Hike to the overlook of the historic site of the manned balloon that was sent over 70,000 feet into the atmosphere in 1935! Easy access makes this hike a popular one for people in the Rapid City area to venture out for a quick afternoon hike!

The winding trail to the Stratobowl is a gradual and easy hike, which is perfect for the whole family or for a quick excursion if you don't have a lot of time. It is roughly a mile to the Rim overlook, where there is a plaque commemorating the November 11th, 1935 balloon flight that launched 72,395 feet into the stratosphere, which was a world record at the time. There is a smattering of granite blocks that have the story of the flight carved into them as well. 

The view down onto the Stratobowl is a beautiful scene, gazing out over an open field, where the landowner usually has a peace sign mowed into the grass. You can often hear the sound of rushing water coming from Spring Creek in the valley. 

The trail itself is easy to follow, as it used to be a logging road, so it is wide and accessible. There are slight ups and downs on the trail, but nothing of significant difficulty. The trail travels through the Ponderosa pine forest that is dotted with aspens and cottonwood trees as well, making for a great and gorgeous mix! 

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Hiking Partner
  • Snacks
  • Layers (weather can change quickly)
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Elevation Gain 100 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Yoga, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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