Horse Thief Lake Trail

MODERATE 29 reviews

Horse Thief Lake Trail is a 3.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Keystone, South Dakota that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

3.5 miles
764 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash




rock climbing

trail running

horseback riding






wild flowers



old growth

9 minutes ago

the end loop isnt marked, but other than that it was a variety of sights and types of trail, bolders, sands, gravel and rivers.

1 day ago

3 days ago

11 days ago

16 days ago

Nice easy trail. No loop though. We tried to find it but realized that it was purposefully covered with brush. Needs updating in this app.

17 days ago

Cool out and back trail with several views. It can get a little confusing so use the map on AllTrails. I attempted the loop at the end going counterclockwise. It is overgrown but easy until I got pass the half way point on the loop. It got harder then harder and even harder with deadwood and underbrush where I had to bail and cut back across. I do not recommend doing the loop.

loved the view and the hike was overall super easy

1 month ago

1 month ago

The loop at the end of the trail has been reclaimed by the forest.
We really enjoyed the trail.

2 months ago

3 months ago

6 months ago

Very nice trail, but I would consider this a walk through the woods instead of a hike. Trail #14 (horsethief) merges with centennial trail #89 shortly into the trail trek, so there is a variety of directions for a person to explore. All in all this trail is still a beautiful place to explore with streams, rock formations and birch trees around every corner!

8 months ago

8 months ago

You hike next a stream so thats pretty cool. Hard to know where the turnaround spot is. The loop is no longer there

10 months ago

10 months ago

A nice short distant trail with some great rock formations and views. This trail had lots of traffic during the summer month of June when I visited. Beautiful area.

10 months ago

For our first moderate trail, it was great. Loved the stream alongside the trail and rock formations. Challenging for both my kids and myself.

11 months ago

Great trail. Took all three of my boys ages 9,4,and 2. Kids had a great time, there were a few spots that were interesting with a 2 year old, but the kids, wife, and I all had a blast. We also took our two dogs. The hike is an easy steady grade with quite a few level spots on the way to the top.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Be prepared to crawl under and climb over a hundred trees while making slow progress.
Bringing plenty of water and bug spray will make sure that you enjoy this trail and the adjoining ones to the fullest.
Be weary of the potential for falling trees, and keep a keen eye on the trail as there are no markers except for at intersections and there are points where the path almost fades away entirely. Combine that with frequently having to maneuver around obstacles in the path makes losing the trail extremely easy.
Otherwise the Black Elk Wilderness is an amazing opportunity to get away from the more frequently accessed areas in the summer. With the exception of the frequent helicopter tours overhead, you really spend a lot of time alone.

Sunday, June 05, 2016