Explore the most popular hiking trails in Custer State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We went clockwise on this trail. Which was all uphill for about 30 minutes but then it steadied out. It showed a lot of pine trees and some different types of vegetation throughout the trail and followed a creek. Was hopeful to see wildlife, but only saw a couple deer. The trail was a decent one. Took about 2 hours.

This trail was worth every bit of hiking whenever you get to the top. It shows a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and the needles. The view was breathtaking. The beginning of the trail was the most difficult, as it was all uphill. The end of the trail there was some rock climbing, so it made finding the trail a little difficult but once you made it, the view was incredible. Definitely recommend doing this trail.

1 day ago

Nice trail. Saw prairie dogs and buffalo

1 day ago

Hard to follow trail. Very steep

Loved this trail! Along a river with 15 ‘bridges’ that cross back and forth over the river. We were the only people on the trail.

3 days ago

Hiked this trail today and loved it. It has a little of everything. I went clockwise and enjoyed the ascent in the beginning. The view at the top was breathtaking. I didn’t expect to criss cross a creek several times after the descent. It was so fun! Great trail. I moved pretty quickly and completed it in an hour and a half.

Great hike. Had snow falling most of the time. Highly recommend.

Wonderful hike! We hiked it, with a break in the middle to play on some rocks and grab a snack. It was no problem for our 6 yr old and I carried our 1 yr old in the baby carrier with ease. We'd love to do this hike again and highly recommend it to anyone in the area.

11 days ago

Such a fun hike. The rock scramble and rock stairs were awesome. This entire trail was very scenic with gorgeous views of the foliage. Definitely a quick and fun one. We got done in an hour and a half.

Favorite hike I’ve done in the Black Hills, hands down.

Beautiful hike. The rock monoliths barricade one end of the lake and are used to dam the lake. Fall color really adds to the scenic beauty.
Some people enjoying the hike but not overrun.

horseback riding
20 days ago

Awesome trail for horseback riding and dogs. Definitely ideal for being on horseback as the trail is not maintained for hikers. Lots of big open spaces and pretty rivers to cross. ❤️

This trail was perfect for a low key, woodsy hike with our two older dogs. We loved walking next to the babbling brook and crossing the bridges.

it's a beautiful lake with an easy, gravel trail, but was very crowded and noisy with visitors. worth a visit if you are looking for something short and easy with amazing scenic views all around

23 days ago

Good trail to get a taste of Custer State Park

24 days ago

I definitely didn’t know what to expect after reading numerous reviews... but I loved it! I wouldn’t consider myself super in shape and it took me 2 hours and 45 minutes and a solid 30 minutes of that was time stopping to take photos, collect rocks, etc. I took 20 oz. of water and some jerky for some refueling along the way (because it was HOT!) I didn’t expect as much roadside noise as there was at the mid-way point but it wasn’t horrible. I started clockwise simply because I’d rather climb huge rocks at the end than jump down them at the beginning.

good but lots of poison ivy in places. we went clockwise which is moderate up hill at first. the rock lookout was very scenic.

Did the clockwise so hardest first. then sun behind us as we came down. nice hike.

I did this Hike With My 5Year old..

28 days ago

Great hike, beautiful views. It took us a full 3 hours. We are "moderate" trail hikers, and on another website, this trail was rated "moderate." Most of it is! We went clockwise. The bouldering at the end, after a full hike, and with an unpredictable right knee, busted me. It was the most physically strenuous "hiking" I've ever done. I don't think I'd do this again. The road noise mid-point was somewhat distracting.

A semi-easy hike with foot bridges across a stream. Ended at the lake with a playground. We carried out toddler in a backpack no problem.

Totally agree with other reviews. It was challenging and picturesque. Recommend heading to left, north, from sylvan lake. That saves awesome climb for the finish. Was a fantastic, kinda strenuous 3 hours.

trail running
1 month ago

My favorite trail. Ever. I go clockwise on this loop to avoid a steep descent and look forward to the steep ascent at the end. Your legs and lungs will be challenged.
Adding about a half mile round trip from the parking lot to/from the trail head, I’ll run/hike this in about 56 minutes. The terrain is varied and rugged with spectacular views. I prefer to go light and fast with no water, no pack, but make sure to hydrate just enough before beginning the run. This trail alone is worth investing in high end trail running shoes.

Very easy. Breathtaking. Connects to other trails for more of a challenge :) don’t forget $20 for the entry fee!

Sylvan Lake is such a pretty lake, and this is a nice trail for a walk/short workout. The back side of the trail has some light rocky parts so you don’t feel like you’re just walking an urban trail. After hiking Black Elk Peak yesterday, my muscles needed some easy work, and twice around the trail was perfect. There’s a scenic lookout on the north end of the lake where you can take photos, and if you’re a rock climber, there’s a nice one back there.

1 month ago

An amazing trail with a great view

1 month ago

excellent trail. something for everyone.

great trail with good views.

Love it

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