Explore Black Hills National forest - 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 National forest Map
1 month ago

First time on this trail with the intention of snowshoeing. At the start of the hike it was mostly icy/muddy combination and t-shirt temps. Ended up using crampons for the entire hike and carried the snowshoes. Several sections on the upper portion have a dozen or so trees down across the trail but nothing major to navigate around. Snow storm with winds moved in as we hit the 5,300 ft. elevation. Plenty of Whitetail deer to view and followed one set of older lion tracks on the trail but never spotted it. Snow and low cloud ceiling blocked the views from the summit but was still an amazing snow hike. By time we returned to the trailhead approximate 3"-5" of snow had fallen. Only a couple markers for this trail, but the trail is used enough to remain apparent even with fresh snow falling. Strenuous hike but enjoyable. I will definitely hike this trail again!

not much to see until the very top and it's a very constant uphill slope. seemed very very long, but was a great view... and is said to be haunted so that's a little fun

Beautiful and slightly challenging. Take enough water and trek poles would have been helpful on the way down.

Panoramic views of the best of the black hills!

Amazing trail! If I had to do just one in the hills it’d be this one. Trail is generally pretty moderate, take your time though cause as you near the top it’s pretty steep and rugged. Bring a snack and some coffee to enjoy at the top. Well worth the time

Short and easy. Great view, but trail has a fair amount of trash

Amazing! I went up 9 and down 4, starting and ending at Sylvan Lake. I did this hike Dec 1 where it was 50 degrees F and sunny. The sun was low in southern sky and seemed to hit the valley off 9 well in the late morning and afternoon sun hit spires and other large needle boulders down path beautifully off 4. You get amazing views of the spires on 4 and can kind of play on them. I skipped little devils head trail. The little jaunt to top of Harney is tough and it sure is windy up there. My favorite part was the spires off 4.

3 months ago

Hiked last weekend and trail is getting icy, especially west side descent into canyon. Hiking pole was a great help. Several areas warrant extra care and will slow down the hike. Otherwise a really great trail with nice views and variety.

Amazing views at the top. definitely tough to keep on the "trail" most the way up.
I really enjoyed it.....

4 months ago

Great views. Easy and short hike. Hiking down to Rapid Creek and back up a little more challenging, but not to hard. At the top, go to the south and follow deer trails down to the creek.

Loved it! Great views along the way and at the top!

What a beautiful hike to Little Devils Tower and back 3.8 miles. Temp was about 64 and pure blue skies and sun. It was so awesome when we got to the top to see the 360 degree views. You’ll be climbing and scrambling on large boulders. Breathtaking.

Great hike! Up #4 with a spur to Little Devils Tower and then on to Black Elk Peak and down #9.

Took trail 4 up and 9 down... 4 is loaded with beautiful views... Cathedral Spites and stunning views on your side going up! The last bit to the top will definitely get your heart pumping! Views at top incredible!

5 months ago

One of my favorite trails in the Black Hills. Beautiful views from the top of the canyon. Did this hike in the fall, the colors are amazing. Did the loop counter clock wise, the trail is pretty easy after the first mile once your on top of the canyon. This trail is a must do for anyone.

5 months ago

Hiked this at Dusk with dogs! Brilliant!
Not sure why it's called hells canyon cause loved it!

Out of about 5 hikes in Blk Hills this was favorite so far!
It's a good 5 mile loop.
I'd recommend going anti clockwise.
Although it would be an easier finish hiking clockwise as the west side is more up and down.
Gorgeous views and it's autumn now so that's a bonus with gorgeous colors. I'd give yourself a good two hrs to complete the loop.

hiked this a few days ago. Very good trail in that while not easy, is within the ability of most reasonably fit people. Trail does get steeper and more challenging the last 1/2 mile or so. I would bring a hiking stick, really helps your knees on the start down. On a clear day the views are fantastic and it is the highest point at 7240 ft east of the Rockies. Done this hike twice and was much windier and colder at the top, so be prepared. Can be a lot of traffic on this trail depending when you go. Overall, a great hike.

5 months ago

All up hill made it a challenge. View from the top wad nice but trees blocked your view most of the way up.
Fall leaves changing was timed perfectly.

The hike was wonderful. Excited to see all kind of new stuffs. Many flowers, animals, and many different people too. Best parts were when you on top of the mountain and look around to see different part of the country. Definitely will go again.

great, challenging hike to top of a fire lookout building from 1939. great leg workout with lots of step ups.

Superbe rando avec les 2 « must do » cathédral Spires et Little Devil Tower.

Really enjoyed this hike! Trail 9 going up is easy for the most part. There are some steeper stretches near the top but not bad. We came down on trail 3 for a bit and then it branches onto trail 4. 3 and 4 are definitely a bit more challenging as they are narrower and more rocky but still doable.

This was my first hike!
I really enjoyed it. There were some parts harder then others.

Gorgeous hike. Start early in the morning as a mid-summer hike can be warm! Did not do the Cathedral Spires loop but went up and back Trail 9. First high point! (July 8, 2017)

Best hike in the Black Hills! A must do if you're visiting or live locally! Take a lunch/snack and enjoy the view up top. Also take a light coat even if it's hot down below as the weather definitely can change quickly. Easy to moderate hike, but more strenuous at the top. Family/pet friendly.

Awesome views!

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It says it takes 4-5 hours but we did it in 2.5. Got plenty of pictures and spent 15 minutes at the summit. Make sure to bring at least a liter of water and a snack. The last half mile or so is pretty strenuous but it was definitely worth the view.

6 months ago

Very simple hike, especially if you drive up to the boulder mountain. There are views the whole way up but being on the flat top is just magical.

Hard to find the trailhead

Great day hike with nice views.

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