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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 difficult. 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.

Length 14.7 mi Elevation gain 3,011 ft Route type Loop
Dogs on leash Camping Hiking Horseback riding Forest River Views Wildlife Blowdown Rocky
Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (77)
Photos (1123)
Recordings (64)
Completed (153)
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Cody Saroni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 15, 2020
Great!

Hiked 10/14 and went left at the first split. Amazing hike!! Took my 75 year old father up it (he’s in great shape but nothing crazy). Super beautiful scenery and it felt like the trail was constantly changing. Though the elevation gain is high, it really didn’t seem that bad. The switchbacks are nicely balanced with non-strenuous parts of the trail and seem to let up as soon as your body starts to hit the “switchback breakdown”. **heads up** was above most the timber before the 50mph winds came in and we still had 7 or 8 fresh trees come down across the path. Can only imagine what else came down after we went through.

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Blaxon Bourbon
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

nice trail. Very lightly trafficked. great views along the way. A tad bit long, but great of you want some challenge in your life.

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Marcelle Wunderlich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 29, 2020
Hiking
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Andrew McAllister
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 19, 2020
Hiking

Going counter clockwise as others have suggested may be a good idea. If you're like me and don't heed that warning, just know that the first half leading up to Black Elk Peak is uphill and very strenuous. After passing Black Elk Peak there's a lot more downhill, but it isn't as steeply downhill as it would be if you go counterclockwise. All in all was a great challenge with rewarding views, so if you're up for the challenge, go clockwise! But if you're nervous about that then maybe err on the side of caution and go counterclockwise. Either way it will be a worthy adventure.

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Perry Steines
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 6, 2020
Hiking

Awesome Trai with incredible views. long way to Black Elk but your approach from South give you amazing views of Harney look out. Start early it's almost 15 miles. Spend time exploring at Harney summit so much to see.

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Jordan Mcgreevy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingGreat!

This trail is a great trail with spectacular views all the way. If you start your hike counter clockwise the conditions are more favorable. The north part of the loop is much more rocky and steep with large beams and rocks placed in the path to alleviate wash out making the hike more strenuous.

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Julie Bartlett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 29, 2020
Hiking
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Mountain Man
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
Backpacking

This is a beautiful hike & great workout! I completed the loop in 6 hours w/ a torn meniscus. Went clockwise & elevation gain was not too bad. Make sure to come prepared! Strongly recommend you wear pants & proper footwear. Bring plenty of fluids, MAP/GPS , proper clothing, first aid, etc.. I came across 2 separate groups lost & unprepared. It was hot & humid today. It could have been a bad day for them. If you are not in shape, you will not make it... Enjoy

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Steve McCoy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 5, 2020
HikingGreat!

I’m not one for pride, this one was tough. We went clockwise, which I suspect is significantly more difficult than counter clockwise given all the ups and downs to get to the peak. Counterclockwise won’t have as many significant inclines in the trail. Very lightly traveled until we reached the peak. Most people seem to come up counterclockwise, we only encountered one other person until we reached the peak. Bring a ton of water. Views are really spectacular for most of the way, lots of overlooks and 360 views. Highly recommend but not for the faint of heart, or legs.

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Madelyn Van Zante
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020

Absolutely amazing and totally worth it!! We started at Palmers Creek and took a right once we reached the trail. Was nice and secluded and peaceful! Once we got to the Black Elk Peak trail it was REALLY busy until the turn off by the Harneys Peak Lookout. Then it was nice and secluded again. Parts of the trail have little to no shade so definitely plan ahead for the weather. We never saw any water fill stations either tho there were a few streams for our pup to utilize so we were able to drink the water we packed for her. Going the direction we did - we would have had an easy ending had it not rained on us (our bad!) The last portion of the trail was tall grassland with a very narrow mud path. Even with the rain - it was amazing and highly recommend as the views the whole way were incredible!! I killed my phone taking so many pictures! Oh - and don't forget to download the map ahead of time as there's no reception at the start of the trail

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Doug Folkerth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 10, 2020
HikingRocky

It was Hard, but the trail is listed as "Hard". Weather was cool and sunny. The trail has LOTS of water bars, many are washed out causing a very big step. Next time I'll do it in a clockwise fashion. Wear really good supportive shoes, not a good place for running shoes. View from the top is wonderful and worth the effort. Completed the loop in 7hrs, Total time

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Denis Castanet
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 2, 2020
Hiking

Great long trail, did it in 6hours excluding stops, nice views, in good condition. Very busy on the portion to Black Elk Peak.

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Bruce Carroll
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 26, 2020
Backpacking

Great hike. Lots of solitude Except in the Southeast section of the loop where the trail is shared with the hordes of day hikers from Sylvan Lake. Great camping spots along the west side of the lower spur----think 7 to 8 o'clock on a clock face.

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Lucas French
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 23, 2020
HikingMuddy

Good trail, though it is a lot busier than I expected. A little of the trail is muddy, but it can easily be avoided. Overall would do it again

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Chrystal hill
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 10, 2020
HikingBlowdownMuddyOver grownRocky

it's a beautiful hike but it's a long trail. we took willow Creek (marker 8) part of harney peak (marker 9) and back around to lost cabin 2 (marker 2). clocked about 17 miles. ended at the edge of campground and had to walk on part of a road to get to the car. many trees were in front of the trail we had to climb over just beware and start early!!

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Pass User
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2020
HikingIcySnow

I didn't know 70° out meant 3 ft of snow.

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Andrew Kennedy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2019
HikingOver grown
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Stewart Carnes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2019
HikingMuddyOver grown

Awesome hike with amazing views and scenery. The trail is overgrown, muddy, rocky, uneven and great. I used All Trails for navigation. You change trail numbers several times and All Trails kept me on track.

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M H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 1, 2019
HikingOver grown

Started at the Palmer TH and hiked the .25 miles to the trail. Turned right (towards Harney) to do some uphill hiking—tiring, but makes for a nice view in a short span of time. Lots of wild raspberries on the trail this time of year.

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Lauren Kloer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2019
HikingMuddyOver grown

Route: start at Willow Creek Trailhead (trail 8). Go left at the start and take 8 to 9N, then take the peak spur, then back down to 9S, then to Lost Cabin 2 Spur to Lost Cabin trail, (past the Palmer gulch TH spur) back to 8 (end up at the campground road... lol for 8 trail to the right and take it a ways til it splits then decide if going directly back to parking or loop all the way back on 8. I took 8 directly back to trailhead parking but can take it the other way and circle back to the parking area for slightly longer distance. Never lost the trail. some areas very muddy (I got caught in a rainstorm), some areas over grown, but mostly it's very nice and secluded. only saw one hiker on the longer trails. typical to see many on the part of 9S you have to hike on to do this loop.

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Kimberly Ross
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 23, 2019
HikingOver grown

great hike! Really beautiful views. There were too many people in the few miles surrounding Elk's peak, which is always annoying, but few enough throughout the rest of the hike to get the feeling you're away from it all. Heads up: in some places the trail was quite overgrown (with prickers too).

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Jim Chastain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 19, 2019
Hiking

If you want to avoid the crowds and have a challenge this is the way to go.

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Rose Barker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarApril 1, 2019
Hiking

Spectacular views. There was snow on trail on this day so cleats and poles were helpful. Sunny day so temps were perfect. Took a right toward harney peak. Steep elevation but very doable. This trail is better with cool temps.

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Kevin Ward
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 20, 2018
Hiking

Long hike but worth it. First part was a bit overgrown but only annoying. Snow/ice on trail was minimal but fine with caution. Few people except on the main BEP trail.

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