Explore the most popular dogs on leash 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.

Don't confuse this with Little Spearfish Falls trail, which is really short, right behind the Latchstring restaurant, and has the waterfall. This is up the road, just past Timon campground. We tried hiking it towards Timon, but just past the campground was flooded and didn't know where to go. Looked like beaver dams were holding up a bunch of water. Ended up backtracking it and hiking it the other way. Beautiful hike.

Great variety of terrain. Easy up and down for moderately fit. Poles and two waters suggested.

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.

Absolutely the best trail system in the world.

Gorgeous scenery!

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.

One of the best hikes in the Black Hills.

hiking
10 days ago

Worth it.

10 days ago

we managed to hike all the way to stagebarn canyon rd, gets overgrown but doable, did run into poisonous nettle, if you start at road it is about 8 miles to Piedmont, we caught a ride back to truck

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.

hiking
12 days ago

Great drive, love the canyon and the waterfalls in the area are well worth the small hikes to see them.

The trail was well maintained and not too busy. Make sure you read the signs when you get off the main road and it’s easy to find. Go off the beaten path and follow the crest of the mountain for some spectacular views.

Did this trail and loved it. Great views

hiking
13 days ago

9 miles - easy hiking, good signage , lots of cows roaming forest

13 days ago

Challenging to find trail head, only parking available is alongside the road. Thank you to the hikers who placed the cairns in key locations.. super helpful as there is minimal to no signage. The canyon is beautiful and other worldly. Will hike again earlier in the summer.

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

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.

Beautiful hike! Water was rushing and high due to recent rain. Bridges were a bit intimidating for us old folks so we scooted across....where there’s a will there’s a 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.

19 days ago

not moderate. 1,000' in 3/4 mile is deceptive as the first 1/3 is relatively flat. Still worth the time.

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!

My husband, 8 year old son and our 4 month old Great Dane hiked this today and it was amazing!!!! The light rain made everything more fun! A definite must on any Black Hills hike!!

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.

great for kids and dogs

Such a fun trail. We arrived at 8:00, the parking lot was already about 1/3 full. We did trail 9 up and 4 back with our 5 kids. The way up to the fire tower was very muddy, but had beautiful sweeping views of the valley below. Lots of wonderful photo opportunities. Gypsum and quartz lined the trails and made the trail glitter in the sunlight. The fire tower itself was really fun to explore as well as the surrounding rocky area/boulders at the top. Trail 4 on the way back had less mud and more wildflowers. There were lots of wild raspberries lining the trail to graze on as we went.

Great walk and beautiful scenery. Several muddy areas and lots of horse poop. Only partially shaded so got a little hot, but not awful.

1st time hiking the Little Elk Creek trail today. Beautiful hike! Most of the trail is fairly flat and easy, but some spots are rocky and make the trail a little more difficult. Most of thw trail runs along side the creek.

Load More