Explore the most popular horseback riding 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.

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!

Beautiful trail! Love being able to walk down near the creek. If you're up for it, Dalton Lake is just a mile or so past the end of the trail.

13 days ago

Great, fairly easy hike. The water is nice.

Great trail that the kids loved.

A nice short hike with views of Harney Peak (Black Elk Peak). We decided to hike up the steps of the left side 1st which has some incredible boulders just off the trail. We were starting to think we may have somehow missed the waterfall, with less than 1/2 mile left & then there it was. It was kind of marshy & lots of limbs to maneuver under/around to get a better view but worth it. We ended up walking 3.16 mi in all. Not my favorite hike in the hills but still pretty.

A beautiful loop hike, #9 was the better of the two parts (#4). There is still a decent amount of slush on the northern facing bits so bring good treaded boots and poles presently but baring snow this'll be ok in a few weeks. The scenery is wonderful the whole way, lots of good views, we docked a star as the signs are not great and certain forks are confusing so prep a bit...happy to do this out of season, and midweek as I imagine especially #4 will feel narrow during peak..

We just hiked trail #9 from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak. The trail was snow-covered and muddy, in parts, which made it more difficult than expected. The views at the top were amazing! My husband found a perfect spot to camp for the night, about a half mile down from the peak. Overall, a great hike, but fairly difficult with our 25 lb packs.

Epic views at the top. Tough hike when there is snow on the ground but well worth it. Dog friendly.

Beautiful views along the entire trail from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak then onto Little Devil's Tower. The trail is relatively difficult, but most people could complete it with plenty of water and time for breaks. Definitely my favorite trail in South Dakota.

2 months ago

Great trail for snowshoeing. We took the trail all the way to the top and then took the road to (frozen) Dalton Lake. It was worth the little extra to go up there. There was fresh snow the day we went and it couldn’t have been better! Beautiful trail along the creek. Beautiful canyon scenery.

Beautiful and slightly challenging. Take enough water and trek poles would have been helpful on the way down.

Panoramic views of the best of the black hills!

Amazing trail! If I had to do just one in the hills it’d be this one. Trail is generally pretty moderate, take your time though cause as you near the top it’s pretty steep and rugged. Bring a snack and some coffee to enjoy at the top. Well worth the time

Amazing! I went up 9 and down 4, starting and ending at Sylvan Lake. I did this hike Dec 1 where it was 50 degrees F and sunny. The sun was low in southern sky and seemed to hit the valley off 9 well in the late morning and afternoon sun hit spires and other large needle boulders down path beautifully off 4. You get amazing views of the spires on 4 and can kind of play on them. I skipped little devils head trail. The little jaunt to top of Harney is tough and it sure is windy up there. My favorite part was the spires off 4.

Awesome hike!!!

6 months ago

LOVED this hike!!! Gorgeous scenery.

Loved it! Great views along the way and at the top!

Nice hike :) wish there were a sign. Loved hiking on Creek.

7 months ago

I love this trail. The brook next to the trail gives the perfect amount of noise. No parts that are to steep. This trail is an old track the mines used.

7 months ago

Great out and back trail, (little over 5 mi) stream running next to most of the trail, at the end of the trail you can walk on a gravel rd about another 1 and a half mile to get to Dalton lake. popular place for 4 wheelers.

Great hike! Up #4 with a spur to Little Devils Tower and then on to Black Elk Peak and down #9.

Took trail 4 up and 9 down... 4 is loaded with beautiful views... Cathedral Spites and stunning views on your side going up! The last bit to the top will definitely get your heart pumping! Views at top incredible!

snow on the hilltop and several whitetail deer, very nice hike.

hiked this a few days ago. Very good trail in that while not easy, is within the ability of most reasonably fit people. Trail does get steeper and more challenging the last 1/2 mile or so. I would bring a hiking stick, really helps your knees on the start down. On a clear day the views are fantastic and it is the highest point at 7240 ft east of the Rockies. Done this hike twice and was much windier and colder at the top, so be prepared. Can be a lot of traffic on this trail depending when you go. Overall, a great hike.

The hike was wonderful. Excited to see all kind of new stuffs. Many flowers, animals, and many different people too. Best parts were when you on top of the mountain and look around to see different part of the country. Definitely will go again.

great, challenging hike to top of a fire lookout building from 1939. great leg workout with lots of step ups.

8 months ago

beautiful, peaceful, wooded hike by lake. some hills. I'd say not quite easy.

Superbe rando avec les 2 « must do » cathédral Spires et Little Devil Tower.

Really enjoyed this hike! Trail 9 going up is easy for the most part. There are some steeper stretches near the top but not bad. We came down on trail 3 for a bit and then it branches onto trail 4. 3 and 4 are definitely a bit more challenging as they are narrower and more rocky but still doable.

This was my first hike!
I really enjoyed it. There were some parts harder then others.

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