Black Elk Peak South Dakota Highpoint Trail

MODERATE 268 reviews

Black Elk Peak South Dakota Highpoint Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1630 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

rocky

This granite 7,242 ft mountain lies in the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota. There is a historic stone firetower at the top that is no longer in use but is open to the public to check out. The trail in to the peak takes you past amazing granite towers rising out of the hills. It is a very unique geological area.

16 minutes ago

great, challenging hike to top of a fire lookout building from 1939. great leg workout with lots of step ups.

hiking
1 day ago

Superbe rando avec les 2 « must do » cathédral Spires et Little Devil Tower.

6 days ago

Really enjoyed this hike! Trail 9 going up is easy for the most part. There are some steeper stretches near the top but not bad. We came down on trail 3 for a bit and then it branches onto trail 4. 3 and 4 are definitely a bit more challenging as they are narrower and more rocky but still doable.

8 days ago

This was my first hike!
I really enjoyed it. There were some parts harder then others.

hiking
9 days ago

Gorgeous hike. Start early in the morning as a mid-summer hike can be warm! Did not do the Cathedral Spires loop but went up and back Trail 9. First high point! (July 8, 2017)

hiking
11 days ago

Best hike in the Black Hills! A must do if you're visiting or live locally! Take a lunch/snack and enjoy the view up top. Also take a light coat even if it's hot down below as the weather definitely can change quickly. Easy to moderate hike, but more strenuous at the top. Family/pet friendly.

hiking
16 days ago

Thoroughly enjoyed this hike. It says it takes 4-5 hours but we did it in 2.5. Got plenty of pictures and spent 15 minutes at the summit. Make sure to bring at least a liter of water and a snack. The last half mile or so is pretty strenuous but it was definitely worth the view.

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
19 days ago

19 days ago

Great day hike with nice views.

hiking
20 days ago

hiking
20 days ago

Great trail. Not too difficult at all. Stairs near the top to help you with the quick elevation gain to the fire tower. Amazing tower with a lower door exiting you out onto the rock so you can hike out and explore the dam area and top of the Peak itself. Took #9 up and #4 down. Loved making it a loop to see different views up and down.

24 days ago

The combination of Cathedral Spires trail and a portion of the Black Elk trail was spectacular. Pine trees, a few aspen, Little Devil's Tower, the ascent to the top of Black Elk Mountain (highest elevation point east of Rockies), beautiful views along the entire trail and a good exercise. Plenty places to stop for a snack and enjoy amazing views. One of the best trails I have experienced.

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
26 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great views and enjoyed the approach to the top. Took our dog and she managed it well despite the hot day. We took trail 4 down as someone at the top said it offered great views of the Cathedral Spires but I wouldn't recommend it - minimal shade, more scrub or rough forest, and comes out at the wrong parking lot. (Note: We didn't take the extra time to go down to the bottom of the spires)