Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Came from Cathedral Spires and was well worth it. Going up to the top was tough. Harder climbing back down. The views were worth it. Saw a mt goat and little one on the way back down. Will not forget this hike

Awesome! Seeing things from the road is great but getting up close and personal is unforgettable.

This is my third trip up the north side, more challenging and scenic than the Sylvan Lake Approach. Approx. 6-7 Hours up and back...and three bottles of water plus a Gatorade at the finish. Very hot, and a steady climb. Saw two other couples on the entire trek. Great views and places to eat lunch. A lot of horse droppings and the constant helicopters on their way to Mt. Rushmore made me feel like an ex-con on the run. Well worth it, only one stream and with all the horse activity I would be hesitant to drink even treated water.

Did this trail in 3 1/2 hours. Amazing views from the top. Bring sun screen!

Great hike not hard ! Short and sweet. Parking was a little hard to find. Rock Climbers were amazing to watch

Nice easy walking trail. Up and back in under 2.5 hours. Beautiful view from the Harney Peak lookout, worth the trek utilizing trail 9

Hiked today 7-10, temps were high but it was windy enough to stay pleasant. Based on recommendations, we went counterclockwise and agree with the recommendation. There were quite a few ticks on the lower level but with hats and buddy checks we managed it pretty easily. We saw a herd of big horn sheep on the upper portion, they were below us on their own ledge. Very cool hike with spectacular vistas.

Definitely recommend this trail, it’s a perfect day hike. Bring plenty of water as it is very exposed to the sun.

Nice, easy hike but watch for buffalo chips on the trail. Beautiful scenery with chirping prairie dogs as a bonus.

Great hike and we had fun keeping track of where we were in relation to the top of the mountain. I believe we took trail 9 and it was less busy but still passing people on the trail. Worth it for the view!Bring lots of water and a nice snack to munch on at the top - lots of places to sit and eat. Also I had 4 bars of service! Guess no obstruction to the towers.

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).

took cathedral spires up to black elk peak. AMAZING!

hiking
10 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.

Great views the whole trip. Make the loop to check out the needles. Bring plenty water in the summer, it’s hot. Some views look similar to Yosemite based on pictures. Bring a swimsuit to swim at top

Well marked, peaceful

Awesome hike, slightly overcrowded but I’ve been on much worse. Went up trail #9 and down #4, I think #9 had better scenery and a more gradual incline. If I was to do it again, I’d go up and back down trail #9. But if you want to avoid crowds, #4 had far less people. Bring more water than you think you need.

This is a unique hike. In hiking terms it would be strenuous. There is significant "scrambling" at the end. The trail itself has some areas of scree and loose rocks.
The only disappointment is the destruction caused by the pine beetle. I've heard stories of the gorgeous hike through the canopy, but the hike is very exposed due to the devestating loss of trees.
Still, this is an amazing hike with awesome views of the cathedral spires and the central Black Hills.

We started early for a couple of reasons. It was going to be a hot day and we wanted to do multiple hikes in one. It is a solid hike on relatively well marked tails. As with any hike it makes sense to have a map with you. Even the final turn at the peak isn't obvious. In fact, we built a cairn on that corner to create another obvious clue.
It is beautiful and the structure at the top is unique.
We watched a mountain goat graze at the top. The ghost later took a nap in the shade in spite of the hikers.
It did start to get crowded at the top after we had spent over an hour up there. My guess is that many hikers are in the trail by 8 or 9. At 7, we had the trail to ourselves.

Was a great hike very challenging for a newbie like myself but once at the top it was worth it!

Very enjoyable trail. It passes through a prairie dog town. The trail is mostly flat through an open field, with some rocky walls and wooded areas along the sides of the field.

Great trail, definitely worth it. We hiked it with a 3 year old and a 5 year old. The 3 year old needed to be carried a good bit but the 5 year old made it to the top without any problems. One of the best endings to a trail in the hills. It's like a shorter, easier Harney (black elk). Highly recommended!

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.

It was a beautiful loop hike but the 3 of us were covered with ticks when we returned to the parking lot. And we had applied spray.

I really like this hike and only give it a low rating because if the quantity of ticks. Views are beautiful from top and bottom of the canyon. Lots of wildflowers and birds and massive amounts of ticks even with bug repellent.

hiking
20 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.

Challenging for novice hiker, but well-worth it. Take lots of water! Spectacular views. Very crowded on the whole trail.

Super awesome trail. Did this last week with my family and only took us about 1.5 hrs up and maybe an hour to get back. Really unfortunate we did this right when the area got its first rain in months, so it was POURING, and the view at the top was blocked by fog. I give it 4 stars though because the hike was still fun and I’m definitely gonna need to get back here so I can witness the view I’ve heard about!

One of the most breathtaking trails I've ever done! I'm going back (two days in a row)!

What a great hike. Challenging, but doable & we are in our mid 60s! Good photo ops, too.

hiking
22 days ago

Did this hike & really enjoyed it. Longest 2.1 miles we have ever done. I think it's closer to 3. We hike a lot.

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