Hikes in Custer National Park

Old Jul 5th, 2013, 07:13 AM
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Hikes in Custer National Park

Any recommendations for hikes in Custer Nat'l Park? Looking for one that are moderate to difficult and are 3-4 hours round trip. shorter with nice scenery are good also. thanks!
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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The National Park in the southern Black Hills is Wind Cave NP.
North of Wind Cave is Custer State Park which is controlled by the state of South Dakota. To the west of the state park is the Black Hills National Forest.
Check with the visitor center at either Mt. Rushmore or Wind Cave for things to do in the area.
See if you can find the time to make it over to Devil's Tower.
The visitor center for the state park is along Alt. 16.
You may want to see the partially completed Crazy Horse statue.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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We have never done the hike to Mount Rushmore but it is so close to Custer State Park if I were a hiker, which I'm not, I would sure do it.
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...th_Dakota.html
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 12:48 PM
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We just got back from the Black Hills and did a bunch of hikes in/around Custer State Park. The "premier" hike is up Harney Peak (Trail #9) which takes around 4 - 5 hours and it is a moderately difficult hike. (We finished it in just under 4 hours including a rest stop at the top.) FWIW, my grandmother did this hike when she was 80 years old and my son did it when he was 5 years old.

Another trail we enjoyed was the Iron Creek (#15) trail. Here's the description: "The Iron Creek Trail is an easy route following an old road. There are 11 water crossings as the trail meanders through a forest of ponderosa pine, oak, aspen and birch. Just outside the southern edge of the Black Elk Wilderness, this is an excellent trail for mountain bikers." (Not only did we not see any mountain bikers, we did not see any other hikers!) The mileage is 2.4 miles one-way and it probably took us under a couple hours to hike. Be prepared to make your way over the water crossings via stones as there are only 4 or 5 bridges.

There's a great trail brochure (which I'm looking at right now) that we picked up at Mt. Rushmore. They will probably have it at the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center in Custer State Park as well. It lists 18 different hikes in the Black Hills National Forest.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 01:46 PM
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Thanks for the rec, longhorn. It's fairly warm here, so wondering about how much shade on the hikes you mention.
We do ave book n hikes in the area, but always like irsthand experience.

a hike to Mt. Rushmore could be interesting but I would be concerned it might be in direct sunlight the whole time. Will cheek it out to see.

We spent yesterday and night at Devil's Tower.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 07:47 PM
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I had not done the Harney Peak hike in a number of years and was not prepared for the devastation caused by the pine beetles. Many of the trees close to the trail had died and, thus, the trail was pretty sunny. If you do this hike, wear a hat and sunscreen and take plenty of water as you will be in the sun.

The Iron Creek trail was not as exposed as the Harney Peak trail, but there were some open spaces as well.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 08:34 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. Yes, the beetle infestation has been just awful to c. It was really bad in parts of CO.
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