Lovers Leap Trail | Black Hills & Badlands - South Dakota

Lovers Leap Trail

Trail Difficulty: 
Trail Length: 
3 mile (Loop)

This popular trail begins with a steep ascent through a mature ponderosa pine forest, with views of the State Game Lodge and surrounding area.

The trail follows the top of a ridgeline, and at its highest point is a rocky outcrop named Lovers Leap. Legend has it that two Native American lovers leaped to their deaths from this point. Mount Coolidge, Harney Peak and the Cathedral Spires can also be viewed from this point, as well as the area that fell victim to the Galena Fire of 1988 (to the West of the trail).

The trail continues down the side of the ridge into the Galena Creek Drainage. Once in the creek bottom, the trail crosses the creek many times. Some of the creek crossings are challenging even when the water is low (no bridges are provided). The final portion of the trail passes a lodging area and follows a road back to the Coolidge General Store. From there a paved footpath leads past the chapel and back to the trailhead.


Behind the schoolhouse (across from the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center) on US Highway 16A.