Hike to the Hippie Hole

0.3 miles  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Kaitlyn Janak

Enjoy a quick hike down to one of the Black Hills hidden gems. Enjoy swimming and cliff jumping, as long as the water is warm enough!

While making your way to the parking area, you'll keep right for the most part. You'll also need a high clearance vehicle or the patience to drive very slowly. The dirt road to the trailhead is full of dips, holes, rocks, and essentially could be a close relative of off roading. If you do not have an SUV or pickup - that's fine, just do NOT and I repeat, do NOT, attempt to make it to the actual parking area. Park your vehicle before you get there and walk the rest of the way. There is a HUGE dip that small cars will not make it over. I Fiat get stuck in that dip once and would not recommend smaller cars attempting that portion of this adventure :)

With that being said - once you park the hike itself is pretty simple. You'll head down the trail until you get to Battle Creek. The most difficult part of this will be the pile of rock and deadfall that you have to maneuver down at the very base of the trail. When you get down to Battle Creek, you'll take yourself left and continue about 15 minutes to the waterfall.

Once you arrive there are plenty of rocks to sunbathe, you can jump off the waterfall, or just swim at the base (you can hike/climb down to the swimming pool if you don't want to jump off). With cliff jumping, please be aware of any rocks or hazards of places you aren't familiar with BEFORE jumping.

When you decide to make your way back up to the parking area, the trail will be the same. The easiest way to remember where to turn to start going upward is by the big flat rock on your right hand side. When I did this hike most recently, someone had spray painted arrows to keep you on the right path but chances are those will fade over time. 

When you've finished this adventure, if you're looking for a bite to eat, stop at the Gaslight in Rockerville. They never disappoint! 

Note: Dogs are welcome to be off leash on this hike, however, make sure the water isn't super high if they want to cross at the waterfall. One of my pups went over the waterfall a couple years ago because he lost his footing in the current - he's fine, but it was very scary!

Read More


Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Cliff Jumping
Swimming Hole


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

đŸ„‡Top Contributor

almost 2 years ago

Great Swimming Hole!

This a great spot to spend a day in the Summer cooling off on a hot day! To avoid going when everyone else goes, you can go in the mornings, like other reviewers have said, and you can also go on week days, because warm weekends can get packed. Use your judgement, it is true there are people who get hurt thinking they are invincible jumping from crazy spots!

almost 3 years ago

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.

Nice Spot To Chill By The Water

Go early in the morning to avoid to much people. It is Fun to jump of the rocks. Bring water shoes for more confort.

Great Rocks, Great Jumps, Great Fellowship

This was a great way to wrap up our week in the Black Hills/Custer State Park area! Drive Foster Gulch Rd all the way to the end and park your car. The hike was a bit of a scramble, but you'll find garnets and staurolite embedded in the rocks along the way! Once you get down to the end of the trail, you'll find a couple of pools before you hit the water falling into Hippie Hole. The area is perfect for sunning on the rocks and for the more adventurous and daring: cliff jumping! On the right side is a sketchy rope and vertical rock face to climb back up OR you can go to the left side and climb the rocks back up (also sketchy... be careful where you step and maybe bring a partner to have your back). We made new friends there and it was overall one of our favorite spots in the state.

Stay Nearby

Keystone, South Dakota

Under Canvas Mount Rushmore

Accommodations:Safari tents starting at $199 per night  (4 person max)Safari with 4 twin beds starting at $199 per night  (4 person max)Safari with adjacent Hive starting at $249 per night  (6 pers...

From $199/night

Custer, South Dakota

Iron Creek Horse Camp

Overview Located 13 miles outside Custer, South Dakota, Iron Creek Horse Camp offers a peaceful setting for guests seeking recreation and relaxation in Southeastern South Dakota's Black Hills Natio...

Hill City, South Dakota

Mount Rushmore Koa At Palmer Gulch

Rapid City, South Dakota

Rapid City / Black Hills Koa

Nearby Adventures

  • Photograph Hippie Hole in the Winter

    Just like in the summer version of Hippie Hole, it is a fairly easy drive, but there can be lots of snow and drifts on the narrow road, so 4WD is a must.  The road down is scenic and there are numerous places to stop and take in the sights and eve...

    0.3 miles 200 ft gain

  • Explore the Spokane Ghost Town

    Spokane will always be one of my favorite locations in the hills. The town was founded in 1890 and features 3 intact structures from that time. The most intact structure is the manager's house which you can find up on a hill behind the other build...

    1 miles 4521 ft gain

  • Stargaze at Spokane Ghost Town

    Great all year long but, especially stunning when the galactic center of the Milky Way is visible from Spring to Fall, Spokane Ghost Town is a local favorite and a hidden gem. Set up your camera, and light paint some old buildings! The ghost town ...

  • Hike Iron Creek Trail #15

    The trail is accessible from 2 different spots, both give you the opportunity for a scenic drive to get there. The approach from the Northeast side is on Iron Mountain road a beautiful scenic Black Hills highway, and you will be very near Lakota L...

    2.4 miles 200 ft gain