Top Hikes to Add to Your Black Hills and Badlands Bucket List | Black Hills Travel Blog

Top Hikes to Add to Your Black Hills and Badlands Bucket List

  • Top Hikes to Add to Your Black Hills and Badlands Bucket List
    Top Hikes to Add to Your Black Hills and Badlands Bucket List
Updated: 
Friday, July 16, 2021
By : 
Anonymous

Whether you’re looking for a short scenic loop, a challenging trail run or a multi-day hike, your trek is sure to transport you to awe-inspiring landscapes. Black Hills National Forest, as well as the state and national parks contain over 450 miles of trails. Read on for more information on some of the top trails in Western South Dakota.

BADLANDS & I-90 REGION

Door Trail
LENGTH .75 miles, out and back
RATING Easy
LOCATION Badlands National Park
Follow a boardwalk through a break in the Badlands wall, known as “the door,” for an incredible view of the Badlands.

Notch Trail
LENGTH 1.5 miles, out and back
RATING Moderate
LOCATION Badlands National Park
Meander through a canyon until you reach a log ladder that will lead you along a ledge to “the Notch,” which offers dramatic views of White River Valley.

Other Notable Trails
Castle Trail • Cliff Shelf Trail • Medicine Loop Route • Saddle Pass Trail • Window Trail

SOUTHERN HILLS REGION

Black Elk Peak, Trail No. 9
LENGTH 7.1 miles, loop
RATING Difficult
LOCATION Custer State Park
Hike to the tallest peak east of the Rocky Mountains for expansive views of the surrounding forest.

Sunday Gulch Trail
LENGTH 3.9 miles, loop
RATING Difficult
LOCATION Custer State Park
Traverse over large boulders and down a valley where towering granite spires frame your views.

Other Notable Trails
Cathedral Spires Trail • Elk Mountain Trail • French Creek Trail • Horsethief Lake Trail • Iron Creek Trail • Iron Mountain Trail • Little Devils Tower Trail • Lover’s Leap Trail • Rankin Ridge Trail

RAPID CITY REGION

Flume Trail
LENGTH 12.4 miles, point-to-point
RATING Moderate
LOCATION Rockerville
Trek through tunnels and past flume beds on this historic trail that was integral during the mining boom in the 1880s.

Buzzards Roost Trailhead
LENGTH Varies, loop
RATING Easy to Difficult
LOCATION Rapid City
Take one of the stacked looped trails to the rocky limestone summit for dramatic 360-degree views.

Other Notable Trails
Hanson-Larsen Memorial Park • Osprey Trail • Skyline Wilderness Area • Spring Creek Loop • Storm Mountain Trail • Stratobowl Rim Trail

NORTHERN HILLS REGION

Crow Peak Trail
LENGTH 6.8 miles, out and back
RATING Moderate
LOCATION Spearfish
Hike to the top of Crow Peak, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Black Hills and the prairies to the east.

Summit Trail
LENGTH 1.8 miles, out and back
RATING Moderate
LOCATION Bear Butte State Park
Climb switchbacks and through rock outcroppings to the top of Bear Butte, or “mato paha” in Lakota – a sacred mountain to many American Indian tribes.

Other Notable Trails
76 Trail • 7th Cavalry Trails • Big Hills Trails • Custer Peak • Eleventh Hour Gulch • Homestake Trail • Iron Creek • Lookout Mountain • Mt. Roosevelt • Old Baldy • Sturgis Trail System • Tinton Trail

BLACK HILLS OF WYOMING

Red Beds Trail
LENGTH 2.8 miles, loop
RATING Moderate
LOCATION Devils Tower National Monument
Follow the trail up and down while taking in stunning views of Devils Tower and the surrounding Belle Fourche River Valley.

Sundance Trail System
LENGTH Varies
RATING Moderate to Difficult
LOCATION Sundance, WY
Secluded trails weave through the network of densely-forested canyons and winding open ridges that form the Bearlodge Mountains.

Other Notable Trails
Carson Draw • Cliff Swallow & Cook Lake Trails • Dugout Gulch • Botanical Trail • Flying V Trail • Joyner Ridge • Serenity Trail • Tower Trail

BLACK HILLS-WIDE

Centennial Trail
LENGTH 111 miles
RATING Moderate
LOCATION Bear Butte State Park to Wind Cave National Park
This trail, marking the 100th anniversary of South Dakota’s statehood, takes you through prairies and mountainous areas. It begins at Bear Butte State Park, travels through Fort Meade Recreation Area, Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park and ends in Wind Cave National Park.

Discover more Black Hills and Badlands hiking trails on the Trails page.

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