Explore the most popular Parks 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.

This is one of my favorite places on earth. I go to SD every year and never miss the waterfalls in Spearfish canyon.

10 days ago

Fun fast hike with a beautiful view and a neat little ladder ❤️

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.

Hike is short and very steep, but not long. Amazing views of the black hills at the top

hiking
11 days ago

Very good trail. Not amazing in itself, but the reason for 5 stars to me is the variety of trail types and an alternate path back down. Also the tower and other structures on top are very cool and we saw several deer along #4 coming back down.

hiking
12 days ago

WOW! Not what I was expecting at all, but then this trail is so varied and amazing I don’t think anyone will be left disappointed. I’ve been blowing off this trail because I usually aim for longer hikes and this one hardly seemed worth the drive. Boy, was I wrong! I expected it to take about 2 hours, but it took me nearly 3 and even then I wish I’d left myself more time to really slow down and enjoy it. It’s one of those places that is so gorgeous, I wish I had the photography skills to do it justice. I read discussions about whether it’s better to take the trail clockwise or counter-clockwise; I opted for clockwise and I’m REALLY glad I did. I carry my daughter in a backpack, so it would have been far more difficult for me (and potentially dangerous) to carry a 50 pound pack down that steep descent as opposed to hitting it uphill. Not only that, but WOW! Talk about saving the best for last! I will DEFINITELY be doing this one again soon!

hiking
13 days 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

hiking
16 days ago

As stated by most others, trail is not well marked. I saw trees with orange paint on them and metal diamonds with “50” posted on tree trunks along the actual trail... trail also coincides with spur trail, easily confused the two. Had to use AllTrails multiple times to find and stay on trail. Trail is variable in elevation and development, lots of time in dirt/grass/road. Once to Boulder Hill, moderate rock scaling to get to top. Not hard but pay attention, especially if it’s windy. Enjoyed it!

This place is great! going back soon.

This trail is a nice addition to the park since my last visit in the early eighties. Try to catch a walk with a Ranger for some interesting facts about the monument.

hiking
18 days ago

I was able to follow the signs most of the time. Had one or two times I got confused but easily got back on track. Snow and mud prevented me from reaching the top. It was dry lower down below though. Pretty hike close to town. If you want seclusion though, be aware cars on the interstate can be seen and heard a lot of the time.

hiking
18 days ago

Found the trail head easily. 3.3 miles uphill, moderate to hard in my opinion. I hike a lot and it took me 1.5 hours to reach the summit. 30 min spent at the top enjoying the stunning view! Then 1 hr. back down. Ran into about 4-5 other sets of hikers. I had cell service about a mile into the hike FYI. Fantastic hike!

Great contrast between (down the hike) the Badlands and (up the hike) the Grassland.

We had a hike with beautiful weather and a nice breeze of wind. Perfectly doable with almost no traffic on the way.

hiking
19 days ago

We went Oct 19th and chose to go counter clockwise which I guess is backwards from the way Alltrails wants you to go. The way we went, the steepest part is at the end but definitely the best part. The final section is up the creek. Snow had mostly melted when we went. If it were more icy it would definitely be a challenge. Fun hike. Whole family went. Ages 8 to...well, my age!

hiking
19 days ago

Pretty hike with lots of water crossings that can be a little tricky at times. But overall it was nice and only saw two other people hiking in late October.

hiking
20 days ago

Great hike. Lots of switchbacks and some loose rocks, but overall very fun and quite spectacular.

20 days ago

This time we stayed left on the trail until we saw the rock barricade on the right & then the trail led us right to the canyon. There were some areas of the trail that were tough to maneuver but the moss & the little flowing waterfalls made up for it. Very cool!

Short but sweet

Super fun

So beautifull!

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.

hiking
26 days ago

Didn't spot a single cairn; never found the "beautiful moss &ferns" but did find a beautiful canyon overlook. We will try it again but will take a different route next time.

Really nice, easy trail...it’s great to have some woods to walk through! The overlook tower is worth the extra few minutes, too!

Long hike but worth it. First part was a bit overgrown but only annoying. Snow/ice on trail was minimal but fine with caution. Few people except on the main BEP trail.

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.

Pretty much a dirt road leading towards lake.

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