Rankin Ridge Trail

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota

Distance1.0mi
Elevation Gain623ft
Trailhead Elevation4,760ft
Top5,009ft
Elevation Min/Max4751/5009ft
Elevation Start/End4760/4760ft

Rankin Ridge Trail

Rankin Ridge Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Custer County, South Dakota. It is within Wind Cave National Park. It is a mile long and begins at 4,760 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is two miles with a total elevation gain of 623 feet. Near the trailhead there is a parking. Along the trail there is an observation tower.

Rankin Ridge Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The Black Hills are a hiker’s delight. Contained in these 6,000 square miles of unglaciated valleys and hills are more than 500 miles of trails that do great things. For one, they take you to splendid fishing. For another, they weave among incredible scenery sculpted by time in accordance with some of the nation’s most provocative geological mandates. What all this results in is variety—something for everyone.

A short interpretive loop trail that ascends through ponderosa pine, providing vistas of Wind Cave National Park and its immense surroundings."

"A trail wandering through ponderosa-pine forest, providing vistas of the park and its immense surroundings. The trail provides a delightful climb up Rankin Ridge, offering sweeping views of the park and beyond. From the ridge the view suggests immense geological phenomena to the east.

Red Valley cuts a spectacular swath through the foreground while the Hog Back Ridge, with its Bison Gap, suggests a ring engulfing the Black Hills. The White River Badlands, once a part of the Black Hills, shimmer in the distance."

Rankin Ridge Trail Reviews

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8/9/2008
Easy hike, great view, but not expansive. Great for getting out of the house and having a picnic...would be better if the fire tower were open to the public.
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6/15/2001
The Ranklin Ridge Trail consists of a short hike up and along a ridge with a number of signs providing biological information about this hill/praire transition area. From the ridge itself you can often spot bison and elk, along with a fantastic view of the black hills. There is an observation tower at the end of the trail which you can climb most the way up to enhance your view. Visible from here is a controlled burn which was lit in 1994 to balance the continous battle between plains and forest in this area. I recommend bringing a good pair of binoculars or a scope to improve your view here. If you are visiting the Black Hills don't forget to include Wind Cave National Park on your list of "must sees".
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Rankin Ridge Trail Photos

Trail Information

Wind Cave National Park
Nearby City
Wind Cave National Park
Parks
Wind Cave National Park
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Oct 2018