The Best Hiking in South Dakota

Looking for the best hiking in South Dakota? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around South Dakota. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

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Top hiking spots in and near South Dakota

  • Interior, South Dakota

    Hike the Badlands' Notch Trail

    4.6
    Notch Trail is on the south end of the Door Trail car park.The Trail sorta follows a dry river bed but there is also a actual trail you can also follow. It winds through the gulch and about half a mile or so you come to a 50 foot ladder. The ladder is a pretty easy climb up but can be a little mo...
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  • Vale, South Dakota

    Hike the Sacred Steps of Bear Mountain

    4.2
    3.5 mi / 1200 ft gain
    Bear Mountain or Mathó Pahá as it's called by the Lakota peoples, is the leftover remnants of an ancient volcanic plug. The mountain weathered away, to leave the harder igneous formation, for which plains tribes have been coming to for sacred communication with their Creator for 10,000 years. Thi...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Hike to Little Devil's Tower in the Black Hills

    5.0
    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 ...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Hiking to Harney Peak

    4.9
    The Harney Peak Trailhead #9 is located in the northwest corner of the parking lot just beyond Sylvan Lake. From there, the hike is very straight forward – the beginning of the trail is very moderate, being slightly flat with a few ups and downs along the way.Once you cross into the Black Elk Wil...
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  • Keystone, South Dakota

    Hike to the Hippie Hole

    4.8
    0.3 mi
    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 hav...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Cathedral Spires in the Black Hills

    4.8
    1.65 mi / 200 ft gain
    This is a moderate hike with a huge payout in the form of some of the Black Hills' most beautiful features — tall granite spires rising hundreds of feet above the surrounding terrain, reaching a maximum height of 6,860 feet. Starting from the Cathedral Spires Trailhead --where you may be treated...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Hike to Poet's Table

    5.0
    1 mi
    This hike starts at the Little Devil's Towers trailhead just east of Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park. Follow the main trail from the parking lot about 300 yards then there will be an unmarked trail off to the left, it is a beaten path more than a trail. The trail that leads up to Poet's Table ve...
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  • Hot Springs, South Dakota

    Tour Wind Cave

    4.7
    0.67 mi / 6 ft gain
    Established in 1903, Wind Cave National Park is home to over 140 miles of mapped cave passages. The cave features 95% of the world's known boxwork calcite formations and got its name from the sound of rushing wind created at its few small openings.A guided tour is the only way to see the cave sys...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Tour Jewel Cave

    4.0
    0.5 mi / 20 ft gain
    Established in 1908, Jewel Cave National Monument is home to over 179 miles of mapped cave passages. The cave features larger chambers and more interesting formations then nearby Wind Cave NP, and much of it is covered in spar crystals.A guided tour is the only way to see the cave system unless y...
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  • Interior, South Dakota

    Hike the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail

    5.0
    0.75 mi / 200 ft gain
    About 4 miles south of the Northeast Park Entrance, just past the Castle Trailhead, is the Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead. It sits on the outside of the cliff formation facing open space just through Cedar Pass. There is a parking lot here typically filled with people soaking in the panoramic views...
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  • Interior, South Dakota

    Door Trail in Badlands NP

    4.0
    0.86 mi
    A perfect intro to the magnificence of Badlands National Park, the Door Trail is located in between the Ben Reifel Visitor Center and the northeast entrance of the park. Other trails that can be accessed at this parking lot are the Door Trail, the Window Trail, the Notch Trail and Castle Trai...
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  • Lead, South Dakota

    Hike to Devil's Bathtub, Black Hills National Forest

    1 mi
    Before you start this adventure, make sure you're wearing shoes that will not be ruined by crossing creeks. There are several stream crossings so wear waterproof boots or sturdy hiking sandals (I prefer my Original Universal Tevas or my KEEN Whisper Sandal).  The pull off to start the hike is abo...
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  • Spearfish, South Dakota

    Explore the Frozen Waterfalls of Spearfish Canyon

    5.0
    There are a multitude of frozen waterfalls throughout Spearfish Canyon. Some require a short hike and others can be seen from the road. This adventure will describe how to access the three largest frozen falls.Take Spearfish Canyon Highway south out of the town of Spearfish SD. After roughly 6 mi...
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  • Custer, South Dakota

    Hike the Lookout Point Loop at Wind Cave National Park

    3.5
    4.5 mi
    The Lookout Point Loop actually combines parts of three trails to bring you through some of Wind Cave's best prairieland. Begin at the trailhead for Centennial and Lookout Point off of Hwy 87 and take Lookout Point trail east to Beaver Creek. At Beaver Creek, you'll catch the Highland Creek Trail...
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  • Hermosa, South Dakota

    Explore the Spokane Ghost Town

    1 mi / 4521 ft gain
    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 buildings. A few years ago the old school house finally...
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  • Hill City, South Dakota

    Camp at Black Fox Campground

    Black Fox is 9 miles west of Rochford has nine campsites along the Rhoads Fork Creek where it meets up with the South Fork of Rapid Creek. Campsites are nicely arranged for the most part with a fire pit and picnic table at each site. From the campground there are many things to do, many people en...
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