Castle Trail

MODERATE 109 reviews
#2 of 8 trails in

Castle Trail is a 10.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Interior, South Dakota that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
10.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
314 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

views

wild flowers

wildlife

over grown

rocky

no dogs

hiking
1 day ago

Great trail, was an awesome way to see the Badlands up close and personal. Canyons and formations you'd have no other way to see, plus some truly spectacular vistas over the Badlands if you venture off trail a bit - just be respectful of the wildlife and plant life if you do! Saddle Pass detour was totally worth it, great views and a fun little climb up one of the edges of the saddle. Medicine Root is a nice way to go back, you're up a little higher, so you don't do as much up and down and you can see more, so it's an overall faster trip. Did this in the middle of June and it got very warm after noon, so we were glad for the quicker trip back.

10 days ago

do the full trail. and loop up on the medicine trail to see more grass land

1 month ago

This is an interesting and beautiful hike. The terrain is not particularly challenging but the intense sunshine, heat and winds adds to it’s difficulty. Being plenty of water. Expect to lose sight of the markers and become disoriented. When that occurs, I recommend going back to the last maker and scan the horizon for then next one and all will be fine. This trial offers exceptional views of the rock formations, wildlife and prairie vegetation.

hiking
1 month ago

Took Saddle Pass to Medicine Root to this trail to return, doing a loop. Brings you up close to rock structures and canyons, at points slightly difficult to find markers but a truly enjoyable experience.

hiking
1 month ago

Flat and easy trail, but the heat and thunderstorm previous night made it difficult. Wonderful way to experience the Badlands.

hiking
1 month ago

It was pretty. We got beat up pretty good with heavy rains and heavy winds. We didn’t make it the entire trail. Camped one night and headed out

hiking
1 month ago

A little slippery with the mist/rain, but that made it more fun in my opinion. Only ended up doing about a mile out and a mile back due to time constraints, but would go back and do the whole thing! Great views and amazing landscape everywhere you look.

3 months ago

Easy, flat. You get a good look at some of the formations and Saddle Pass is a great point to stop for some pictures. Trail itself was pretty muddy in spots but nothing treacherous.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful sunny day to those who persevered the windstorm at the time. Big horned sheep were along the trail on the way back. Flat for nearly the whole stretch. Very enjoyable.

hiking
10 months ago

Lots of beautiful views of the Badland formations on a well marked and fairly easy trail. The only thing that makes it difficult is the heat which reached 103 the day we hiked. Saw a couple of mule deer. Overall enjoyable but wouldn't hike the full trail again unless as it gets somewhat monotonous on the way back.

10 months ago

This trail had amazingly beautiful views every way you turned. Seen big horned sheep multiple times.

hiking
10 months ago

This trail had amazingly beautiful views every way you turned. Seen big horned sheep multiple times.

10 months ago

We hiked from both trail heads 2 different days and hiked about 2.5 miles in each direction. East trailhead (near lodge) is along the base of high buttes with great views of formations. Some climbing. Trail markings red fiberglass poles regularly, but very easy to miss second pole at entrance because it is at top of a butte you have to climb to. We missed it and got very lost by following what we thought was another path. We would have bee in trouble if we had not downloaded trail on this app and used GPS. West entrance was even worse at beginning. Third trail pole is in middle of large open flat area and you can't see next marker which is high on top of butte. We again got lost. When you get to this third pole. Make hard right to left edge of butte and you will see path to left and up butte. Next couple of miles is easy path through grasslands and well marked. Gorgeous expansive views of formations and miles of prairie.

Bottom line: if you don't see red pole every 50-100 yards you are probably lost. Download map on app and take phone. Works even if no cell reception.

hiking
10 months ago

We hopped onto this trail from Saddle Pass. It is well marked and mostly flat so the walk was very enjoyable and scenic with views of tall rock formations, cactus, canyons, meadows and some wildlife! We went off trail often to explore rockier areas with canyon views. We ran across sheep and deer.

hiking
10 months ago

The best hike in the Badlands.

Being the longest trek, you have most of the trail entirely to yourself, giving you plenty of opportunities to soak in the Badlands unique geology and character. It carries you under the shadow of rocky spires and along endless stretches of golden prairie. There is shade to be found, but only if you start early/late enough in the day to let the sun sit on one side of the rocks. Even then, in the hotter months, this trail can be draining, so bring plenty of water.

It's not as spectacular as some of the formations you pass through on the Scenic Loop drive, but the Castle Trail is easily the most expansive and enjoyable hike in the Badlands.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice hike but it was so hot! Not much shade for reprieve from the sun. Plan accordingly. The sun and heat made us more tired earlier than normal. Struggled a lot towards the end with energy. Saw big horn sheep twice.

hiking
10 months ago

This was a great trail, a little confusing starting out but well marked after that, it is easy hike but the hot dry terrain means you need lots of water & sunscreen-there is absolutely no shade for the 10mi hike so forget a rest break! Views are amazing, let's you get up close & personal with the badlands "castles'...

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

Beautiful and easy trail that gives a less-travelled view of the rock formations. Bring extra water and sunscreen, especially on hot days. You won't find any shade on the trail, and the white ground at points reflects the sun and makes it feel like a desert hike.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

We only hiked a portion of this trail but it was still a highlight for us. We were able to get close to bighorn sheep!

hiking
Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Bring more water than you think you need, and plenty of sunscreen! Stunning yet accessible trail

Friday, April 14, 2017

well marked trail. it's a great combination of rolling plains to the north and the badlands to the south.

hiking
Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Only did a short portion, but found a set of fossilized teeth within a mile of the trail head. Super fun, but bring an extra set of clothes.

scenic driving
Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Beautiful! Highly recommend arriving right before sunset

hiking
Monday, January 09, 2017

Lots of chances to see wildlife. Get ready for lots of sun and danger of rattle snake.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

one of a kind rock formations

Sunday, November 27, 2016

This is a largely flat trail with spectacular views. You may see some big horn sheep. The bighorn sheep seem to be more active in the early afternoon. It is possible to extend the hike through some short out and back trails along the way.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

amazing to drive through!

hiking
Sunday, September 11, 2016

breathtaking scenery!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Drove right though the park and took some great shots. However the park can be pretty redundant with rocks and prairie dogs

hiking
Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lots of great views. Very populated area. Fun place to look for fossils. Very hot, and dry as you would expect.

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