Cathedral Spires Trail is a 1.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
488 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

rock climbing

forest

partially paved

rails trails

views

rocky

washed out

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike yesterday with my husband, two children (ages 7,9) and our two dogs. Great terrain, a little bit of climbing which I love! Other than the thunderstorm wiith hail that we were caught in at the top of the trailhead it was wonderful!

28 days ago

Good hike with kids. A few good vistas, a few good scrambles, good exploring among the spires at the end of the trail. We got lucky and saw a heard or mountain goats along the way.

1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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.

hiking
2 months ago

Interesting to walk through base of towering spires. Top/end of trail anticlimactic. Journey through spires best part of trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this with my husband, mom and three boys (9, 5, & 2). Easy walking, a little section of going through rocks. Really neat to see the spires as it’s not our usual scenery. Definitely a must do hike in Custer State Park. I would not considerate it to be a strenuous hike as many of the literature states.

hiking
2 months ago

Very fun rocky hike with gorgeous South Dakota views. The spires are unlike anything I've seen, and there's plenty of places to rock climb, even for the not-so-experienced rock climbers like myself. I did split open my knee on the way back down the trail to the parking lot so be sure to watch your step and take your time maneuvering the rocks along the way. Overall an extremely fun trip and I highly recommend it!

3 months ago

So beautiful!! Even the drive to get there is worth it.

hiking
3 months ago

The views of the needles were stunning on this hike. Wildflowers, stream crossing and spots to climb rocks on your way up a moderate hike. Lined with wild raspberries, it made it easy to stop and take a look around you. When you get to the trail signs, you are surrounded by granite needles. Meandering is highly recommended.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful Scenery!

3 months ago

This trail takes a little effort, but is not overly difficult. The views are amazing and there are plenty of opportunities for rock scrambling. Parking is somewhat limited, so the trail does not get overly busy.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome fun trail! Easy!

3 months ago

Trails were a little muddy which was the only trouble I seen while hiking. Would highly recommend hiking this trail some very spectacular views.

3 months ago

Great trail. Hiked with wife and four sons (15, 14, 11, and 8). Kids loved the rock scrambles. Views were amazing the whole way up and down. Seemed longer than 1.6. Sign there says 2.2 round trip. Would have been 5 stars but trailhead was jammed, limited parking. Hiked today, a Tuesday in July.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful scenery, not quite as crowded as Black Elk Peak. Would definitely go again.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail. Beautiful Scenery. Not too crowded when we were there in late May. 5, 7, & 9 year olds did great. Our 5 year old never once asked for shoulders and would stop, look around and exclaim, "Mama, it's beautiful!" Highly recommend. And the scenic drive along the Needles Hwy to the trail head is excellent as well!

hiking
3 months ago

A little challenging for small children and older adults. Offer ‘s an outstanding views of the black hill country

4 months ago

Awesome! Seeing things from the road is great but getting up close and personal is unforgettable.

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike not hard ! Short and sweet. Parking was a little hard to find. Rock Climbers were amazing to watch

4 months ago

took cathedral spires up to black elk peak. AMAZING!

hiking
4 months ago

What a great hike. Challenging, but doable & we are in our mid 60s! Good photo ops, too.

4 months ago

Great hike with stunning views even if it’s cloudy and rainy! The Spires are a must see and will literally make you feel you are in another world. We took our 3 kids (10-13) and they enjoyed it very much. I would rate this hike moderate but be prepared for much cooler temps and wind at the top of Little Devils tower.

hiking
5 months ago

Even though the ground was covered in snow, it was still incredibly beautiful with amazing rock formations. Got a little lost but that was on me. P.S. I went in the off season.

5 months ago

We were lucky with the weather and it was a tremendous hike. A friendly goat greeted us at the top when we had lunch!

rock climbing
5 months ago

A great hike with some interesting opportunities for scrambling and access to great adventure climbing.

hiking
5 months ago

If you are a #TRAILGLIDER and are in this area and DON’T glide this path, you are missing out. Not a 5 star ONLY because of the fact that literally anyone active can do this hike. Amazing journey to the top. We named every “milestone” and feature toward the peak. May was the perfect month to see this area due to the constant change in scenery, pace, and weather conditions. A light mist and multiple various cloud appearances made this an Epic day.

hiking
5 months ago

very good Hike with great views all the way. after finishing the trail I easily hiked back on trail #4 to hit the Little Devils Tower Trail.

5 months ago

can connect to trail 4 to get to SDs highest peak

hiking
5 months ago

Great views, even saw some mountain goats! We used this as an alternate route to get to Black Elk Peak (Trail 4) but still did all of this trail. Would do again!

hiking
7 months ago

Beautiful hike and not overly difficult. A little work involved but the value of the scenery well outweighs the work to get there.

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