Great Way To Spend A Day

The other reviewers are pretty much right on, this is one of my favorite places in the Black Hills. A couple words of caution - first, the water is really cold, even in summer, so prepare for that initial shock. Second, people often try to jump off the really high ledges, I'm talking way up the cliff - bad move. Search and Rescue makes at least one trip a year to Hippie Hole to rescue or airlift someone out. YouTube has video of some pretty nasty cliff jump fails, be smart and have fun! If you want to see the Black Hills by helicopter, take a sightseeing tour instead.

Fall Backpacking Trip

Planned a long weekend backpacking trip with my two boys (12 and 14) which included an overnight stay at the Cottonwood Campground. It was just before school started so plenty of open camp sites. We walked down to the Little Missouri River for some exploring and ended up squishing around bare foot on the mud bars (as opposed to sand bars) for almost two hours - great fun! In the morning we headed for the Petrified Forest Loop, but not before a herd of buffalo wandered through the campground as we were packing up. It is not often that a campground is as memorable as being out on the trail, but this one was.

Dave Kluth

about 3 years ago

North Dakota High Point

Unlike many western high point hikes, White Butte is not a difficult or long hike, but it is remote. Well worth the effort and a relatively easy hike up for kids as well.

It's name is Bear Butte...

Bear Butte is a great half day hike near Sturgis, SD. It costs a few dollars to drive into the state park which helps support the visitor center at the base of the butte. The hike to viewing platform at the top takes a couple hours, less if you're fit. The trail is easy to follow but rocky in places and the views of the Black Hills and surrounding prairie are fantastic. I have hiked the trail in all kinds of weather and often it is extremely windy at the summit. My favorite climb was in a thick fog which added a mystical quality to the experience. Bring at least two quarts of water, it is uphill for two hours, comfortable trail shoes, and hat and sunscreen. The butte is sacred to the region's Indian tribes, so you will see hundreds of colorful prayer bundles tied to the trees for the entire climb. At certain times of the year tribal members can be seen well away from the summit platform conducting vision quests.