Explore the most popular Walking 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.

Date: 3/22/2019
Cost: $20 for 7-day vehicle pass to the park
Conditions: 50 degrees with a slight breeze

Fun hike! Took 2 hours to complete the trail. You enter the trail behind the school building, take an initial left up an intense hill for about 50-100 feet, and then go right at the fork. If you continue to go left, you’ll have a 30-minute climb. If you go right (counterclockwise), it’s much more gradual. There was quite a bit of ice on the trail in March, but it’s definitely doable in solid hiking shoes and at about the halfway mark, the trail opens wide and is completely free from snow and ice. A little past halfway is the lookout. There’s a sign that says something about getting away from the hustle and bustle to recalibrate. At that sign, walk up the rock formation (not treacherous at all), and go up to the top. The legend says that two Native American lovers took their lives off this cliff as they were forbidden to be together by their respective tribes. BEAUUUUUUTIFUL outlook at the top of the rock.

Did this trail in mid-March, so there was still snow on the ground (rented snowshoes, but not necessary). This trail starts behind the left side of the Spearfish Canyon Lodge Restaurant and takes about 8 minutes to get to the falls. Strung up my hammock between 2 trees that framed the falls perfectly! This would be a great post-dinner stroll. Nothing too strenuous.

Went today 3/20. Snow packed down in most places. We had treads and were mostly fine but most people just wore boots. Wanted to do the loop but #4 was snowed in and not traversed at all. Taking #9 down was a little brutal for some reason - maybe the redundancy - but amazing vistas and views. We spent about 5 hours including a 1 hour rest at the top and many sporadic rests throughout.

fun technical hike in the snow and ice of spring thaw

Awesome snowshoe hike.

hiking
snow
7 days ago

hiking
snow
12 days ago

backpacking
rocky
15 days ago

Back in 2007 we went backpacking here in the Black Elk Wilderness. We started out at Little devils tower trailhead on trail #4 up to Harney Peak which I now see it is called Black Elk Peak. You can not beat the view. There you can see Cathedral spires, Mt. Rushmore and the town of Custer. After we summited the peak we headed out on the Lost cabin #2 trail to Willow creek horse camp and back on Harney Peak #9. Beautiful country but very rugged! Its a must to be in shape to do any extensive hiking or backing and carry a lot of water and a way to filter it.
We went back in 2016 and summited the peak again and we hardly recognize the trails and area. The Pine wood Beatle has killed so many trees and I believe they had a strong storm come through and blew down a lot of the dead trees. I posted some photos of before and after when we were there.
To summit Little devils Tower is a must also!

hiking
17 days ago

Super easy hike and kid friendly!

hiking
17 days ago

Breathtaking views once you get to the top!!

Awesome on a fall day when it was about 70 degrees. October 2014. We were going 21 mph at one point heading south by airport. A bit slower on south portions due to kids & pets. Moved to Sioux Falls to do more often.

love this hike

Beautiful hike but not a moderate trail. The first half was moderate but the last half was pretty rough. Steep incline. Wear good hiking shoes because coming down can be a challenge.

Beautiful hike but not a moderate trail. The first half was moderate but the last half was pretty rough. Steep incline. Wear good hiking shoes because coming down can be a challenge.

Beautiful hike but not a moderate trail. The first half was moderate but the last half was pretty rough. Steep incline. Wear good hiking shoes because coming down can be a challenge.

this is a very nice trail for any kind of bicycle enjoy.

hiking
1 month ago

I would rate this as easy to moderate. Although it is a short trail, there are some steep parts. Today it was muddy and icy.

icey parking lot bring your treks

beautiful views

I thought this was a great hike. Many different types of scenery and a few points of moderate hiking. Very beautiful.

muddy
snow
2 months ago

Lots of different options for length/difficulty. Pretty mediocre views until you're at the lookout though and I found the marking a little confusing.

hiking
2 months ago

Big Horn along the trail and combination of awesome views and the stream makes this a top 5 trail in the Black Hills.

on Notch Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on 1/20, a 20F morning. Saw three mule deers at the beginning or the trail. Super cute. The trail is pretty snowy, but can still be recognized. The view of badlands in snow was stunning; glad we had the microspike so we could enjoy the view without worrying to slip.

Great trail, well marked trailhead with plenty of parking. Nice moderate trail, beautiful views of the lake. Made it to the tunnel, it was a little creepy but not too bad. We are from California and did this hike during our vacation in Rapid City. Would go back again if we ever get the chance!

this is a short trail system with some hills. It is very Scenic and deer are abundant. If you bring your binoculars you should be able to see many examples of wildlife. can be a little slippery in the winter.

This used to be called Harney Peak. We did it several times with children and my recollection is that there were many scenic vistas on the way up. Once on top, you know it. A great place to have lunch and enjoy the 360 view. The best hike in the Black Hills.

Date: Jan 4, 2019
Cost: $ none
Conditions: Overcast, calm, Mid 30s

Pros: Gorgeous in winter. Not crowded in winter. Sunning payoff with partially frozen 80' waterfall.

My experience: .6 miles round trip. No problem parking in winter. Spent .5 hour total at very leisurely pace with time for photos.

Cons: Slight hill at beginning/end - could be slippery in winter. We did fine with winter boots (no spikes or yaktrax used).

IG: Minnesota_Wanderer

hiking
2 months ago

Date: Jan 3, 2019
Cost: $ subject to NPS Parks Pass
Conditions: Partly cloudy, calm, Mid 30s

Pros: Gorgeous in winter. The ladder in the middle is neat and adds a fun element to this hike. Great expansive view at end of the park, nice spot to watch sunset.

My experience: 1.7 miles round trip. Briefly lost trail at one point. Ladder slippery in winter. I had more trouble going down than up. No problem entering park during Government Shut Down - roads were clear and gates were open. Leave no trace!!!

Cons: Sturdy footwear recommended. Use duck-type boots if wet/winter/muddy. Ladder is quite steep at the top and can be unnerving for some. I imagine the ladder could be congested at busy times. I briefly got off course and only knew it due to my AllTrails app.

IG: Minnesota_Wanderer

hiking
2 months ago

Date: Jan 4, 2019
Cost: $ none
Conditions: Overcast, calm, Mid 20s

Pros: Gorgeous in winter. Highly recommended as a winter visit if properly prepared (micro-spikes). Short distance with big payoff. Fantastic photo opps.

My experience: 1 mile round trip (including lots of exploring under and around the cave).

Cons: While short, it is quite steep. Micro spikes absolutely recommended.

Other: Trailhead is unmarked. I learned of it from a local who would like this to remain quiet so (aside from commenting here, where the trail was already listed) I will not be geotagging on social media and I recommend you do the same.

IG: Minnesota_Wanderer

All that’s needed to be said here is that sylvan lake is absolutely gorgeous.

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