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Me and my boyfriend completed this hike on 8/17. The area had heavy rainfall for 3 or 4 days prior so the falls were gorgeous! It is definitely one of the most challenging hikes we have done but it was well worth it. As previous reviews have mentioned, I don’t recommend bringing your kids or dogs, everything was extremely slick (may have been from all of the rain) and the paths were narrow and primitive. There are several little falls along the river but the eye of the needle is at the very end with a large fall coming out of the cave. The ropes up to the eye are well maintained but it’s still pretty steep and not for the faint of heart. Just be very cautious if you choose to go. Looking forward to hiking it again in the fall!

Took 5 Kids did great !! Recommended foot ware and pack snacks and plenty of hydration!! Pool is super cold takes your breath away but worth it !! A bit of steep rocky area to get down to main pool must be in decent shape and have stability with balance !!

Not a long trail. Runs along rocky stream to falls. very beautiful end of trail. Finding where to start it is a bit of a trick. It looks like a private road. Must park on opposite side of 74 in small 2 car parking area. ...Walk down the dirt(rock) road past private pond on your left ...could be muddy water on track road. Keep going until you see the National Forest Marker...that's where the real trail starts. It can be tricky to see the full falls to the bottom. The main trail ends at the top. Thr cascading water to try falls was a great place to rest and enjoy the beauty. ...Trail is not marked and not a groomed. I would do it again!

hiking
2 days ago

I dont normally leave reviews, but I felt like I could clear up a few pieces of information.....

the trailhead is behind sylvan lake. You park in the main lot close to harney peak trailhead and go to the right of the lake. you can also get there from general store lot. you will see an obvious sign labelled Sunday Gulch Trail right at the Dam.

At this sign you got two options, 1)go to the left (clockwise) 2) go to the right (counter-clockwise)

we chose to the left. this will be uphill for the first mile or so and downhill most of the rest. Ending with going up a waterfall....a big long waterfall. I think it's easier to go up it than down it.

if you choose to go to the right instead, you will start right away going down this waterfall, which is more difficult, but you will have more energy to complete it.

Dont bring your 20+ week pregnant wife, she will be pissed about the waterfall...trust me! saw young kids complete it, but most of them seemed experienced. You're gonna get wet and maybe muddy. Overall I loved this hike! my wife did too, but she would of preferred doing it without being prego.

takes a bit, and the trail markings aren't the best in spots. not best for kids under 7 but beautiful!

Once you hit summit, this is a real challenge. I’d rate it from difficult to very difficult. It’s more like bouldering than hiking.

Beautiful trail. The hike up was enjoyable. I think it would benefit if it had some trail markers on the main trail. Has a lot of offshoot trails and someone could easily get turned around if they weren't familiar with land nav. I took. couple of them on the way down. One of them led me too a more difficult rocky area. To me made it more enjoyable but could see someone getting hurt. The view from the top was amazing.

This starts in pretty dense vegetation that rubs on your legs. Wear pants. Lots of ticks and chiggers too, so bring bug spray. Otherwise a good trail.

Stunning trail! I’m very uncoordinated, so the boulders near the water gave me some issues, but there are plenty of handrails to hold onto. Many water crossings and great views. Variations in terrain make this trail a lot of fun.

Tamolitch Blue Pool 8/11/18

My group planned to arrive early to Blue Pool, but a fatality on Hwy 22 caused us to take a 2.5hr detour. We arrived way later than we wanted to. Parking was already out on the highway at 1:15pm. This hike is about 2 miles in and 2 miles out. It’s a fairly easy hike that is shaded most of the way. The scramble to get down to the Blue Pool is a bit trickier, but doable. Just take your time. We had a group of 10 and only 5 of us were brave enough to go into the 37 degree water. If you decide to go in or walk around barefoot, I highly recommend water shoes. The rocks were extremely painful on the souls of our feet. Lots of hornets by the water, so be careful. We only saw 2 people jump from the cliff. This is extremely dangerous as several people have died over the years. Since this was a warm August Saturday, it was crowded with hikers, mountain bikers, dogs and children. I definitely recommend going early, on a weekday or in the off-season. It was still a great hike with breathtaking views. The shades of blue are indescribable. There are restrooms at the trailhead of Blue Pool. Also, if this was too short of a hike for you, definitely piggyback Koosah Falls or Sahalie Falls with this one. We would have, but with our unexpected detour, we ran out of time and needed to make the long trek home. Happy Hiking!

Best friend and I did this in the cold of winter. Well worth it even during the cold. We went off the path and made our way around the pool. Absolutely beautiful.

This is an amazing site! Expect it to be really crowded but the pool is worth seeing! Also don’t expect to swim much, there’s a reason why all the pictures don’t have people in them! The water is almost ice. Pretty easy hike in! Follow all our adventures on Instagram @themicrotourists!

Great easy and comfortable hike on a very well maintained trail. Great trail for company who is not acclimated but wants a big payoff for the effort. The water was very cold but not unbearable and the hike down was not as bad as some post made it seem. Go around to the opposite side and the trail is very user friendly. The anticipation of the water is worse than the water itself. Very enjoyable, casual and non-taxing.

Only 2.8 miles even says that at the trail head and is listed as strenuous. A good trail did it counter clockwise and that is definitely the more difficult way. Not a good trail if you have little ones and dogs should NOT be allowed!

hiking
9 days ago

Beautiful scenery; hands down one of my favorite trails in South Dakota!

Well defined trail to the pool but more difficult to get down to the water. Totally worth the hike down.

Challenging but worth it!

hiking
13 days ago

This turned out to be one of my favorite trails close to where I live. Beautiful lake view and the rock formations were amazing. I was pleasantly surprised. I can say that the lower trails below the bluffs had a thousand spiders & webs ticks & chiggers, but that's to be expected this time of year. Don't forget your bug spray!
This is a trail I will be hiking often!

also found a bear prints in mud puddle on the trail. Wish I could've seen it. that would've made it even better.

I'm from Rogers and have spent a lot time at Lake Atalanta during my child hood. My mema lived in a house up the hill from the lake and we would walk around the lake regularly. I'm a runner and love running trails. Two years ago when I figured out that they spent a lot of time and money to fix up the park and make trails around the lake I was very excited a spent two days running around the lake. I've made it a point to go there ever time I go home. If you take the hardest route of trails it's pretty technical lots of quick elevation changes and twist and turns. Beautiful views and always a great run. Much better than the humdrum of road running. The only thing I'm not to keen on is the board walk. I understand why they did it but in my opinion they could have left it out and just fixed up the road that went around it. It is fun to run on but it is the one thing I would change about it.

Beautiful views at Spy Rock and a fairly easy trail. Unfortunately all the waterfalls and creeks were completely dry, it being August, so we didn't get to enjoy the beauty of the trail to its fullest. We will have to try this one again when it's less dry.

The view is nice, but getting there is something else. The gravel road up to the trail is in poor condition. There were some rocky trenches in the road making it inaccessible to some vehicles. There is currently no parking area. There are a couple giant piles of gravel on each side of the road, one before and one after the trail. The trailhead is not distinguishable by vehicle. Just park near the trailhead (GPS) and locate on foot. Most of the path is also becoming overgrown with poison ivy, which may be a problem for some. I think taking the rest of the trail up there would have been better. I prefer hiking up difficult and rocky inclines over driving up them.

hiking
16 days ago

pretty sweet, cool mixture of scenery, definitely needs more blazing but its usually got it when you need it and doesn't have any when you don't.
recent rain has put lots of debris on the trail, cows have torn up a good bit of trail and made it stinky
my GPS came out at 4.1miles not 4.9

but overall ill probably be doing it again

Just stunning. Easy trail through beautiful trees and along the McKenzie River. I prefer the early hike. This one gets busy.

This was a fun hike although it seems like more of a rock climb. we were up in about 2 hours and down in 1. I should have taken the advice of the other reviewers and worn long pants cause it shredded my legs. Check for tics when you come down, we had quite a few on us. Beautiful scenery and so serene.

Unbelievable, great hike , beautiful river view most of the way

Many of the trails at the wildlife refuge are hard to follow but luckily this one is fairly easy to follow. The view at the top is beautiful and I like that it’s a little workout without being too strenuous! We have done this trail many times, it’s my favorite in the area!

The hike was well worth seeing the beautiful blue pool at the end of the trail - especially for a couple of out of shape people like ourselves.

Beautiful hike. The beginning was fairly easy. It gets harder as you get in the lava beds. The scramble down to the pool (if you choose to do it) is steep, so be careful! The water is freezing cold, but feels nice on feet after the hike there. Also, be aware of yellow jacket nests. We found a few along the way. We discovered one as we stepped to the side to let others pass by. We only noticed it as several in our group were stung.

hiking
23 days ago

First, let me say that I consider myself a novice hiker. The types of hiking I normally enjoy are easy and very flat. I am also going to admit that I am 100 lbs overweight as well. Needless, to say I was more than a little concerned about whether or not I could complete this hike and the closer we got to the day we were to go, the more unsure I became.

My husband and my son both were looking forward to it and said that didn't want to do it without me. In hindsight I suppose I was taking a big risk in choosing to do this hike, but my husband said we would stop as many times as we needed to and take as much time as we needed. So, they convinced me.

I had done some research on this trail beforehand and looked at a lot of pictures as well. I have to say that it really did look intriguing. We have a medium sized dog, she weighs about 50 lbs that would be going with us and after reading several reviews by other people who had taken dogs on this hike, I decided we should go counter-clockwise around, starting with the boulders first. I figured it would be a lot easier, for me at least, and for our dog as well, to climb DOWN the boulders instead of up.

It was somewhat confusing at first trying to figure out which way to go because the actual signs for the trail point to the LEFT, but if you go to the left you will be doing the trail CLOCKWISE, which is fine, if you want to be climbing UP a bunch a boulders after you have already hiked 3 miles. We finally figured out we needed to go to the right to begin the trail when we went down some steps and around a corner where we found a posted map of the hike.

So, on to the hike! Going down the boulders was actually pretty fun! There were areas where we had to step in or wade through some running water. After climbing down all of the boulders, the hike wound around the gulch and was very scenic with a lot of rock formations, trees, running water and even a cave! At one point there was a steep set of stairs we had to climb down, so if you are going clockwise, you will have to go UP these stairs.

Eventually, what go goes down, must go up and so did we. This is when it started to get pretty difficult for me. I had to stop A LOT but my husband and my son were very patient and waited for me until I could continue. I did reach a point when it was no longer fun, I was exhausted and wanted it to be over. My son noticed that we were very close to the road. He said maybe he and I should hike up to the road and wait for my husband to go back to the car and then pick us up on the side of the road. Bless his heart,. I should have done as he suggested, but no, I didn't want to be a quitter, so I went on. Little did I know at the time that we still had about an hour to go.

I am happy to say, however, that I MADE IT!!! It took us about 4 hours to complete. My husband and my son were proud of me and I was even pretty proud of myself! My legs were very sore for the next few days, so needless to say, this was the only hike we did while we were in the Black Hills. I read one review that actually said, "if you only have time for 1 hike, do this one", so I did and I am glad I did.

Next time we go to the Black Hills, I will be have lost weight and be in better shape so that I can do some of the other hikes too! :)

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