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

hiking
23 hours ago

Nice trail. Saw prairie dogs and buffalo

hiking
23 hours ago

Hard to follow trail. Very steep

hiking
23 hours ago

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

2 days ago

Trail head is to the right of the gate. I totally missed it. Not very well marked. Good trail. Discarded furniture and trash and graffiti at the base of the scramble to the summit.

hiking
3 days 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.

hiking
3 days ago

we hiked this trail during a beautiful snow storm October 15th 2018, there were some of the most breathtaking views of the snow covered trees and the peaks and rocks along the way. the trail was pretty easy to hike up until we came to the fork where you can follow the slate creek or continue on following the rapid creek, we choose to go the slate creek way and found several creek crossings that were narrow boards and that portion of the trail was moderately strenuous in my opinion, alot of inclines and the snow was making the rocks rather slick. we had decided to turn around because of the slick conditions from the snow and not wanting to
take the risk of an injury.
we will probably through hike this trail in the summer sometime when the conditions are a little better for back packing and probably start at Deerfield lake this next time. so overall I say this is definitely an awesome trail and well worth the time!!

Awesome lightly trafficked area, great area to bring the dog for a hike.

walking
3 days ago

Short trail takes you up close to the iconic falls.

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

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 be is it was a very awesome hike. Snowed on us on the way back down.

Rattlesnake blocking the path ended our hike early. Agree with the poor signage comments too, we didn't see many of the alternate routes that we could have taken.

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.

on Notch Trail

15 days ago

The view was beautiful. This national park just doesn’t rock my world so probably wouldn’t do it again.

hiking
16 days ago

Pretty. You can do some free climbing on the nearby wall which is quite fun and highly recommended.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful. My second favorite hike in Badlands behind saddle pass. Be sure to hike to both vistas. Towards the end the trail forks and both are worth exploring.

hiking
16 days ago

Great views, fun terrain to hike.

Favorite hike I’ve done in the Black Hills, hands down.

Disclaimer, we did not get a chance to view more than the start of the trail, but wanted to leave a helpful heads up:

The trail appears to be on property potentially used for grazing; the first part of our hike we spent dodging heaps of cow manure in matted down grass. We weren’t deterred until we ran into some fresh bear droppings and paw prints right up the trail.

Perhaps we’re more cautious than your average hikers, but those findings, combined with the fact the property is surrounded by barbed wire, were enough for us to just find a different spot to hike. :)

hiking
18 days ago

Took Bentley for a beautiful, fun fall hike.

18 days ago

Very unique trail. We went out after a rain and it was extremely slick. But once we got back to the start it was dry. Rain makes for a very different trail experience. The trail crossed in front of big horned sheep that were grazing on a cliff . We did the medicine loop out and the castle trail back. This clocked in at 11.1 miles. Definitely do this early as there is very little shade and you are in full sun and wind exposure. Other than the slipperyness because of the rain it’s not hard or technical - the only hard part about it is 11 miles round-trip.

19 days ago

This is a horribly signed trail. We had different map versions, including the one at the start, and none matched up. The signage is few and far between. The trails are named by colors and the colors on the signs did not always match up with what trail we thought we are on. I was following along with with the AllTrails map and was having difficulty keeping us on the trail.

The trail was relatively easy other than a few scrambles up and down near the radio tower where you needed your hands as well.

The fun part for me about the trail was that it is part of an active ranch. So there are cows in the are and we encountered cows at the end of the trail near the water cistern. That being said that means there are cow patties along most of the trail. So if you do not like jumping over and walking around cow patties for a good chunk of your hike, this may not be for you.

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

hiking
19 days ago

Short and sweet, it is steep but Totally worth it when you get to the top for the amazing beautiful view.

hiking
19 days ago

once i finished this trail (taken as a loop with part of centennial) i found myself wishing i could go back and change all my other 5-star ratings to 4-star ratings

had to go about a half-mile off the trail to avoid a huge bison rubbing his tumtum on the trail marker, but totally worth it

horseback riding
19 days 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. ❤️

22 days ago

Very cool we loved it! A bit crowded because it's so popular but a must in the area I think.

hiking
23 days ago

Great Trail! Variety of prairies, hills, and beautiful valleys. Some bison got in out path. We waited for some time for them to move on. They are in no hurry to go anywhere. Closer than we wanted to be. It was a wonderful time spent with my wonderful wife!

hiking
23 days ago

Short but lovely.

hiking
23 days ago

Good trail to get a taste of Custer State Park

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