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South Side Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 3.4 (5)

Traverse a floodplain full of prairie dogs en route to Red Beds Trail.


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Map Key

0.4

Miles

0.7

KM

Point to Point

4,093' 1,247 m

High

3,866' 1,178 m

Low

227' 69 m

Up

1' 0 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (5°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Family Friendly A short access trail with no shortage of cute prairie dogs!

Description

The South Side Trail begins at the amphitheater near Belle Fourche Campground and ends at a junction with Red Beds Trail. From the amphitheater, follow the trail north and soak up the top-notch views of Devils Tower. Almost immediately, the Valley View Trail branches off to the right, giving you a longer option to get to Red Beds Trail.

Continuing on South Side Trail, you'll see lots of prairie dogs and eventually cross the main road. After crossing the road, the trail steepens and ascends some +200' through open forest. Remember to look back to the south as you ascend for great views of the Black Hills.

When you hit Red Beds Trail, turn right to complete most of that loop or left for the quickest way to the visitor center.

Flora & Fauna

This trail traverses the park's floodplain ecosystem and is home to prairie dog colonies. A prairie dog's light-brown fur blends in well with the color of the dirt that makes up their mounds. Named due to their bark-like alarm call and black-tipped tails, prairie dogs are, on average, about 14 to 17 inches in total length and weigh between 1 and 3 pounds. With short, strong legs and toes with long nails on their front and hind feet, prairie dogs are well-equipped for a burrowing lifestyle.

Contacts

Shared By:

Brian Smith

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 5 votes

#19376

Overall
  3.4 from 5 votes
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Trail Rankings

#388

in Wyoming

#19,376

Overall
8 Views Last Month
161 Since Jan 29, 2016
Easy/Intermediate

75%
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25%
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Photos

Viewing Devils Tower through the Circle of Sacred Smoke sculpture.
Feb 1, 2016 near Sundance, WY
Awesome views of Devils Tower from the South Side Trail.
Jan 29, 2016 near Sundance, WY
On the road to the tower.
Mar 1, 2016 near Sundance, WY
Prairie dog eating grass!
Jan 29, 2016 near Sundance, WY
Sightseeing at Devils Tower.
Jan 29, 2016 near Sundance, WY
Views not limited to the tower itself.
Jan 29, 2016 near Sundance, WY

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Check-Ins

Jun 29, 2020
Angela Guthrie
8h 00m
May 14, 2019
Elissa Covey
Sep 12, 2017
Cody Rickwalt
Aug 9, 2016
Jenna Carroll