Top 10 Hiking Trails Rapid City Black Hills South Dakota

Top 10 Hiking Trails

The best way to reconnect with family or friends is to surround yourself with nature. There is no shortage of trails to choose from when visiting Rapid City & the Black Hills, so narrowing it down might be hard. These top 10 hiking trails showcase the biggest and most beautiful trails in the area. 

1 - Black Elk Trails

Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in South Dakota and the Black Hills.This trail is 3.5 miles long and gains 1,100 feet in elevation! It lies in the Black Hills Elk Wilderness Area in the Black Hills National Forest. 

  • Distance- 3.5 miles 
  • Location - Black Hills National Forest 
  • Difficulty - Hard
  • Also Good For - Rock Climbing 
Black Elk Trails

2 - Devil's Bathtub

Hiking this little limestone corridor is neat whether you are young or old. Located in Spearfish Canyon this short hike is perfect for all hikers. 

  • Distance - Less than a mile 
  • Location - Spearfish Canyon 
  • Difficulty - Moderate 
Devil's Bathtub

3 - Spring Creek Loop Trail

This easy  trail winds through the woods on a ridge above Spring Creek it can be hiked on its own or as part of the Flume Trail. This trail is mostly used for hiking and walking and is good for all skill levels! 

  • Distance - 3 miles 
  • Dificulty - Easy 
  • Location - Black Hills 
  • Also good for - Biking, Pet Friendly 
Spring Creek Loop Trail

4 - The Flume Trail

Flume Trail is a 14 mile point-to-point trail located near Rapid City, South Dakota at Sheridan Lake. The trail takes you back in time to the mining boom of the 1880s. The Rockerville Flume carried water 20 miles, from Spring Creek west of present day Sheridan Lake, east to the placer diggings near Rockerville. This trail is moderately difficult and is accessible year round.

  • Distance - 14 miles 
  • Location - Sheridan Lake 
  • Difficulty - Moderate
  • Also good for - Biking
The Flume Trail

5 - Centennial Trail

Centennial Trail stretches 111 miles to commemorate the centennial of South Dakota and celebrate the diversity of the State of South Dakota. 

  • Distance - 111 miles 
  • Location - Black Hills National Forest 
  • Difficulty - Moderate 
  • Also good for - Biking, horseriding 
Centennial Trail

6 - George S. Mickelson Trail

The Mickelson Trail is a converted railroad that passes through the heart of the Black Hills and is 108 miles long! Beginning in Edgemont, in the southern hills, the trail passes through the towns of Pringle, Custer, Hill City, Rochford, Lead and Deadwood. The majority of the trail does not exceed 4% grade and the relatively hard packed, crushed aggregate surface makes it appropriate for bicycles of all types except road bikes with skinny tires. The trail is suitable for all ages and abilities.

  • Distance - 108.8 miles 
  • Location - Stretches from Edgemont - Deadwood
  • Difficulty - Easy 
  • Also good for - Biking, Fishing, Walking 
George S. Mickelson Trail

7 - Sylvan Lake Shore Trail

The Sylvan Lake Shore Trail offers passing motorists an opportunity to stretch their legs for a leisurely 1-mile walk the whole family can enjoy

This trail makes a complete loop around Sylvan Lake, and is one of the easiest trails in Custer State Park. Enormous granite formations line portions of the lake making it one of the most picturesque in the Black Hills.

  • Distance - 1 mile 
  • Location - Custer State Park 
  • Difficulty - Easy 
  • Also good for - Biking, Fishing, Pet Friendly 
Sylvan Lake Shore Trail

8 - Horsethief Lake Trail

The Horsethief Lake Trail is a 2.7 mile long trail that wanders through granite peaks and twisting spires that poke through the thick forest canopy. Located in the Black Hills this trail is rated moderate and offers rock climbing opportunities for experienced climbers.

  • Distance - 2.7 miles 
  • Location - Black Hills
  • Difficulty - Moderate
  • Also good for - Rock Climbing, Biking, Fishing  
Horsethief Lake Trail

9 - Stratobowl

This is a fun, easy hike that the whole family can enjoy. It is located within minutes of Rapid City right off of SD Highway 16. A great short hike, with a little history, which can be done in less than an hour, round trip. A local favorite!

  • Distance -1.7 miles
  • Location - Highway 16
  • Difficulty - Easy 
  • Also good for - Biking 

10 - Crow Peak

3.5 miles in length with an elevation gain of approximately 1,600 feet this trail rewards hikers that reach the summit to views of the Bearlodge Mountains in Wyoming, the plains of southeast Montana, Terry Peak, Spearfish Mountain, Citadel Rock, Lookout Mountain, Cement Ridge, Sundance Mountain, Polo Peak, Crook Mountain and Bear Butte. 

  • Distance- 3.5 miles 
  • Location - Black Hills 
  • Difficulty - hard 
  • Also good for - Biking
Crow Peak

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