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

South Dakota Map
VIEW FULL MAP
hiking
2 days ago

Big Horn along the trail and combination of awesome views and the stream makes this a top 5 trail in the Black Hills.

hiking
13 days ago

Date: Jan 3, 2019
Cost: $ subject to NPS Parks Pass
Conditions: Partly cloudy, calm, Mid 30s

Pros: Gorgeous in winter. The ladder in the middle is neat and adds a fun element to this hike. Great expansive view at end of the park, nice spot to watch sunset.

My experience: 1.7 miles round trip. Briefly lost trail at one point. Ladder slippery in winter. I had more trouble going down than up. No problem entering park during Government Shut Down - roads were clear and gates were open. Leave no trace!!!

Cons: Sturdy footwear recommended. Use duck-type boots if wet/winter/muddy. Ladder is quite steep at the top and can be unnerving for some. I imagine the ladder could be congested at busy times. I briefly got off course and only knew it due to my AllTrails app.

IG: Minnesota_Wanderer

A nice hike to get a decent workout in. Only a few nice views other wise you’re mainly within the forest. Still one to take.

We hiked this trail in September w another couple and we thought it was great! Not as much water as we were expecting once we got to the actual "bathtub," but we plan on going back in the spring/summertime.

I got an all-time favorite photo here. we loved it. The ladder is intimidating but very secure. great view at the end.

hiking
28 days ago

This hike is one of the best hikes in the Black Hills area. It is a fairly strenuous hike, but absolutely worth it. I hiked it back in mid October. It has steep parts where you have to hike over and around boulders. Many of those rocks have hand rails anchored into the boulders. The best part of the hike is hiking down the gorge behind the lake. You’ll need to be in decent shape and be able to climb on and around rocks. I’d suggest hiking the trail counter clock wise and do the best part first. Trail will take three to four hours to hike. Scenery is spectacular. The ending part of the trail coming back to the lake is really neat too. Strenuous is the correct rating for this trail. I’m 50, but in better than average shape, and i was pretty tired at the end. If you can only do one hike, this would be the one I’d choose. Absolute great hike.

I am not an avid hiker (yet). We hiked this trail this summer. It wasn’t too difficult, but I have bad knees. It had one of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen. Breathtaking.

hiking
1 month ago

not bad but I want from Notch Trail trail head towards Old Ne. I wish I had time to go furthee

hiking
1 month ago

badlands very neat place in this world...

2 months ago

Fun fast hike with a beautiful view and a neat little ladder ❤️

hiking
2 months ago

Very good trail. Not amazing in itself, but the reason for 5 stars to me is the variety of trail types and an alternate path back down. Also the tower and other structures on top are very cool and we saw several deer along #4 coming back down.

hiking
2 months 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
2 months ago

Found the trail head easily. 3.3 miles uphill, moderate to hard in my opinion. I hike a lot and it took me 1.5 hours to reach the summit. 30 min spent at the top enjoying the stunning view! Then 1 hr. back down. Ran into about 4-5 other sets of hikers. I had cell service about a mile into the hike FYI. Fantastic hike!

hiking
2 months 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!

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty hike with lots of water crossings that can be a little tricky at times. But overall it was nice and only saw two other people hiking in late October.

Super fun

We went clockwise on this trail. Which was all uphill for about 30 minutes but then it steadied out. It showed a lot of pine trees and some different types of vegetation throughout the trail and followed a creek. Was hopeful to see wildlife, but only saw a couple deer. The trail was a decent one. Took about 2 hours.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail...we lost the trail at the very end but were able to find our way.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail today and loved it. It has a little of everything. I went clockwise and enjoyed the ascent in the beginning. The view at the top was breathtaking. I didn’t expect to criss cross a creek several times after the descent. It was so fun! Great trail. I moved pretty quickly and completed it in an hour and a half.

walking
3 months ago

Short trail takes you up close to the iconic falls.

on Notch Trail

3 months ago

The view was beautiful. This national park just doesn’t rock my world so probably wouldn’t do it again.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful. My second favorite hike in Badlands behind saddle pass. Be sure to hike to both vistas. Towards the end the trail forks and both are worth exploring.

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

hiking
3 months ago

Took Bentley for a beautiful, fun fall hike.

3 months ago

Very unique trail. We went out after a rain and it was extremely slick. But once we got back to the start it was dry. Rain makes for a very different trail experience. The trail crossed in front of big horned sheep that were grazing on a cliff . We did the medicine loop out and the castle trail back. This clocked in at 11.1 miles. Definitely do this early as there is very little shade and you are in full sun and wind exposure. Other than the slipperyness because of the rain it’s not hard or technical - the only hard part about it is 11 miles round-trip.

Somewhat narrow areas on the path. Ages3 and above will be ok on the path. Great views on the way to the falls!

horseback riding
3 months ago

Awesome trail for horseback riding and dogs. Definitely ideal for being on horseback as the trail is not maintained for hikers. Lots of big open spaces and pretty rivers to cross. ❤️

3 months ago

Very cool we loved it! A bit crowded because it's so popular but a must in the area I think.

Easy walk to a great falls. Not strenuous.

Easy trail with beautiful views, especially in the evening.

Load More