South Dakota is one of the nicest hidden gems in all of the United States, especially if you’re a hiker.
Hiking in South Dakota is a great way to experience what makes this beautiful state unique. If you need help deciding where you should hike, look no further!
We’re here to help you.
The 5 Best Trails for Hiking in South Dakota
Here we go!
Black Elk Trails (Keystone, SD)
One of the best parts of hiking in South Dakota is discovering the rich history of the state. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, look no further than the Black Elk Trails.
The trails will take hikers to the highest natural point in South Dakota. Expect views you never knew existed, including an unforgettable view of Mount Rushmore.
Black Elk Trails may not be the best trail if you’re a newcomer, however. Be sure you’re ready for the journey, as the elevation can take a toll on your body.
King and Queen Rock Trail (Garretson, SD)
Speaking of unique sights, this trail is one of the coolest spots in all of South Dakota! The King and Queen Rock Trail is surely something you and your family will never forget.
While the trip is more of a light walk than a hike, it’s worth seeing this exquisite sight.
But maybe the King and Queen Rock Trail isn’t enough to fulfill your hiking needs. No problem! Be sure to check out one of the other trails located in Palisades State Park.
Legion Lake Trail (Custer, SD)
If there was a phrase to describe the Legion Lake Trail, it’d likely be “short and sweet”.
In fact, the trail itself is only a mile-long loop and takes roughly an hour and a half to complete. Its speed and simplicity make it a great trail for newcomers or families with small children.
Who said hiking in South Dakota had to be tough?
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the beautiful sights of Legion Lake.
Devil’s Bathtub (Lead, SD)
You’ll have a tough time finding a trail with a better name than Devil’s Bathtub. Hiking in South Dakota is supposed to be memorable, right? Well, Devil’s Bathtub has you covered there.
Despite its particularly intimidating name, hikers have nothing to worry about. Like Legion Lake Trail, Devil’s Bathtub can be completed in a short amount of time.
Take in the massive limestones as you enjoy a peaceful hike, ending near a gorgeous waterfall!
Crow Peak (Spearfish, SD)
This incredible trail was actually formed by magma thousands of years ago. Totaling in at around 3.5 miles, Crow Peak takes hikers higher and higher until they get a great view of the forest.
Total elevation is around 1,600 feet, so expect the second half of your hike the be much easier than getting to the top.
And be sure to look out for the old mines visible from the top of the peak!
Alright, so now that you’ve got the best spots for hiking in South Dakota, it’s time to put your feet on the trails! Whether you’re at the top of Crow Peak, or down in Devil’s Bathtub, be sure to keep an eye on Hike Database for all of the best hiking tips.
Fancy hiking in Oregon too? Check out our guide on the coolest hiking trails in the state!