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Beautiful and challenging hike. Some steep inclines. Beautiful scenery the entire way. Aside from the Black Elk overlook, there is another peak path that offshoots from the main path that contains some scampering opportunities. Good times all around. Do this trail.

Started from Willow Creek trailhead in horse camp vice the recommended start here. Note that the transition from trail 8 to Lost Cabin (trail 2?) is not marked, there is only a slight foot path that will lead you to a turnaround, and from there you turn left and jump on the trail. I had a good time on this hike, but I bumped it down to a 3 due to trail condition. Parts of Lost Cabin were so heavily grown over that it felt like bushwacking. Same with 9 north, though not nearly as bad. Hiked up and ran down as able in 6 hours. Start early to avoid the worst of the heat. No water sources except streams where you need to treat. Go upcreek to avoid the worst of the horse contamination. Have fun out there.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome short trail. Great to get out and make some memories. Lots of cool places to get to off the main trail as well - just watch for rattlesnakes! We didn't see any but there are plenty of signs. Trail was a bit steep and there is loose gravel so it can be a little slick, but I never felt unsafe. Very cool. Would do again.

Great trail and amazing views, particularly atop Little Devil.

Beautiful view at top!

Did this trail in reverse, up 9 and down 4. #9 was wide and in great condition; amazing views. #4 was narrow and less traveled but with some beautiful views of the Cathedral Spires. Took it slow and easy with my 4 year old hiking alongside. Round trip was about 4 hours.

Nice 2 hour hike with varied terrain and views, met only one group, this during Sturgis week.

hiking
6 days ago

The trail is short but very steep and slippery, so be careful when hiking. On the top of the trail you can have a different angel to see the badlands along the road. It's beautiful.

hiking
6 days ago

A interesting hike, although it's not for seeing badlands. It's so dry in the trail. I thought I was in another planet.

One of the best hikes in the Black Hills.

hiking
8 days ago

Worth it.

hiking
8 days ago

Loved this trail! My favorite part was the steep climb as it starts to connect to the castle trail then plateaus out. Really amazing views and I sat there for a few hours just hanging out on the edge where it also forms a 'ravine' but is really more of a sharp drop of loose boulders and rock. Just watch where you place your hands and feet come the summer for rattlesnakes.

Great trail with beautiful views. I did this with my 63 year old parents and while it did take a bit longer than expected everyone enjoyed it. Not much shade after the first couple of miles, so be prepared. I recommend packing a lunch and bringing plenty of water. Several great places near the fire tower at the summit to sit, eat and enjoy the views.

Beautiful trail through buffalo-inhabited prairie. Watch for POISON IVY. The trail starts out going right through one of the largest poison ivy patches I've seen to date. Aside from the poison ivy, this trail is a nice easy hike. NOT recommended for beginners who can't spot the poison ivy.

Loved the views!!!!!

Did this trail and loved it. Great views

First time out there and trail 9 was everything we hoped it would be! Come prepared for some mud and an afternoon thunderstorm

hiking
14 days ago

There are 2 Legion Lake Trails. One, the one I believe listed here, starts at the Legion Lake Campground travels straight up for 1/2 mile and then loops back down for 1/2 mile. There is no view at the top. The trees are tall and all you can see is trees, no lake. Kind of disappointing. 5 year old did not like this hike! 7 & 9 tolerated it because they are old enough to know that one foot in front of the other is the best way through it. Also it's not always easy to see the trail but the markers are easy to follow. That was a good lesson for the kids. Sometimes you have to look up to see the trail! The Legion Lake trail around Legion lake is a nice little stroll. When we'd head to the swim beach we'd go right from the entrance, around the lake, over the little dam and then to the swim beach. This is easy and pretty and gives a variety of views of the lake.

14 days ago

We hiked the castle trail to the medicine trail. We had some trouble at the beginning of trail starting near the north entrance. There weren't enough trail markers--we would end up at an open area with no idea which way to go & ended up at a couple of dead ends. The rest of the trail was well-marked and a mostly easy hike. It took us 2:36 to hike out to Medicine, then come back along Castle (we didn't hike the whole castle).

What a great hike! I began at 5:45 pm tonight and made it up #4 in exactly 90 minutes (didn’t stop). I took #9 down and made it back with 45 minutes of daylight. The hike was worth every minute, and I only saw a total of six people on the entire hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Gorgeous trek! We were lucky that it had rained the previous night so there was water flowing in streams and it was still relatively cool. Lots of color in rock, grass and flowers. My daughter found many small fossils along the way. .

This was an amazing trail to hike! My father and I spent the morning of our trip to the black hill here and couldn’t have asked for a better trail.

Beautiful trail with some picturesque views. We started out using Trail 4 from Sylvan Lake and looped around, coming back Trail 9 ending at Sylvan Lake. It took us 3.5 hrs (started at about 12:30p local) with several stops to complete our hike around the loop. Trail varies from rocky to mushy to dry and flat.
Well worth the hike. Come prepared for an afternoon thunderstorm that will last 1-3 hrs (we got the 2 hr variety). I am a fan of trekking poles and they helped greatly to negotiate the steep rocky inclines. As many others have noted, parking at Sylvan Lake can be problematic.

Nice trail, pretty heavily trafficked though. Great views from the top!

Very busy trail, but it is vacation season right now and also a weekend. Planning to go again closer to fall when there will hopefully be a few less people. This was a really enjoyable trail. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to enjoy the views since it was so foggy. Just an extra reason to go back!

hiking
19 days ago

Amazing hike with stunning views. This was my favorite hike in the Badlands. Took my family and we all had a blast. My 8 and 10 year old boys loved sliding on the steep trail on the way down. Started the ascent 8:30am and had the trail all to ourselves - def the way to go.

Great trail. Only problem was it was very populated. Go early to avoid growds. Took us 2.5 hours round trip. We had a good steady pace on the way up. On the way down we had to stop to let people by far too many times. Have fun.

Loved it!

Solid three and a half stars. Definitely go counter clockwise, as others have said, makes for an easier ascent. Very few people on this trail, and easy enough for my eleven year old, and fourteen year old to do without any complaining. The red hills and trail portion was pretty neat, and we got some nice pictures of both the devil's tower, and the valley.

great for kids and dogs

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