BHNF Trail #64: Crow Peak Trail | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

BHNF Trail #64: Crow Peak Trail

Trail Difficulty: 
Trail Length: 
3.2 mile trail to Crow Peak Summit & 0.5 mile spur trail to Beaver Ridge
Trail Elevation Range: 
4,200 to 5,760 feet

Crow Peak is a dominant landmark because of its geological makeup. Billions of years ago, this area was covered by an ocean. Layers of sediment were deposited on the ocean floor, eventually hardening to form limestone and other sedimentary rock layers.

Underground molten rock called magma pushed the sedimentary layers upward forming hills. During the uplifting, crevasses within the limestone hills filled with magma. These flows of magma, called intrusions, cooled to form igneous rock. The limestone and other sedimentary rock erodes at a faster rate than the harder igneous rock.

As the oceans receded, the overlying sedimentary rock eroded, exposing the igneous intrusions. Crow Peak and other peaks you can see from the Crow Peak summit, such as Bear Butte, Spearfish Mtn., and Terry Peak, were formed in this manner. Erosion of this igneous rock and the sedimentary rock surrounding these peaks continues to shape the landscape of the Northern Black Hills. Crow Peak is a key landmark in the Northern Black Hills.

The name "Crow Peak" is an English translation of the Sioux name for the peak, "Paha Karitukateyapi," which means "the hill where the Crows were killed." The name stems from a battle between Sioux and Crow Indians in which the Sioux were victorious.

  • 3.2 mile trail to Crow Peak Summit
  • 0.5 mile spur trail to Beaver Ridge

From Spearfish take FSR 214 for approximately 7 miles southwest of Spearfish to the trailhead.

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