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Custer, South Dakota

Hike to Little Devil's Tower in the Black Hills

Originally added by Jake Young

Distance: 3 Miles. Amazing views of the Cathedral Spires. Explore the Noble Mica Mine. Avoids the tourist crowd at Harney Peak. Elevation Gain: 600 ft. One of the tallest features west of the Rockies.

The trail starts at the Little Devil's Tower Trailhead which is located roughly one mile east of Sylvan Lake on Highway 87. Take Trail #4 for around 1/2 mile until a fork in the trail. The right fork takes you to Harney Peak, while the left takes you to Little Devils Tower. Along the trail there are a few spur trails leading to granite overlooks. One can also explore the Noble Mica Mine which is a short walk off the trail. Around a mile into the hike, the trail goes into a rather large granite crevasse. From here, the trail is marked with painted trail markers on the granite.

The top of Little Devil's Tower offers spectacular views of Harney Peak (tallest point east of the Rockies until Europe) and the Cathedral Spires. Fall is an incredible time to hike in this area as all of the aspen trees are changing colors.

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Picnic Area


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Overall rating: 

Had a Blast!

I had a blast on this trail during a recent vacation out to the Black Hills. The views at the top of Little Devil’s Tower were absolutely spectacular. As the Adventure post alluded to, the last few hundred feet of the final ascent is a rock scramble which I didn’t find difficult but that is just my perspective. I combined the Cathedral Spires trail into this hike but I started at the Cathedral Spires trailhead not the Little Devil’s Tower trailhead and parking lot. Near the end of the Cathedral Spires trail there a short connector trail (and signs) to Trail #4. Once you reach Trail #4 head west until you reach the Little Devil’s Tower spur trail. I think the roundtrip mileage ended up being near 3.0 miles. The trail was all uphill at a moderate rate but it made for an easy hike back. Also the route is mostly exposed with little shade.

Thanks For The Inspiration

I have hiked Harney a couple of times but have never taken the fork to Little Devils Tower...yet! Thanks for the inspiration Jake! Also, this hike is located inside Custer State Park which requires users to purchase a SD State Parks pass ($15/day or $45 annually) which, I can promise you, will be money well spent!

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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