Explore the most popular kid friendly 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.

Living in Colorado, I’ve done a lot of great hikes and don’t through 5 stars out easily but this is a great hike.

The trail condition is quite good, and it combines all the things that make hikes special. Some beautiful creeks down low, a beautiful summit destination, views of the Needles with mountain goat cameos coming down # 4.

Even for a Saturday in the heart of tourist season I did not find the trail overcrowded other than in the final mile to the summit (because you’ve got two-way traffic from three different access trails converging there. We started at 9 am and the parking lot wasn’t filled yet (not something you’d see in Colorado!)

My GPS showed closer to 7.4 miles for distance (we went up 9 and down 4) and about 1550 total climbing. Who knows!

A really beautiful area and I think this is a classic example of a hike that I’d rate moderate (for active adults ... neither monster mountaineers or couch potatoes).

Well worth the trek to the top!!!!

loved this hike

heavy traffic and can be very popular. very beautiful and great places to take photos.

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

hiking
7 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

walking
10 days ago

So beautiful and not crowded at all

Gorgeous trail - such beautiful views - breathtaking with variance in terrain.

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...

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!

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.

28 days ago

Nice hike. Good views from the top.

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

1 month ago

Ok but hearing traffic while you hike not so great

Very pretty walk and a very easy hike. The path is gravel and has no difficult parts to it. Lots and lots of mosquitos during the during

Super easy rolling hills well-maintained path that meanders along a beautiful stream. The falls are very cool, like Hobbit-Shire cool. We were there on a slightly rainy day so crowds were NOT an issue. I’d go again if I were in the area.

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Great, fairly easy hike. The water is nice.

Great trail that the kids loved.

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