For a more curated experience check out trail guides from our partner publishers.
Hiking South Dakota's Black Hills Country
by Bert & Jane Gildart (Falcon Guides)
This moderately strenuous spur trail is a great natural history trek that connects with Sylvan Lake Trail to Harney Peak.
This is a beautiful trail which I highly recommend. We did this with a 4 yr old (sometimes hiking; sometimes on our shoulders) and 7 and 9 yr old. We never were worried that we'd bitten more than we could chew as a family. The only challenging part of the trail is fairly short and positioned near the halfway point of the trail. As soon as you pass through a gap (about 30' wide), the trail opens into an expansive area and becomes much more gentle. You''ll still have a good deal of vertical feet left to go, but the trail from the gap is not hard. At the trail's end (marked by a wooden sign), there is a beautiful view to the North and many "spires" or "needles" which you can climb.
What a great spot with minimal effort to reach. Note: the park service has "closed" the connector trail between the end of the Cathedral Sprires Trail and the Mt. Harney Peak trail. I went anyway. It was less than 1/4 mile of walking beside the old connector trail. I continued to the top of Hareny Peak and was back down in 3 hours, give or take. Great view from the top.
This is a super trail. Although the park system has closed the trail from Cathedral Spires to Harney Peak, the path is still there for those that know the way. At the end of the Spires trail just stay to the left and drop down into the valley, when you make your way back up again you will hook up with the trail to Harney Peak. This is not a difficult trail as we took it with several of our children ranging from 5-13 years of age and they all had a lot of fun. Views from the top are as good as it gets and are well worth the hike.
Cathedral Spires is a must hike for any flat-landers like those of us from Florida. While the Sylvan Lake parking area was packed there was ample parking for this trek. Cathedral Spires is more difficult than the Sylvan Lake trail to Harney Peak but the Spires are absolutely beautiful and offers some great scenery. There are some fairly steep up and downs but the views make it worth it. I'm not a rock climber but if I were this would be a must do. Enjoy.
The cathederal spires are absolutely beautiful! The higher country of the black hills is a great place to cool off during a hot day as well. This is one of those places that everyone should make a point to see at some point during their life! If you are a rock climber this is a must do.
Sign in/up to upload photos.