Hell Canyon Trail

MODERATE 25 reviews

Hell Canyon Trail is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

5.6 miles
1030 feet

dog friendly




wild flowers




washed out

from Custer, Sd go west to Jewel Cave Nat'l Mon. continue west few miles to sign along Hwy 16

17 days ago

One of my favorite trails in the Black Hills. Beautiful views from the top of the canyon. Did this hike in the fall, the colors are amazing. Did the loop counter clock wise, the trail is pretty easy after the first mile once your on top of the canyon. This trail is a must do for anyone.

18 days ago

Hiked this at Dusk with dogs! Brilliant!
Not sure why it's called hells canyon cause loved it!

Out of about 5 hikes in Blk Hills this was favorite so far!
It's a good 5 mile loop.
I'd recommend going anti clockwise.
Although it would be an easier finish hiking clockwise as the west side is more up and down.
Gorgeous views and it's autumn now so that's a bonus with gorgeous colors. I'd give yourself a good two hrs to complete the loop.

20 days ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

1 month ago

I went clockwise, which is opposite from how the trail is shown (based on elevation) and liked getting the hard part out of the way and coming out of the canyon instead of down the big hill. I was pleasantly surprised by the views, and there were so many birds and flowers! Make sure to do the spur, and keep an eye out for shell imprints in the rock.

Hiked it today, nice trail with lots of Choke Cherries and a few wild raspberries, not sure bit there might have been a little weed growing about 2/3rds the way down the bottom.

2 months ago

3 months ago

we really enjoyed this hike. Good for some wildlife viewing (marmots, birds and the occasional non-venomous snake). Recommendations: go clockwise (start to the left closer to the road) so that you do the hard part first, get the great views and then have a more leisurely decent into the valley; wear bug spray on your legs, as there are ticks; and wear sunscreen, as there is not much shade. During the summer, you might be lucky enough to find small raspberry-like berries, which are delicious.

4 months ago

4 months ago

4 months ago

A little strenuous if you start at the trail head gate heading up the steep incline to the spur. I recommend going backwards, unless you'd rather hike up and ease your way down. I'm not in the best of shape and was able to hike to the spur and back in exactly 1.5 hours, though the trip back down was harsh on the knees. So very worth the effort.

11 months ago

Monday, October 10, 2016

Solid trail. Took it backwards with my dogs, and ended up going out to the outlook (totally worth it) going backward all the hard work is front loaded so most of the hike is quite leisurely.

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Visited the cave and decided to go for a hike. Pretty trail with a variety of things to see. Some some wildlife along the trail. You have to pay attention where you are going or you could miss your turns. Needs to be marked better in areas.

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Monday, June 06, 2016

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

I did the full trail. In 2hrs! I hiked up 1st then hiked down into the canyon. It was a great day for a hike. The beginning of the trail up is steep.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

I worked clockwise and hiked the rim first. It was an amazing view after a decent snowfall. I wish I would've gone through the canyon first and saved the rim for last. Also just be mindful of the mountain lions. I saw some pretty big tracks in the fresh snow.