Black Hills Hiking Trails, South Dakota Hikes

Black Hills South Dakota
> Summer Recreation
> Hiking


The Black Hills offer hiking options for all abilities and ages. Take your pick from a leisurely stroll down the Mickelson Trail to a strenuous hike up Harney Peak.

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Try one of these popular hiking trails:

Harney Peak Trail
Hike to the top of this peak for fantastic 360 degree views at 7,242 feet.

  • Length: 3.5 miles
  • Time: 4-5 hours
  • Difficulty: Trail starts off easy and then gets increasingly more strenuous as you get closer to the summit.
  • Trailhead: Sylvan Lake Day Use Area

Badger Clark Historic Trail
A great trail for little ones, it combines history and nature with interpretive panels along the way.

  • Length: 1 mile
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: South of US Highway 16A on the Badger Clark Road

Rankin Ridge Trail
A wonderful trail through Wind Cave National Park, you'll enjoy views of the Black Hills, open prairie, wildlife, and interpretive signs along the way.

  • Length: 1 mile
  • Time: 15-20 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Parking lot at Rankin Ridge in Wind Cave National Park

Roughlock Falls Trail
Perhaps getting its fame from the movie Dances with Wolves, this hiking trail is well worth a visit.

  • Length: 2 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Spearfish Canyon Lodge

Sylvan Lake Trail
Circling the entire lake, this is a great trail for kids. Keep your eyes peeled for the areas used in the movie National Treasure II.

  • Length: 1 mile
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: Sylvan Lake Day Use Area

Cathedral Spires Trail
This beautiful trail connects to Harney Peak from Sylvan Lake.

  • Length: 5 miles
  • Time: 1-2 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Custer State Park, from Sylvan Lake, head east on US 87 for 2.4 miles

The Centennial Trail
Built in 1989 to mark the state's centennial, the trail spans 111 miles from Bear Butte State Park, through Fort Mead, Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, ending in Wind Cave National Park. Great for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.

  • Length: 111 miles
  • Time: 7 to 10 days or you can just jump onto a piece of it for however long you like
  • Trailhead: Various locations

George S Mickelson Trail
An old railroad bed converted into a wide gravel trail, the Mickelson is great for hiking, biking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and snowmobiling.

  • Length: 109 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Trailhead: There are 15 trailheads scattered throughout the Black Hills

French Creek Natural Area
This pristine area is a great place to get away from it all. You can hike just a few miles in and turn around or hike the whole thing with a night of backpacking.

  • Length: 12 miles one-way
  • Time: 6 hours
  • Difficulty: Moderate with lots of stream crossings
  • Trailhead: 3 miles from Blue Bell Lodge on North Lame Johnny Road OR 4 miles south of the State Game Lodge on the Wildlife Loop Road.

Flume Trail
Follow this historic trail to the mining boom of the 1880s, complete with artifacts and interpretive signs.

  • Length: 11 miles
  • Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
  • Trailhead: Sheridan Lake Campground in the Black Hills National Forest

Bear Butte Summit Trail
Hike to the top of Bear Butte for great views.

  • Length: 1.85 miles
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Trailhead: Education Center in Bear Butte State Park

Badlands National Park Trails
Seven great trails range in difficulty and scenery.