and I carried our 1 yr old in the baby carrier with ease. We'd love to do this hike again and highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

Favorite hike I’ve done in the Black Hills, hands down.

Beautiful hike. The rock monoliths barricade one end of the lake and are used to dam the lake. Fall color really adds to the scenic beauty.
Some people enjoying the hike but not overrun.

it's a beautiful lake with an easy, gravel trail, but was very crowded and noisy with visitors. worth a visit if you are looking for something short and easy with amazing scenic views all around

hiking
1 month ago

I definitely didn’t know what to expect after reading numerous reviews... but I loved it! I wouldn’t consider myself super in shape and it took me 2 hours and 45 minutes and a solid 30 minutes of that was time stopping to take photos, collect rocks, etc. I took 20 oz. of water and some jerky for some refueling along the way (because it was HOT!) I didn’t expect as much roadside noise as there was at the mid-way point but it wasn’t horrible. I started clockwise simply because I’d rather climb huge rocks at the end than jump down them at the beginning.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike, beautiful views. It took us a full 3 hours. We are "moderate" trail hikers, and on another website, this trail was rated "moderate." Most of it is! We went clockwise. The bouldering at the end, after a full hike, and with an unpredictable right knee, busted me. It was the most physically strenuous "hiking" I've ever done. I don't think I'd do this again. The road noise mid-point was somewhat distracting.

Totally agree with other reviews. It was challenging and picturesque. Recommend heading to left, north, from sylvan lake. That saves awesome climb for the finish. Was a fantastic, kinda strenuous 3 hours.

trail running
1 month ago

My favorite trail. Ever. I go clockwise on this loop to avoid a steep descent and look forward to the steep ascent at the end. Your legs and lungs will be challenged.
Adding about a half mile round trip from the parking lot to/from the trail head, I’ll run/hike this in about 56 minutes. The terrain is varied and rugged with spectacular views. I prefer to go light and fast with no water, no pack, but make sure to hydrate just enough before beginning the run. This trail alone is worth investing in high end trail running shoes.

trail running
1 month ago

Beautiful scenery and fun to move fast on. Try doing a couple of laps.

Very easy. Breathtaking. Connects to other trails for more of a challenge :) don’t forget $20 for the entry fee!

walking
2 months ago

Sylvan Lake is such a pretty lake, and this is a nice trail for a walk/short workout. The back side of the trail has some light rocky parts so you don’t feel like you’re just walking an urban trail. After hiking Black Elk Peak yesterday, my muscles needed some easy work, and twice around the trail was perfect. There’s a scenic lookout on the north end of the lake where you can take photos, and if you’re a rock climber, there’s a nice one back there.

hiking
2 months ago

excellent trail. something for everyone.

Great scenery. Our dog and kids love this trail.

beautiful.

great little hike. Best taken counter-clockwise because the "stairs" along the boulders are pretty steep. beautiful setting at Sylvan Lake.

very enjoyable. lots of shade, challenges and scenery.

Beautiful views of rock formations. Easy hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty man-made lake with dam. Gravel trail well maintained. Crowded with vacationing tourists.

2 months ago

Combined this trail with the b loop on the flume trail. Very nice scenery with great views from the summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail for dogs!!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike. Being from Colorado I'm used to having steep inclines and dodgy terrain so this felt like home! We decided to go counter clockwise because hitting the boulders at the end would have been a bit much after so much climbing already. However it's probably a coin toss if you would rather have a very long stretch of steady uphill (counter clockwise) or mostly downhill with some major climbing at the end (clockwise). Either way you climb a mountain.

Great trail and some really breathtaking views.

One thing to be aware of is that this is IN Custer Park so you'll have to pay $25 to get to the trail head.

You can see my track for this hike, we completed it in about 2 hours with 30 minutes extra for taking pictures or quick water breaks.

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