Best Hiking in South Dakota

This list represents the most popular hiking in South Dakota. Use this list to plan your next South Dakota hiking trip. Select a state and/or activity below to find even more top trails.

Learn more about Top Trails

#1. Harney Peak - South Dakota Highpoint


Highpoint rank by height: 15th. Be sure to bring along a camera with plenty of film as well as your binoculars, if you have them. The lookout tower on the summit is listed on the National Historic Loo…
From the guidebook "Highpoint Adventures: The Complete Guide to the 50 State Highpoints"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 6 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Colorado Mountain Club Press

#2. Harney Peak Loop Trail


A series of trails through wilderness and exceptional wildlife habitat. Hikers eventually reach Harney Peak. Willow Creek Loop Trail provides vistas of Harney Peak, a bird’s-eye view of the spires of…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Backpacking, Hiking - 10.5 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#3. The Centennial Trail


The Centennial Trail has a lofty beginning and magnificent ending. If one proceeds from north to south, the trail begins at Bear Butte and Bear Butte Lake, where Crazy Horse presided over a Council of…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Rapid City, SD - Backpacking, Hiking - 111 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#4. Sylvan Lake to Harney Peak Trail


A moderately difficult trail to Harney Peak with spectacular and varied scenery along the way.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 6.8 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#5. Cathedral Spires Trail


This moderately strenuous spur trail is a great natural history trek that connects with Sylvan Lake Trail to Harney Peak.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 5 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#6. The Door, Window, and Notch Trails


Easy journeys to view some of the park's most rugged rock formations. At the Fossil Exhibit, Badlands National Park has created replicas of fossils indigenous to the Badlands, and they are exhibited a…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Rapid City, SD - Hiking - 2.41 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#7. Mount Rushmore to Horsethief Lake Trail


An extremely scenic one-way hike departing from Mount Rushmore and terminating at Horsethief Lake, with access to other trails, some leading to Harney Peak.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 3 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#8. Custer State Park Campgrounds


Custer State Park presents camping and abundant wildlife in the midst of spectacular geologic formations. Narrow tunnels push through adequately named needle spires of hard granite with countless cubb…
From the guidebook "Camping Wyoming and the Black Hills"
Custer, SD - Campgrounds Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#9. Lost Cabin - Harney Peak Loop Trail


A vigorous loop hike through a variety of lofty terrain so beautiful that one of the trails (Lost Cabin) has been designated a National Recreational Trail. For those interested in a challenging hike,…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 8.6 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#10. Castle Trail


A prairie hike flanking the beautiful formations along the Badlands Wall.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Rapid City, SD - Hiking - 5 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#11. Bear Butte Trail


A 2-hour hike from the base to the peak of a sacred mountain. The trail winds through a pine forest; many tree branches are draped with prayer flags and ceremonial objects.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Sturgis, SD - Hiking - 3.75 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#12. French Creek Natural Area


An overnight backpack into a pristine natural area along a gorge of unique rock formations, with numerous creek fordings. Of course, you always have the option of hiking in from either end and backtra…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Backpacking, Hiking - 12 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#13. Little Devils Tower Spur Trail


A fairly steep hike up a spur trail, winding through pine forest and ending atop Little Devils Tower among incredible rock formations and views. The trail provides an easy to moderate ascent for the f…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 3 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#14. Sunday Gulch Trail


An interpretive trail that loops behind Sylvan Lake and offers some of the best overviews of the park's exquisite diversity.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 3.5 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#15. Flume Trail


A fascinating trek through one of the historic gold-mining areas in the Black Hills. The trail follows, in part, an old flume bed.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Hill City, SD - Hiking - 14 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#16. Lovers' Leap Trail


A 2- to 3-hour loop trail passing through pine and oak forest, offering great views at the summit. The Grace Coolidge Walk-in Fishing Area trail is actually an old, overgrown logging road. It is an ea…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 4 miles Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#17. Fossil Exhibit Trail


A short, barrier-free loop to an exhibit of area fossils.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Rapid City, SD - Hiking - 0.25 mile Best Trail in sd - Click to view all (About Top Trails)
Published by Falcon Guides

#18. Sylvan Lake Shore Trail


An easy loop trail around Sylvan Lake.…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Custer, SD - Hiking - 1 mile
Published by Falcon Guides

#19. Spring Creek Loop Trail


A flat loop trail through woods on a ridge above Spring Creek, which can be included as an addition to the Flume Trail or simply hiked on its own. The Flume Trail is filled with the history of gold mi…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Hill City, SD - Hiking - 3 miles
Published by Falcon Guides

#20. George S. Mickelson Trail


According to its namesake and founder, George S. Mickelson, "This trail may be our last opportunity to provide a pathway that is easily used by the elderly, people with disabilities and the very young…
From the guidebook "Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country"
Rapid City, SD - Backpacking, Hiking - 50 miles
Published by Falcon Guides