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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

Long hike and friendly people.

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

hiking
4 days ago

So. Much. Fun!

hiking
4 days ago

One of my favorite trails!

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

hiking
6 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.

Urban hike that is part 300+ acre trail system with many offshoot trails from the trail shown here. Nice views of the Black Hills/Black Elk Peak in one direction, prairie in the other and Rapid City below. Inside city limits so you have traffic noise you won’t find on our other Black Hills trail, but is super convenient for locals and visitors spending a day in RC. A good deal of mountain bike traffic but I have always found these bikers courteous to hikers sharing the trail system.

What a great challenging hike!

Great hike, easy to follow and awesome view at top

walking
9 days ago

So beautiful and not crowded at all

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

By far, one of the most spectacular lookouts I've seen around, but unfortunately people ruin it. It's very close to town, so I've seen shady characters every time I've been. Tons of graffiti, trash, blatant drug use, and disrespectful people. I'd recommend going early morning or during school/work hours to avoid the riff raff.

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...

Great hike, but I dont know that I would call it moderate. It was fairly difficult. lots of loose rocks, continuous uphill climb. beautiful wildflowers and views along the way. took us closer to 2 hours to get to the top.

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!

Go down the left path after you park your car and then right at the rocks that block atvs. My daughter and I made cairns to mark it! You follow the path past the rocks a ways until you see a fence and a sign that says “no motor vehicles”. After going under the fence it felt sort of otherworldly! My daughter said it is a magical place. It’s covered in moss and the creek is beautiful. I highly recommend this hike. As with most amazing places it is not the easiest to get to. I took my five year old, and she had no trouble. Younger than that might not be the best idea because the rocks on the path can cause you to lose your footing easily.

hiking
17 days ago

Fun trail. Hiked it today with my wife and dog, took us an 1 hr 15 minutes to reach the summit, and about the same coming down. The views kept getting better as we climbed higher.

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!

Good hike with the kids... about 90% I would consider an “easy” hike.... the other involved hopping rocks and dealing with traveling along the creek and hurtling logs over the paths

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!

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