Sanctuary Trail

Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota
Elevation Gain245ft
Trailhead Elevation4,472ft
Elevation Min/Max4414/4523ft
Elevation Start/End4472/4472ft

Sanctuary Trail

Sanctuary Trail is a hiking trail in Custer County, South Dakota. It is within Wind Cave National Park. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 4,472 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.9 miles with a total elevation gain of 245 feet. This trail connects with the following: Centennial Trail.
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Rapid City, SD
Adventurer | 478 pts
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Even though I have lived quite close to Wind Cave National Park it took me quite some time to visit the place. Nearby Custer State Park seems to absorb most of the tourism leaving Wind Cave a greater place of solitude. WCNP is a hidden treasure and one of the best areas to find peace and quite during the busy tourist season in the hills.

The road connecting Custer State Park and Wind Cave National Park is currently torn up and although navigable it is in a dusty state of mayhem. That said it is worth the bumpy journey south to visit this park. The Highland Creek trail appears to see very little use as it was barely navigable through parts of the praire. The only visible tracks I saw were bison tracks and if it werent for the occasional "post" along the route it would be easy to lose track of on occasion. I saw a number of bison along the route and I often found myself wandering quite some way from the trail to give them their much needed space. I found myself amidst a number of praire dog towns and in some of the most pristine mixed forest/praire land I have ever seen. It was fantastic to view the bison in an environment not so overburdened by vehicles and onlookers. I found it enjoyable to hike this trail and to follow it up by hiking the short Ranklin Ridge trail to get an overview of the area I was just hiking in.

Sanctuary Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

"A one-way route linking several trails in Wind Cave National Park, allowing hikers to experience a variety of park habitats."

Trail Information

Wind Cave National Park
Nearby City
Wind Cave National Park
Wind Cave National Park
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated topo map No. 238
Local Maps

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