Explore the most popular birding trails in Black Hills National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Well worth the trek to the top!!!!

loved this hike

Long hike and friendly people.

Good for families too. No water refill station on top so make sure you have enough water.

hiking
6 days ago

Simple, wide, gravel dirt road like trail. Easy hike for an amazing fire at the end. Perfect if you’re crunched for time.

Great hike, easy to follow and awesome view at top

Stunning views, easy to park. Lots of trails if you want to branch off. Only complaint is that trails aren’t well marked. Trail 9 (the “main” one) is supposed to be a loop but when you continue down it past the summit turn-off it tells you it does not take you back to Lake Sylvan parking. Confusing, but overall a great experience.

Nice hike with my son again! You can start two ways... We picked to the left which was uphill. Was a good choice I feel. At least for me. Lol Almost all uphill with some level spots but nothing hard for 1.1 miles. Then it was all down hill from there basically for 1.4 miles! At a point going down however when you get near the water and the thick forest the mosquitoes ate my son alive!!! Bring bug spray is all I can advise! Outside that had a great time!

Great hike, started on 9 and came back on 4. Heat was an issue, low 90's. Make sure to bring enough H2O.

All foot bridges are repaired very cool hike young kids can fair the trail well!

Had a great hike with my son! Easy hike! Took only one GSD with us this time... Made it easier for my son... Beautiful weather in the low 60’s... Couldn’t ask for better conditions... 2.8 miles this time... Really enjoying hiking... Wish I had started this years ago... We’re doing it now so I guess that’s what matters the most...

Great hike, but I dont know that I would call it moderate. It was fairly difficult. lots of loose rocks, continuous uphill climb. beautiful wildflowers and views along the way. took us closer to 2 hours to get to the top.

Can't beat the view! Hiked trail 9 all the way to the top. Beautiful! Wouldn't necessarily call it moderate between sun, elevation, and incline. Bring water and sunscreen! But well worth it!

Go down the left path after you park your car and then right at the rocks that block atvs. My daughter and I made cairns to mark it! You follow the path past the rocks a ways until you see a fence and a sign that says “no motor vehicles”. After going under the fence it felt sort of otherworldly! My daughter said it is a magical place. It’s covered in moss and the creek is beautiful. I highly recommend this hike. As with most amazing places it is not the easiest to get to. I took my five year old, and she had no trouble. Younger than that might not be the best idea because the rocks on the path can cause you to lose your footing easily.

hiking
16 days ago

Fun trail. Hiked it today with my wife and dog, took us an 1 hr 15 minutes to reach the summit, and about the same coming down. The views kept getting better as we climbed higher.

Went up trail 9 and down trail 4. It’s long but worth every view. It’s long so make sure you have plenty of water and snacks.

Awesome time... Had our GSD’s with us... I think they had more fun than we did! :)

Casual walking trail, but views at the end are amazing!

We hiked trail 4 from Cathedral Spires to trail 9. I imagine the views at the top are spectacular, but we were met with dense fog and 30 foot visibility. Still a gorgeous hike. We were also met with a family of Mule deer. This route took about 3 hours with a 30 minute snack break at the top.

Super easy hike with a great view at the end!

Absolutely amazing. You’ll see the entire black hills in a few days.

Great hike. We hiked it on Memorial Day weekend. Lots of people on the trail. We took 9 up and 4 back down to the lake. 9 more heavily trafficked than 4. Beautiful view from lookout, great place to rest and have a lunch or snack break. Round trip took about 3 hours including one rest break at top. Spires off 4 beautiful to see. Drove a mile to Sylven Lake Lodge for drinks on patio after hike. Can’t really see lake from patio but still nice setting.

hiking
24 days ago

No meandering on this hike, it’s basically straight up and down. Hiking poles very helpful. Following the trail it was about a 3 mile round trip hike up and down to and from the peak. Great view at the top. Lots of down trees. Trailhead not clearly marked- need to unhitch the barbed wire gate.

As a side, out of respect and general safety, if you have an aggressive dog or not sure how your dog will do when approaching others, please keep your dog leashed on trails. We ran into an unleashed aggressive dog on this trail. When the owner caught up, the dog went into defend and attack mode-which made for an unpleasant experience. Luckily no-one ended up at the hospital. But the result could have been much different.

hiking
25 days ago

Starts with mild grades, progresses to beautiful vistas from above the lower tree lines. Clear path, took us about 2 hours to get up, stunning view from the peak. GPS was being wonky, just follow the road until you come to a larger lot and a small rusted gate entrance.

Amazing hike, beautiful scenery!!

27 days ago

Nice hike. Good views from the top.

hiking
27 days ago

Great hike today! Views from the top are fantastic!

Amazing hike! Challenging when you are not a regular hiker but well worth the view at the top and the sense of accomplishment at the end. And we got to see a mountain goat at the top! What an awesome reward!

on Buzzards Roost

29 days ago

Ok but hearing traffic while you hike not so great

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful trail!

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