Black Hills Trail Guide

Your quick-hit Black Hills Trails questions answered:


What are the best trails for children?


  • Anywhere on the Mickelson Trail
  • Stratobowl near Rapid City
  • Little Elk Creek near Piedmont
  • Spring Creek Trailhead (Flume Trail) off Sheridan Lake Road
  • Devil's Bathtub (although there are water-crossings) in Spearfish Canyon
  • Spearfish or Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon
  • Deerfield Trail near Silver City
  • Homesteak Trail starting in Deadwood
  • Mt. Roosevelt Trail near the Deadwood Lodge
  • Osprey Trail near Pactola

Where can I get free maps and hiking guides?


  • Roamin' Around in Downtown Rapid City
  • Granite Sports in Hill City
  • Cabellas
  • Forest Service Office or Visitors Center
  • Trail Addict Guide (found in some Northern Hills gas stations) 



What hiking trails are around Pactola Lake?

There are a few trails that circle around or near the lake. Osprey Trail is a short, easy hike that splits into two different routes (A and B) and both offer beautiful views of the back of the lake (opposite side from Highway 385). It's a great place to hike, have a picnic, and go for a swim. Deerfield Trail can be reached from Silver City (behind Pactola) and runs along the creek. Veteran's Point Trail is also very short and easy and walks around the edge of Pactola.

What are some nice hikes near Rapid City?

  • Skyline Trail System in Rapid City
  • Stratobowl Hike off of Highway 16
  • Flume Trail near Rockerville
  • Falling Rock off of Highway 44
  • Buzzards Roost off of Highway 44
  • Spring Creek / Flume Trail off of Sheridan Lake Road
  • Little Elk Creek near Piedmont

Where are some popular places to rent ATV's?

Top answers include:

  • Mystic Hills Hideaway
  • Nemo
  • Mad Mountain Adventures / Boondocks
  • Spearfish Canyon Lodge
  • Black Hills Wilderness Edge
  • There's many more!



Which trails allow overnight, off-trail camping?

You may camp overnight and off of any trail in most parts of the Black Hills National Forest, for free, for a maximum of 14 days in any 60-day period. Water, toilets, and other amenities are not available. If you choose to camp outside developed areas, be sure to bring adequate drinking water or be prepared to purify spring water before drinking it. Leave No Trace guidelines recommend setting up camp 100 feet from any trail or water source. Read more here.

Where should we go to hike and camp, hike and camp for a 2-3 day period?

These are the most popular trails to do some through-hiking and camping:

  • Silver City to Mystic
  • Along the Centennial Trail
  • Along the Mickelson Trail
  • Black Elk Wilderness
  • French Creek area
  • Deerfield Trail
  • Flume Trail

Can I camp in the Black Elk Wilderness?

Be aware of Black Elk Wilderness regulations if you plan to camp there. Read about them here.

Are campfires allowed while camping?

Campfires are not allowed outside of developed campgrounds. Gas or fuel-powered fires are allowed unless there is a special fire restriction order due to fire danger. Read more here.


More questions?

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