Explore the most popular hiking 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.

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.

Took #9 up and #4 down. Went up two days ago. Beautiful hike just after a light snow and trail is well kept. Took my time exploring the little devils tower and cathedral spires on the way down, took about 4 hours in total. Saw a mountain lion 15 ft away about 3/4 of the way up #9, seemed like a nice guy though

Did this Oct 9. 2-3" of snow. Was a nice hike but of course fogged in at the top. We followed tracks in the snow for more than a mile before we came upon a cougar near the trail split at the top. Was cool to see for the few seconds we saw it. Despite no be is it was a very awesome hike. Snowed on us on the way back down.

nature trips
6 days ago

Was snowing and the trail was muddy. Slogged through some running water in places.

8 days ago

The map on this is completely off. This leads to Centennial Trail 89. And where it says you cross Grizzly there is absolutely no cross path to cross. Still a beautiful hike just not where you think you are...

We hiked out on trail 4 and took the Spur out to the little devils tower. It was a great lookout Over the valley and over to the fire station. It was also a fun scramble to get up to it. The view from the fire station is spectacular except it was very windy. We hiked back to our car on trail nine. It gave a great perspective of how high up we were on the little devils tower. It was also nice to get a different view coming back to our car. Excellent hike.

Disclaimer, we did not get a chance to view more than the start of the trail, but wanted to leave a helpful heads up:

The trail appears to be on property potentially used for grazing; the first part of our hike we spent dodging heaps of cow manure in matted down grass. We weren’t deterred until we ran into some fresh bear droppings and paw prints right up the trail.

Perhaps we’re more cautious than your average hikers, but those findings, combined with the fact the property is surrounded by barbed wire, were enough for us to just find a different spot to hike. :)

14 days ago

Took Bentley for a beautiful, fun fall hike.

Great trail. We went up #9 and came down #3 to #4. We parked at Sylvan Lake which is part of Custer State Park. You must pay an entrance fee to park at Sylvan Lake as part of Custer State Park and the entrance fee is good for a week. The trails actually then leave Custer State Park and go into the Black Hills national forest where are you sign an entrance document on the trail. The trail is well maintained, dirt and rocks and not technical. The hardest part was probably going up the incline and the stairs at the end to reach the fire tower. The fire tower at the end was a lot of fun to explore - lots a little nooks and crannies. This clocked in at 7.6 miles and took us 3 1/2 hours. The scenery and views throughout were amazing. If you are in decent shape you will be fine on this

15 days ago

Short and sweet, it is steep but Totally worth it when you get to the top for the amazing beautiful view.

Somewhat narrow areas on the path. Ages3 and above will be ok on the path. Great views on the way to the falls!

Easy walk to a great falls. Not strenuous.

21 days ago

Hiked this with my 70+ years old parents and they had no trouble. Took about 75 minutes. Absolutely great hike and would recommend. I don't think it matters much which way you take the loop as there are ups and downs both ways.

21 days ago

Nice easy hike. About 2 miles total from Spearfish Canyon Lodge. We’ve hiked and snowshoed. A great hike before breakfast. We had fresh powder one morning and were the first one out on the trail. The falls were amazing to see with the ice and snow covering. Nice views from above the falls any time of year.

Went up trail 9, came down trail 4. It was a challenging hike, but totally worth the beautiful views! Not for beginners. It’s a hike up trail 9 but a nature walk down trail 4. Enjoy!

Awesome, tough hike. Not for beginners. Long and steep, but totally worth the work. The views are out of this world!

Great views! We did the loop from Trail 4 and back on and did the Little Devil's Tower as well. A little over 9 miles.

Nothing special.

Awesome Hike on a beautiful day.
Went up on trail 9 and came back in trial 4.

24 days ago

I'm giving this a "5" because of the sacredness of the canyon. It's unmistakable. Take it in. Really easy.

25 days ago

Beautiful area. Very easy. Great place for a picnic or to just sit and enjoy the calm.

25 days ago

My wife and I took out 10yr old lab on this trail today. We loved it. It was definitely steep at times. But the view was amazing.

Not what I expected. At first, well marked, than nothing. Trail would be good for 4 wheeling, not much else. Pretty much good for cow grazing. Small herds, 5 to 10 cows everywhere. Also cow pies all over. I am not experienced hiker, but would not recommend.

trail running
26 days ago

Beautiful scenery and fun to move fast on. Try doing a couple of laps.

27 days ago

Been hitting it hard last few days. Haven’t been up with my dog since coyote sightings. Beautiful this morning. All fog covered when you hit BR

I came for the destination and ended up enjoying the journey. It's a long, unchallenging hike. You walk and walk and walk and eventually ascend to the peak where you ... look around. You're so high that the endless views, while admittedly beautiful, have little scale.

Along the paths up (we took trail 9) and down (trail 4), however, you'll find magic. Unexpected views, sudden spires, and quiet beauty everywhere. It's a wonderful trail.

Gorgeous hike, a bit challenging as the trail became more rocky near the top, but so worth it. It’s also good to remember the elevation of the area — Custer is at 5500 ft (higher than Denver), so the air is a bit thinner. The trail isn’t especially shady, so if the sun is out, bring plenty of water; I almost finished 72 oz. Trail snacks, too. We went up #9 and down #4, which allowed for amazing views in front of us both ways. It took us about 5 hours, but we stopped for photos and a brief rest/snack at the top. If you have trekking poles, bring them for the trip down — your knees will thank you. One of my favorite hikes.

Surprised at the ruggedness of this area, it was definitely a challenge but totally worth it. Spectacular hike!

Great walk! The highest peak from east of Rockies to the Pyrenees

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