Explore the most popular trails near Custer with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Custer, South Dakota Map
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Awesome, tough hike. Not for beginners. Long and steep, but totally worth the work. The views are out of this world!

Great views! We did the loop from Trail 4 and back on and did the Little Devil's Tower as well. A little over 9 miles.

Awesome Hike on a beautiful day.
Went up on trail 9 and came back in trial 4.

A semi-easy hike with foot bridges across a stream. Ended at the lake with a playground. We carried out toddler in a backpack no problem.

I came for the destination and ended up enjoying the journey. It's a long, unchallenging hike. You walk and walk and walk and eventually ascend to the peak where you ... look around. You're so high that the endless views, while admittedly beautiful, have little scale.

Along the paths up (we took trail 9) and down (trail 4), however, you'll find magic. Unexpected views, sudden spires, and quiet beauty everywhere. It's a wonderful trail.

6 days ago

An amazing trail with a great view

Gorgeous hike, a bit challenging as the trail became more rocky near the top, but so worth it. It’s also good to remember the elevation of the area — Custer is at 5500 ft (higher than Denver), so the air is a bit thinner. The trail isn’t especially shady, so if the sun is out, bring plenty of water; I almost finished 72 oz. Trail snacks, too. We went up #9 and down #4, which allowed for amazing views in front of us both ways. It took us about 5 hours, but we stopped for photos and a brief rest/snack at the top. If you have trekking poles, bring them for the trip down — your knees will thank you. One of my favorite hikes.

hiking
6 days ago

Nice truck trail to hike on. Let's you look up and around at the scenery without tripping. At the first intersection continue straight. At the second, continue straight. Came across a bull buffalo wallowing and having a dust bath just past the second intersection. Gave him a wide berth in both directions. He was keeping his eyes on me both times.

hiking
6 days ago

Buffalo wallows, buffalo dung, dung beetles, prairie dogs, lots of bluebirds. Poison Ivy last 300ft.of trail under the trees. Blue Asters and Rose Hips. Excellent weather for a hike.

great trail with good views.

Surprised at the ruggedness of this area, it was definitely a challenge but totally worth it. Spectacular hike!

Great walk! The highest peak from east of Rockies to the Pyrenees

Love it

One of the most beautiful places I have ever been. The drive there up the Needles Highway was great, we even saw some mountain goats. The trail was awesome. At about 1 mike in is an amazing view and there are many more all along the way. The peak itself is unique due time the watchtower. Definitely recommend this trail!

13 days ago

One overlook, easy stroll.

hiking
14 days ago

Interesting to walk through base of towering spires. Top/end of trail anticlimactic. Journey through spires best part of trail.

hiking
14 days ago

Gradual inclines with rock scramble near top. Beautiful 360 vista views at top. Quartz stones along trail provide good footings on slippery rocks. Seems like it'd be slippery if wet.

we didn't take the hike because as we began we were warned by an employee of the park that it was more like 12 mi and littered with poison ivy and had to be careful of rattlesnakes like the sign says and it's not well maintained.

hiking
15 days ago

Great hike with some great views. It really puts the CSP Fire into perspective as you can’t see the effects much from the road. I recommend doing the trail clockwise.

hiking
18 days ago

Really nice hike through some different terrain. Took this trail counterclockwise and glad we did started with some and and downs and some even ground along a creek and yellowing aspens, very pretty. Outlook was about a mile from the end of our hike and was a great view. Climb the rocks and you will be rewarded with a lovely 360 view.

Great Hike following the steam. There are 13 steam crossing (one way) and some waterfalls. We really enjoyed the hike and scenery. Lots of poison ivy so keep an eye out for it.

hiking
20 days ago

Hiked this with my husband, mom and three boys (9, 5, & 2). Easy walking, a little section of going through rocks. Really neat to see the spires as it’s not our usual scenery. Definitely a must do hike in Custer State Park. I would not considerate it to be a strenuous hike as many of the literature states.

hiking
22 days ago

Parts of the trail aren't all that interesting and I had to ask where to find the trailhead, but the view at the top was enjoyable.

Definitely a favorite!

Great hike. Went up Trail 9 and down Trail 4 this was the perfect way to go. Great scenery all the way. Both trails start from the same parking area at The lake.

Great hike with some truly stunning views at the top. The last part is a bit challenging to get to the top with scrabbling up rocks, but really fun.

This was a fun hike for our family. Adults over 40 (ok, maybe closer to 50 now) and sons 11 and 13, we even brought the dog. We started at noon and went round trip 4 hours later. We took plenty of time to enjoy the scenery and scramble the fun nooks and crannies. We enjoyed a quick picnic at the top. The views are great, the hike was not too difficult for those in moderate shape. We took 9 up and 4 down. Both were beautiful and worth the split. Plenty of water and some snacks recommended.

Very fun rocky hike with gorgeous South Dakota views. The spires are unlike anything I've seen, and there's plenty of places to rock climb, even for the not-so-experienced rock climbers like myself. I did split open my knee on the way back down the trail to the parking lot so be sure to watch your step and take your time maneuvering the rocks along the way. Overall an extremely fun trip and I highly recommend it!

Really great, varied hike BUT be prepared for POISON IVY. If you travel the loop clockwise you will start with a steep ascent and then for the rest of the trail you'll be level, with occasional ups and downs, and gradual descent. During the second part of the hike, you cross a stream several times and in these low lying areas, poison ivy is everywhere and the trail is not well maintained so the ivy encroaches on the trail. Wear pants or at least gators. Also - note that the blue diamond blazes as you approach the main road (clockwise) do not match the marked trail on All Trails layer. The trail on the map appears to go towards the road and then you travel on a path along the road. However the blue diamond blazes follow a path farther from the road and a bit uphill. Just be aware of the discrepancy.

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