Lovers' Leap Trail

MODERATE 109 reviews
#4 of 12 trails in

Lovers' Leap Trail is a 4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

4.0 miles
567 feet

dogs on leash



nature trips




wild flowers


great hike - LOTS of poison ivy by the creek though...

10 days ago

beautiful trail but the map shown on AllTrails is NOT ACCURATE. do not try to do this counterclockwise, just go to the trailhead (across the street from the natue education center, which is where the map above says it starts, but it actually doesnt).

11 days ago

Absolutely gorgeous! The views at the top are amazing and walking by the creek was refreshing after doing so many inclines.

There are many river crossings, all had bridges as of July 2018.

There is a ton of poison ivy down by the creek and you can't avoid it, so wear pants and boots if possible.

13 days ago

Well marked, peaceful

19 days ago

No complaints here (bring wipes to wipe your legs down with if you’re wearing shorts/capris)! The hail storm at the end was an added bonus. I think it was a little harder than moderate only due to the fact that I’ve had a joint replaced in my foot recently so it took me longer than planned and I stopped for pictures. Well worth it! If you want the harder stuff first go left.

21 days ago

Great hike, some spots were strenuous. Lots of poison ivy by the creek. Not very crowded. We didn’t count, but there are lots of creek crossings. Enjoyed the view at the top.

28 days ago

lots and lots of poison ivy, sumac and oak on a narrow trail around the river. It is everywhere a long the trail and didn't know until we were there. Hiked it in shorts with kids in shorts and we were very careful not to touch anything. Beautiful view, dont miss the small scramble to summit and see the view. It was an easy hike.

1 month ago

Loved it a great walk with some terrific views

3 months ago

Pretty nice trail along a creek, then climbing up to a beautiful lookout.

5 months ago

First outing on snowshoes. Custer received 6"- 8" of fresh snow overnight. Decided to take advantage of the untouched powder. First time for me to hike this trail, had a bit of snag trying to locate the trailhead. However, once on the trail, markers are very easy to see and follow. The Legion Lake fire burned through this area; but did so pretty quick, so most of the damage was just ground cover and some charring on the base of the trees. The blanket of snow knocked down some of the charred smell but was still noticeable. A couple bridges were in-accessible due to downed trees (could not tell if fire contributed to downed trees with the fresh blanket) but not a big deal to cross the creek. Televators on the gear came in handy as some steep areas to climb. Very rocky even under decent snow, so several areas required the removal of the gear to avoid chewing up the spikes.

8 months ago

went counter clockwise. most of the trail is in woods, crossing creeks and only one outlook. pretty but kind of ho hum after awhile. good workout

8 months ago

Beautiful! A steep but unchallenging ascent then some gorgeous views on the ridge line, before a gentle descent and amble along the stream bed. Great for dogs, took less than two hours at a moderate pace. Ideal for a late fall day - light snowfall did not diminish our enjoyment, nor obscure the well-marked path.

10 months ago

Nice trail, not difficult at all. A lot of poison ivy along the trail by the creek, so pants are suggested for that portion anyway.

10 months ago

Nice hike, we only did to the peak and back so cannot speak for the loop, but there aren't many views other than that off of the actual lover's leap rocks. The view from the rocks is beautiful and we thought well worth the 1.5ish miles. Go left at the T in the beginning of the trail if you just want to do the out and back to the peak.

10 months ago

Great trail in Custer

11 months ago

Dry, hot trail, views aren't much until you get to the rock formation "lovers leap" which has spectacular views, 1 end of the trail (forks right) has a lot of poison ivy so caution!!!

11 months ago

11 months ago

Great hike! Steep in spots, but well worth the effort!

11 months ago

4.4 mile trail, some steepish terrain but well worth it. great ponderosa pines in this hike, the smell is incredible.

11 months ago

Definitely agree that this is more than a 3 mile trail. 4.4 sounds about right. Think of this as rather 2 different trails: one hike goes up a granite mountain and provides beautiful views of probably the entire park (this may be a reason to choose this one as your first hike in Custer). The other hike is along the creek bottom and back along the hillside.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

It was hard but good. The board at the beginning says it's 3 miles, but don't believe that! This app says 4 and my phone said something like 4.4. I would do it again though.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Beautiful views and worth the hike

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hands down my favorite trail in Custer State Park! Stunning views! And a beautiful stream that runs through!
It's pretty strenuous when you first start out, so be aware of that, especially if you're a little out of shape like me ;) but it gets easier. Towards the end you go through a campground, but you're definitely going the right way if there's any doubt.
Give this one a shot, you won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

We took the western mouth of the trailhead and it was an easy, enjoyable hike to the top! Beautiful scenery and animals everywhere!!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

A little bit of work to get to the top, but well worth it, followed by an easy stroll through some gorgeous scenery. the first half mile isn't for the faint of heart but it can be conquered by just about anyone, and the view from the top will leave you Happy you put the work in.

Monday, October 24, 2016

great views, not too long, cross same Creek ten times on planks.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Pretty hike. The first 3/4 mile was a steady steep ascent, definitely a butt buster. The view is gorgeous. Once you leave the lookout its an easy walk. You eventually run into water which you cross several times on planks. Great place for the dogs to cool off. A recommended not to difficult hike.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Loved the views from the top and the stream. Did not care for following the road back.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Great hike!!

Sunday, August 07, 2016

This is a nice trail. The first half is pretty strenuous but the second half is beautiful.

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