Explore the most popular trail running 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.

Very beautiful!

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail and lots to see! Much more strenuous than I expected, but good for this new hiker to experience. Lots of ice and snow on the first mile during our adventure. Very challenging!! We went counter clockwise. Going to try clockwise another time.

Very fun hike to do! The water crossings are a little intimidating with a toddler in structured carrier, but is definitely doable. There are many beautiful spots to stop and lots of wildlife! We were not able to finish as the crossing towards the end (logs included) were just too much to do.

I love this trail. It is an easy, but beautiful trail with many stream crossings. My dog loves it as well.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail that will challenge you a little. Can get a little steep in places but rails make it relatively easy to handle. Coming back up from the gulch is a bit of climb and will get the pulse rate up if you take it fast. Take your time though, the scenery is beautiful and worth some picture stops.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail with incredible views. This is definitely the path less traveled. We made the mistake of taking after the tourists who just hiked around Sylvan lake. We did not wear our snow boots, ice spikes, or bring hiking poles. Big mistake if there is snow! The stairs coming out of the canyon were completely covered in 2-3 feet of ice! It was a challenge, luckily there are railings most of the way.

on Legion Lake Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Nice quick hike in CSP. The trail was snow covered in most parts but was able to follow it easily using the blue markers.

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing trail. Did it get n November so a little slick in spots, but overall top notch

hiking
6 months ago

Lovely trail - views, forest, streams and took us under two hours walking in light snow. Wasn’t great for the dog however - lots of difficult, slippery rock-hopping, aided by (much-needed) handrails.

hiking
7 months ago

Numerous beautiful terrains. It was a great hike to take in the scenery. It'll work your legs, so be prepared!

hiking
7 months ago

We took our two dogs clockwise on the trail, moderate difficulty as described was accurately so....until we approached the base of the staircase. It was HARD. We physically had to lift/ assist our 50 and 60 lb dogs across the rough boulders, ice, and freezing water that lay at our feet. If it was just us- no problem- but you WILL have to carry your dog at some point, also- felt more like 8 miles. One of the more technical trails to traverse with a dog.

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike - my nephew who was 5 at the time loved it for 3/4s of the hike and then said it got a little long toward end. I would say that parts of the trail could be considered hard, and allow more time for the trail than you would think.

hiking
7 months ago

Recommend wearing pants lots of vegetation this hike would be tough on a hot day thankfully it was in the 50s the scenery is beautiful. I would try this hike again

hiking
7 months ago

I'm glad to see that the 20-somethings said they underestimated this hike. We are 60, and we walk miles at home on a flat rail trail, brisk pace, and have recently hiked the Mighty Five in Utah. We were ultimately glad we did Sunday Gulch, but it took three hours when we thought it would take two, and the boulder climbing at the end with rails is LONG. We were wrung out when it was over but felt like we had accomplished something! Some of the boulders were waist-high on me, so you are definitely pulling yourself up for close to an hour at the end of the hike! We were pushing darkness and wondered if we would make it out before dark! So just allow plenty of time. And wear long pants. The trail is very narrow in a lot of parts with lots of vegetation brushing against your legs. We really enjoyed the views at the beginning, so if you don't want to tackle the whole thing, I would recommend starting the route clockwise--then turn around and go back when it levels out. Then you wouldn't have to do the boulder climbing, but you would also miss the waterfalls and walking across logs to get over small streams. Expect some mud.

hiking
7 months ago

Solid 2 miles one way/4 round trip. We only did because we had two small kids who were nearing naptime. I would cut this walk in half by parking at the General Store and walking the 2 miles through the more wooded section.

hiking
8 months ago

A narrow, moderately-difficult trail that rewards hikers willing to looks closer for the details.

Both sides of the trail are fairly steep, but one side has you scrambling over granite boulders (and white-knuckling the hand-rails), closely guarded by the cliffs, while the other winds between ponderosa pines and has a couple views out into the rest of the hills.

It lacks sweeping views, and its proximity to the road may occasionally disturb the peace, but this trail shines in the details. Tiny wildflowers, flecks of moss, and busy insects dot the trail with color. Reward yourself after this hike with a spot at the lake.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing

Easy and peaceful. Pretty little streams and dam crossings throughout. It felt like the setting of a Disney movie. We accidentally startled a few white tail deer who were grazing in the middle of the trail. We hiked at dusk.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike. Kids had fun going down the gully section with the hand rails (went counter clockwise).

on Sunday Gulch Trail

9 months ago

more than expected.

hiking
9 months ago

Great hike! Can get steep in spots, but still really cool!

Absolutely beautiful, well marked, plenty of areas to explore off trail, you can swim in the lake afterwards if it's really hot out, there were plenty of families out with kids of all ages. I would rate it between moderate and hard.

Beautiful hike, but not for small children or people who have bad knees, hips. Lots of climbing. Bountiful wildflowers along the way. Creative stream crossings. Definetly worth your time. Would recommend doing the trail counter clockwise for better views.

hiking
9 months ago

I love this trail, but we underestimated it. For this area of South Dakota, it could very easily be rated as "difficult" rather than "moderate."

Loved this trail! It will be more than moderately difficult for some and not recommended for pets or young children! If you have either of those, stick to Sylvan Lake trail adjacent to it. Also, I didn't encounter any poison ivy as someone mentioned previously. I just hit this trail on 7/19.

hiking
10 months ago

Loved this! Do this counter-clockwise, so that you he climb down at the beginning and the more gradual ascent is the latter 2/3 (although even that is a lot of up-and-down). We loved the boulders w/ stream, the creek bed and the granite-gravel trail--all with gorgeous views of the spires in surrounding hills. Like said below, not for dogs or small ones, but all others will love this trail :-)

This is a very nice hike running along a creek. Multiple creek crossings. Easy trek for beginners and this with young kids.

There is a TON of poison ivy. I would definitely recommend bringing dove soap along and wash off when done hiking. Besides the poison ivy, my family enjoyed it. There is a lot of climbing in the last part so keep that in mind. Our favorite part was definitely the first part with the rocks and the mini waterfalls.

great hike - beautiful scenery, diversity in activity on the trail, some wildlife (cute, not scary) and you can grab a drink at the lodge when you are done. I would rate this on the more difficult end of moderate and would advise against it for most dogs, young children or people with mobility issues.

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