Castle Trail

MODERATE 88 reviews
#1 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.

10.5 miles
314 feet



nature trips

trail running



wild flowers


over grown


no dogs

14 days 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.

5 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.

7 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.

7 months ago

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

7 months ago

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

7 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.

7 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.

7 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.

7 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.

8 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'...

9 months ago

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.

10 months ago

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!

10 months ago

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.

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

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!

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

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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Very scenic, hot and dry so take plenty of water on the short hikes

Saturday, July 30, 2016

My kids, age 5 and 9, my wife and I recently hiked off path and thoroughly loved looking for fossils. The rugged and sharps rocks deserve respect, but are perfect for hiking on. Beautiful landscape. Make sure to stop at the big visitors center (Rafiel?). There's lots to see.

Monday, July 25, 2016

At a loss for words. I LOVE this place!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Dry and hot hike, but amazing views of the rock formations. Watch out for rattlesnakes.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

a Saturday hike through the Badlands is awesome!!! great trails unlike any other I'm at awe. South Dakota is a wonderland!!!

Monday, April 04, 2016

Hiked this trail - along with Medicine Loop - in mid summer sun with temperatures near 100. This was a magnificent hike - walking through towering the badlands formations became hypnotic, like walking through a cathedral where one feels the need to remain reverently quiet. Just stunning. The flat terrain means that even the long distance in the heat was not very difficult. Sunscreen, sunglasses, and hat recommended.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Beautiful scenery

Load More