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Lookout Point Trail and Centennial Trail Loop

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Wind Cave National Park

Lookout Point Trail and Centennial Trail Loop is a 5.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

Length 5.2 mi Elevation gain 515 ft Route type Loop

Kid friendly

Backpacking

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Running

Forest

River

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact

This is a portion of the 113-mile Centennial Trail which runs from Bear Butte to Wind Cave National Park. It ranges from easy prairie walking to treacherous rocky inclines and descents. It showcases the most beautiful views in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Wind Cave National Park By Mail 26611 US Highway 385 Hot Springs, SD 57747-6027 By Phone Visitor Information 605-745-4600 By Fax 605-745-4207

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (85)
Photos (103)
Recordings (57)
Completed (135)
Karen Sharpe
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Hiking

The Centennial portion of the trail followed streams and was very lush and pretty. The Lookout portion ran through the Prairie and was pretty but unprotected with no shade. There was a little bit of poison oak at the beginning of the trail and, although overgrown in places, we didn’t see poison oak anywhere near the streams. We also saw no evidence of ticks. A nice, easy trail with lovely views and a bit of wildlife. Be aware of the split where centennial (trail #6) turns into lookout (trail #4) or vice versa. If you miss the fork (at about 1 o’clock in the map, you can see the backtrack if you zoom in), you will head North for 10 miles on the wrong trail.

Rhonda Brisson
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HikingOver grown
Carolyn B.
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Hiking

Poision Ivy, poor trail markers at forks, no shade.

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Evan B.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 11 2020
Hiking

Liked doing lookout point trail then centennial trail walking up the creek. Encountered a bison in the meadow by the creek. Climbed up and over some rocks to get as far away as possible. An older couple passed by way of the creek and were fine even though the distance to the bison was smaller

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Daniel Herman
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Hiking

Beautiful 5 mile hike on a late spring afternoon. Hike along the creek then up to grasslands and Prarie dog mine field. Lots of ticks and poison ivy detracted from our rating. Had to extract ticks from dogs & is.

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Roland Franz
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Hiking

Nice and easy trail. Going clockwise, the trail follows the Centennial trail and the creek. Several crossings, all with bridges. At the easternmost point it forks off to the right leaving the Centennial trail and goes up a short climb to the plateau, where an army of Prairie dogs will greet you. The remainder of the trail winds through open prairie with great views back to the start. It is well marked with log posts, sometimes protected by buffalo sleeping next to them..

Mike Degen
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Hiking

Started later in the day and had to run to get back to the car before dark. A herd of bison crossed the trail. We kept distance and they did not bother us or seem bothered.

Kyle Waldrop
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Hiking

This trail was a lot of fun! One of the Buffalo was napping on the trail so I went off of the trail to give him some space. The sites and prairie dogs were another plus.

Journey Warner
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Hiking

beautiful, simple hike. loved seeing prairie dogs, be sure to watch for ticks

Jana M.
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HikingIcy

03/08/20: This is a really beautiful hike and a really great trail to see wildlife. We saw bison, prairie dogs, eagles, turkeys, and lots of local birds. There are several bridge stream crossings that are really gorgeous. You also get some great canyon views. The trail is marked very clearly. In March, it was a bit icy and muddy, so wear boots.

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Sarah Lere
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HikingOff trail
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FD Walters
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HikingIcyMuddySnow
View FD's Recording
Lilli Hollensworth
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HikingBugsOver grownRocky

Great for spotting wildlife. I ran into several bison, prairie dogs, and a coyote. The bison can be very intimidating and close to the trail. I had to go off route a couple times to go around them because they looked like they wanted to charge me. Very sunny and overgrown but has some good views!

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Ken Swanda
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Oct 07 2019
Hiking

Great trail with open prairie and canyon areas. Trail well marked except for couple spots but app showed us the way

View Ken's Recording
Chris Woodling
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Hiking

Not what I’d call an amazing trail , but it was for sure a good relaxing hike ! Saw probably 10 bison , 300+ prairie dogs, lots of interesting bugs, etc. Wind cave was closed for 2 months so this was a good trail to make up for not seeing the cave!

Stewart Carnes
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Hiking

Great hike. The trail is in good shape and well marked. Wear long pants, it's overgrown. I went clockwise. The 1st half is a beautiful valley/canyon. I came across a buffalo there. The second half is mostly prairie. About one mile through Prairie Dog Towns.

View Stewart's Recording
Justin O'Dell
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HikingBugsOver grown

An excellent trail to see the different ecosystems of Wind Cave National Park. Plenty of prairie (including some dog towns), creeks, ponderosa pine forest, and canyons. Be aware of poison ivy and ticks hiding in the high underbrush, and keep an eye out for the bison that frequent this area of the Park. If you only do one hike in Wind Cave National Park, and don’t mind some tall grass in the summer, make it this one.

mc s
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 24 2019
Hiking

No high ground for true lookout expectations. Poison ivy encroaching on trail in many sections. Six ticks between two of us. Wear long pants. Good medow and prairie dog views. Not one of our favorite hikes.

Austin Steelman
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Backpacking

Beautiful place to see elk and bison and possible to camp across the creek with a backcountry permit.

Felix Boehme
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Hiking

Missed the overlook. Make sure to note where it should be and watch your progress. Seems like it should be more obvious.

View Felix's Recording
Jim Chastain
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HikingSnow
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Alex Houchin
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Hiking

once i finished this trail (taken as a loop with part of centennial) i found myself wishing i could go back and change all my other 5-star ratings to 4-star ratings had to go about a half-mile off the trail to avoid a huge bison rubbing his tumtum on the trail marker, but totally worth it

Rob Graham
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Sep 25 2018
Hiking

Great Trail! Variety of prairies, hills, and beautiful valleys. Some bison got in our path. We waited for some time for them to move on. They are in no hurry to go anywhere. Closer than we wanted to be. It was a wonderful time spent with my wonderful wife!

Karen S.
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Hiking

Great hike. Nice views. We met up with 2 buffalo on our hiking trail, rubbing themselves on the trail markers, we got off the trail to keep our distance from them. Also a lot of prairie dogs

Colby May
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Hiking

Decent trail. Saw lots of prairie dogs and some bison. However, be careful following this map. It deviates from the official trail at the end by following the river- off trail instead of going up the hill.

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