Explore the most popular river 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.

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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!

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.

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)!

Living in Colorado, I’ve done a lot of great hikes and don’t through 5 stars out easily but this is a great hike.

The trail condition is quite good, and it combines all the things that make hikes special. Some beautiful creeks down low, a beautiful summit destination, views of the Needles with mountain goat cameos coming down # 4.

Even for a Saturday in the heart of tourist season I did not find the trail overcrowded other than in the final mile to the summit (because you’ve got two-way traffic from three different access trails converging there. We started at 9 am and the parking lot wasn’t filled yet (not something you’d see in Colorado!)

My GPS showed closer to 7.4 miles for distance (we went up 9 and down 4) and about 1550 total climbing. Who knows!

A really beautiful area and I think this is a classic example of a hike that I’d rate moderate (for active adults ... neither monster mountaineers or couch potatoes).

Well worth the trek to the top!!!!

Good for families too. No water refill station on top so make sure you have enough water.

What a great challenging hike!

Fun trail crossing the creek on beams many times. Great with the family.

Stunning views, easy to park. Lots of trails if you want to branch off. Only complaint is that trails aren’t well marked. Trail 9 (the “main” one) is supposed to be a loop but when you continue down it past the summit turn-off it tells you it does not take you back to Lake Sylvan parking. Confusing, but overall a great experience.

Great hike, started on 9 and came back on 4. Heat was an issue, low 90's. Make sure to bring enough H2O.

Can't beat the view! Hiked trail 9 all the way to the top. Beautiful! Wouldn't necessarily call it moderate between sun, elevation, and incline. Bring water and sunscreen! But well worth it!

Great time! Had four 32oz jugs of water for 3 people and it wasn’t enough! Bring lots of water! Reminder to self again: Even with wife can only take one GSD! Apparently she can’t handle either one on more than a 2 mile hike!

Trail was hard to follow.

Went up trail 9 and down trail 4. It’s long but worth every view. It’s long so make sure you have plenty of water and snacks.

great eye 2 eye with tantanka on trail. buffalo ribs r great over fire pit.

This is great way for me to get to work from the employee housing.

Level, easy. Nice river crossings. Great for fishing.

We hiked trail 4 from Cathedral Spires to trail 9. I imagine the views at the top are spectacular, but we were met with dense fog and 30 foot visibility. Still a gorgeous hike. We were also met with a family of Mule deer. This route took about 3 hours with a 30 minute snack break at the top.

Great hike. We hiked it on Memorial Day weekend. Lots of people on the trail. We took 9 up and 4 back down to the lake. 9 more heavily trafficked than 4. Beautiful view from lookout, great place to rest and have a lunch or snack break. Round trip took about 3 hours including one rest break at top. Spires off 4 beautiful to see. Drove a mile to Sylven Lake Lodge for drinks on patio after hike. Can’t really see lake from patio but still nice setting.

Best trail I've hiked in 5 years here in sd.

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