Lost Cabin Trail

MODERATE 13 reviews

Lost Cabin Trail is a 14.7 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Hill City, South Dakota that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, camping, and horses and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

14.7 miles
3,011 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding








7 days ago

Started from Willow Creek trailhead in horse camp vice the recommended start here. Note that the transition from trail 8 to Lost Cabin (trail 2?) is not marked, there is only a slight foot path that will lead you to a turnaround, and from there you turn left and jump on the trail. I had a good time on this hike, but I bumped it down to a 3 due to trail condition. Parts of Lost Cabin were so heavily grown over that it felt like bushwacking. Same with 9 north, though not nearly as bad. Hiked up and ran down as able in 6 hours. Start early to avoid the worst of the heat. No water sources except streams where you need to treat. Go upcreek to avoid the worst of the horse contamination. Have fun out there.

Friday, March 31, 2017

We started at Palmer Creek TH and when we got to the Lost Cabin Trail # 2 we took a right. We hiked the Lost Cabin Trail # 2 to the Harney Peak ( Black Elk Peak ) Trail # 9. We did not go up to the Lookout because we have been there many times. We stayed on Trail # 9 until we got to Willow Creek Trail # 8 then took a left !! We hiked that trail until we came to a path that went to Willow Creek Horse Camp just before you get to a bridge. We followed that trail and the Lost Cabin trail is to the left of a new turn around road they are building !! The sign was leaning against a tree. This was an awesome hike !! We did 13.25 miles and there were some beautiful views on the trail and I would highly recommend this loop !! Hike on !!!

Monday, May 04, 2015

Not a bad trail! It is quite the workout when working up the incline, but has some pretty views. Very sad how much devastation the pine beetles have caused and it could use some clipping as there are a lot of saplings that are growing over into the trail, but an overall great hike!

Monday, March 16, 2015

We ended up hiking this trail because that's where our GPS took us when we were supposed to be going to Willow Creek. (go past Palmer Creek Road, half mile towards Mount Rushmore across from KOA campground)
Made it to the top (Black Forest Wilderness Area Sign) with my seven-year-old, he's a trooper!! After reading some other reviews I wish we would've seen the abandon mine at the top in the meadow. This was a pretty decent Trail, if you truly want to see how aggressive and powerful mother nature can be due to pine beetles and heavy snowstorms this is the trail (lots and lots of downed trees) looks like the Forest Service is in the works of getting it all cleaned up still.. I would say if your looking for a good up hill work out, hit this trail up.
Be Safe out their

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

I combined the Lost Cabin trail with the Harney Peak South and North trails for a great loop. The Harney peak from Sylvan Lake was crowded but but the rest of the loop I only met 2 other hikers. It was a great mix of scenery and terrain. 4 stars instead of 5 due to the heavy use from the horse camp on the north end. Watch your step! The link is to my tracks.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lost cabin trail is a lightly used trail that can also be used by horses. I started at the Palmer Creek trail head where there is plenty of parking. It begins at about 5100 ft and climbs to around 6200 ft were it flattens out in a meadow area. The climb is strenuous and includes steep switchbacks but if you want a real workout and want to lose the crowds this is for you. Near the meadow there is an abandoned mine that's fun to find. The meadow would be a good place to camp if it weren't for the deep depressions of old cattle hoof prints from when cattle used to roam the area. After the meadow the trail comes to a Y and if you want to go to Harney Peak bear left (east) where it will join Harney Peak #9 on the steeper portion of Harney Peak trail. If you want to go to Sylvan lake bear right on the #2 spur where after a short gradual climb on an abandoned 4 wheel drive road it joins Harney Peak #9 at a lower elevation. I give this a 4 star rating for the solitude away from the masses of Harney #9

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Not a 2 mile hike as the description suggests, much closer to 5 miles. There is quite a lot of elevation gain and wind had recently gone through, causing greater difficulty with fallen trees on the path. None the less, great views of the Black Elk Wilderness and area to the west of it. About halfway through it levels out as well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Aggressive hike from base to summit. Some great views though.mostly black elk wilderness and a little nat forest.

Monday, January 03, 2011

There are some fantastic views midway through the trail. There is a horse hitching post and a granite outcrop a little ways into the trail that has a great view above the old Hill City Road. The trail then continues on and goes into the Black Elk Wilderness. A very worthwhile hike!

2 days ago

3 months ago

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Monday, August 04, 2014