dogs on leash

wild flowers



nature trips

kid friendly

trail running

dog friendly



horseback riding


mountain biking


This is one of my favorite places on earth. I go to SD every year and never miss the waterfalls in Spearfish canyon.

Ran the trail on 10/31, beautiful day about 40F, didn’t see anyone and the lake store was closed for the season. Went up #9 and down on #4. #9 is better with first scenic lookout at 1 mile mark. Don’t see much until all the way up. The view was wide open and the tower was neat. Very windy and probably 10 degree colder than the starting point. Finish in 2 hours by running, not the best for running since the path was unpathed and rocky, very easy to get ankle injury.

Hike is short and very steep, but not long. Amazing views of the black hills at the top

will always be my favorite

19 days ago

As stated by most others, trail is not well marked. I saw trees with orange paint on them and metal diamonds with “50” posted on tree trunks along the actual trail... trail also coincides with spur trail, easily confused the two. Had to use AllTrails multiple times to find and stay on trail. Trail is variable in elevation and development, lots of time in dirt/grass/road. Once to Boulder Hill, moderate rock scaling to get to top. Not hard but pay attention, especially if it’s windy. Enjoyed it!

21 days ago

Found the trail head easily. 3.3 miles uphill, moderate to hard in my opinion. I hike a lot and it took me 1.5 hours to reach the summit. 30 min spent at the top enjoying the stunning view! Then 1 hr. back down. Ran into about 4-5 other sets of hikers. I had cell service about a mile into the hike FYI. Fantastic hike!

23 days ago

This time we stayed left on the trail until we saw the rock barricade on the right & then the trail led us right to the canyon. There were some areas of the trail that were tough to maneuver but the moss & the little flowing waterfalls made up for it. Very cool!

So beautifull!

The view from the top of Black Elk Peak is something else! I'd highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. In the past I've done trail #9 out and back, but yesterday I decided to mix it up and took trail #3 to trail #4 on the way back down. Awesome views of the Needles from trail #4. Both routes were pretty snowpacked and slick in the shade and my hiking partner took a couple of spills. I'll pack some type of traction device the next time I do this in the early spring or late fall.

29 days ago

Didn't spot a single cairn; never found the "beautiful moss &ferns" but did find a beautiful canyon overlook. We will try it again but will take a different route next time.

Long hike but worth it. First part was a bit overgrown but only annoying. Snow/ice on trail was minimal but fine with caution. Few people except on the main BEP trail.

Pretty much a dirt road leading towards lake.

1 month ago

Trail head is to the right of the gate. I totally missed it. Not very well marked. Good trail. Discarded furniture and trash and graffiti at the base of the scramble to the summit.

1 month ago

we hiked this trail during a beautiful snow storm October 15th 2018, there were some of the most breathtaking views of the snow covered trees and the peaks and rocks along the way. the trail was pretty easy to hike up until we came to the fork where you can follow the slate creek or continue on following the rapid creek, we choose to go the slate creek way and found several creek crossings that were narrow boards and that portion of the trail was moderately strenuous in my opinion, alot of inclines and the snow was making the rocks rather slick. we had decided to turn around because of the slick conditions from the snow and not wanting to
take the risk of an injury.
we will probably through hike this trail in the summer sometime when the conditions are a little better for back packing and probably start at Deerfield lake this next time. so overall I say this is definitely an awesome trail and well worth the time!!

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 view it was a very awesome hike. Snowed on us on the way back down.

nature trips
1 month ago

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

1 month ago

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. :)

1 month 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

1 month 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.

1 month 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.

1 month 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!

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