dogs on leash

nature trips


wild flowers


trail running

kid friendly



dog friendly

horseback riding



mountain biking

This used to be called Harney Peak. We did it several times with children and my recollection is that there were many scenic vistas on the way up. Once on top, you know it. A great place to have lunch and enjoy the 360 view. The best hike in the Black Hills.

Amazing hike. Also amazing views of the spires atop little devils tower.

Awesome day hike. Pretty easy with amazing views. Plus my pup loved it. Can’t go wrong with this hike.

Been one of my favorite spots for years. Love it so much decided to get married here. ❤

beautiful! next time I'll wear treks. ice slowed me down.

Hiked trail 9 from the Sylvan Lake parking lot New Year’s Eve night, we were the first to Summit Black Elk Peak in 2019!! Had a blast! Snow was really deep in some areas along the trail. Always love this hike and the view! Cheers to 2019!

I did this fantastic hike with my husband and two young children who were 2 and 3 at the time. We carried them with our Boba carriers the majority of the way. They were both able to hike for portions of this adventure, but they liked getting to hitch a ride as well (they napped in the carriers on the way down). The hike is a lot longer than it seems. On our way back we were asked by many people if they were close and I wouldn't tell them because I didn't want to discourage anyone, but they were only 1/4 or 1/2 way to the peak. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, keep a steady pace, take breaks, and you will have no problem. The view at the top is spectacular! You feel like you are on top of the world and you kind of are. At 7242 feet, Black Elk Peak is the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Awesome!

horseback riding
23 days ago

The area around Nemo, SD has great horseback riding trail with varying difficulties and spectacular views.

This was a beautiful hike. We did this hike on a Saturday in late summer. We started out early in the morning planning to take our time. We only met one other couple and a couple on horses. The overlook views were amazing and we enjoyed our lunch on a rock outcropping with a view for miles. We were also testing our overnight backpacks so our loads made the trail a little more strenuous but we made it to the top only to be met by the large numbers of people hiking up to Black Elk from the other side. The trail is well marked and easy to follow with many scenic views for photos. Some of the steps are pretty high towards the top and with my backpack load I was wishing I had done more lunges at the gym lol but the 360° view from the top was worth it all! The trip down was just as unpopulated but we could see an unforcasted storm moving in, with about an hour left to our car we were in the middle of a lighting storm. We debated about stopping to put rain gear on or staying out of the path of lightening but it was mostly a sky storm with only a few big drops here and there. Just as we were loading the car the sky unloaded. I'm not sure we will hike this trail again as we are from out of state and there are so many areas of South Dakota we want to explore but I'm glad we did this trail it only made us fall in love with The Black Hills even more.

1 month ago

beautiful views at the top, well groomed and nice for a quick hike

hiked it on August 3rd, 2018. Was beautiful. I recommend hiking to the fire tower then to little devil's tower trail where you can see the fire tower

1 month ago

Easy to find. Short. Steep. Great views!

1 month ago

I would not call this an easy hike.

Driving to the trailhead can get sketchy. Expect deep mud holes, ruts and rocks. Be careful if you drive off trail as there are natural springs and you may get stuck.

The trail from the trailhead start off easy, but will get rocky and steep. In the summer time expect lots of poison ivy. The trail is not clearly marked, so take your time. If Battle Creek is running high expect to get your feet wet.

Hippy hole itself is great. The logistics suck. If there were an easy way to get there Hippy hole would e crowded all summer long.

I helped rescue people out of the hole 3 different times. 1 person we were able to walk out
1 person took 4 hours and search and rescue to rope out in a stokes basket
1 person had to be winched out by a Blackhawk helicopter in a basket.

Have fun be safe.

1 month ago

I hiked the D trail. Snow covered but not deep at all. Trail is moderate. Marked well. 7.5 miles from trail head, around the loop, and back. The D trail has a short branch off to an overlook, .2 miles. It’s marked well too. Beautiful area. Didn’t see anyone else!

This is one of my favorite places on earth. I go to SD every year and never miss the waterfalls in Spearfish canyon.

Ran the trail on 10/31, beautiful day about 40F, didn’t see anyone and the lake store was closed for the season. Went up #9 and down on #4. #9 is better with first scenic lookout at 1 mile mark. Don’t see much until all the way up. The view was wide open and the tower was neat. Very windy and probably 10 degree colder than the starting point. Finish in 2 hours by running, not the best for running since the path was unpathed and rocky, very easy to get ankle injury.


Hike is short and very steep, but not long. Amazing views of the black hills at the top

will always be my favorite

2 months 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!

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!

2 months 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!

So beautifull!

The view from the top of Black Elk Peak is something else! I'd highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. In the past I've done trail #9 out and back, but yesterday I decided to mix it up and took trail #3 to trail #4 on the way back down. Awesome views of the Needles from trail #4. Both routes were pretty snowpacked and slick in the shade and my hiking partner took a couple of spills. I'll pack some type of traction device the next time I do this in the early spring or late fall.

2 months 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.

2 months ago

Long hike but worth it. First part was a bit overgrown but only annoying. Snow/ice on trail was minimal but fine with caution. Few people except on the main BEP trail.

Pretty much a dirt road leading towards lake.

3 months 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.

3 months 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!!

Great hike! Went up #9 and down #4 in about 3 hours, including a LOT of stopping for pics and following tracks. #4 was pretty wet with the recent melt. If you are only doing one hike in the area, this would be it. If you don't want the full loop, go up #4, Cathedral Spires are a sight.

Load More