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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kid friendly

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Custer, South Dakota Map
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hiking
10 days ago

Went to Jewel Cave to do the cave tour, found it all booked so couldn't. Did the quick hike at the entrance while there. Simple hike.

hiked it on August 3rd, 2018. Was beautiful. I recommend hiking to the fire tower then to little devil's tower trail where you can see the fire tower

Ran the trail on 10/31, beautiful day about 40F, didn’t see anyone and the lake store was closed for the season. Went up #9 and down on #4. #9 is better with first scenic lookout at 1 mile mark. Don’t see much until all the way up. The view was wide open and the tower was neat. Very windy and probably 10 degree colder than the starting point. Finish in 2 hours by running, not the best for running since the path was unpathed and rocky, very easy to get ankle injury.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike yesterday with my husband, two children (ages 7,9) and our two dogs. Great terrain, a little bit of climbing which I love! Other than the thunderstorm wiith hail that we were caught in at the top of the trailhead it was wonderful!

will always be my favorite

Super fun

The view from the top of Black Elk Peak is something else! I'd highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. In the past I've done trail #9 out and back, but yesterday I decided to mix it up and took trail #3 to trail #4 on the way back down. Awesome views of the Needles from trail #4. Both routes were pretty snowpacked and slick in the shade and my hiking partner took a couple of spills. I'll pack some type of traction device the next time I do this in the early spring or late fall.

Good hike with kids. A few good vistas, a few good scrambles, good exploring among the spires at the end of the trail. We got lucky and saw a heard or mountain goats along the way.

We went clockwise on this trail. Which was all uphill for about 30 minutes but then it steadied out. It showed a lot of pine trees and some different types of vegetation throughout the trail and followed a creek. Was hopeful to see wildlife, but only saw a couple deer. The trail was a decent one. Took about 2 hours.

This trail was worth every bit of hiking whenever you get to the top. It shows a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains and the needles. The view was breathtaking. The beginning of the trail was the most difficult, as it was all uphill. The end of the trail there was some rock climbing, so it made finding the trail a little difficult but once you made it, the view was incredible. Definitely recommend doing this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail. Saw prairie dogs and buffalo

hiking
1 month ago

Hard to follow trail. Very steep

hiking
1 month ago

Nice trail...we lost the trail at the very end but were able to find our way.

Loved this trail! Along a river with 15 ‘bridges’ that cross back and forth over the river. We were the only people on the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail today and loved it. It has a little of everything. I went clockwise and enjoyed the ascent in the beginning. The view at the top was breathtaking. I didn’t expect to criss cross a creek several times after the descent. It was so fun! Great trail. I moved pretty quickly and completed it in an hour and a half.

Great hike! Went up #9 and down #4 in about 3 hours, including a LOT of stopping for pics and following tracks. #4 was pretty wet with the recent melt. If you are only doing one hike in the area, this would be it. If you don't want the full loop, go up #4, Cathedral Spires are a sight.

Took #9 up and #4 down. Went up two days ago. Beautiful hike just after a light snow and trail is well kept. Took my time exploring the little devils tower and cathedral spires on the way down, took about 4 hours in total. Saw a mountain lion 15 ft away about 3/4 of the way up #9, seemed like a nice guy though

Great hike. Had snow falling most of the time. Highly recommend.

Did this Oct 9. 2-3" of snow. Was a nice hike but of course fogged in at the top. We followed tracks in the snow for more than a mile before we came upon a cougar near the trail split at the top. Was cool to see for the few seconds we saw it. Despite no view it was a very awesome hike. Snowed on us on the way back down.

hiking
2 months ago

Such a fun hike. The rock scramble and rock stairs were awesome. This entire trail was very scenic with gorgeous views of the foliage. Definitely a quick and fun one. We got done in an hour and a half.

We hiked out on trail 4 and took the Spur out to the little devils tower. It was a great lookout Over the valley and over to the fire station. It was also a fun scramble to get up to it. The view from the fire station is spectacular except it was very windy. We hiked back to our car on trail nine. It gave a great perspective of how high up we were on the little devils tower. It was also nice to get a different view coming back to our car. Excellent hike.

Great trail. We went up #9 and came down #3 to #4. We parked at Sylvan Lake which is part of Custer State Park. You must pay an entrance fee to park at Sylvan Lake as part of Custer State Park and the entrance fee is good for a week. The trails actually then leave Custer State Park and go into the Black Hills national forest where are you sign an entrance document on the trail. The trail is well maintained, dirt and rocks and not technical. The hardest part was probably going up the incline and the stairs at the end to reach the fire tower. The fire tower at the end was a lot of fun to explore - lots a little nooks and crannies. This clocked in at 7.6 miles and took us 3 1/2 hours. The scenery and views throughout were amazing. If you are in decent shape you will be fine on this

horseback riding
2 months ago

Awesome trail for horseback riding and dogs. Definitely ideal for being on horseback as the trail is not maintained for hikers. Lots of big open spaces and pretty rivers to cross. ❤️

This trail was perfect for a low key, woodsy hike with our two older dogs. We loved walking next to the babbling brook and crossing the bridges.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail to get a taste of Custer State Park

good but lots of poison ivy in places. we went clockwise which is moderate up hill at first. the rock lookout was very scenic.

Did the clockwise so hardest first. then sun behind us as we came down. nice hike.

I did this Hike With My 5Year old..

Went up trail 9, came down trail 4. It was a challenging hike, but totally worth the beautiful views! Not for beginners. It’s a hike up trail 9 but a nature walk down trail 4. Enjoy!

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