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Cathedral Spires Trail

Intermediate

Trail

0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer point to point
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 426' 130 m
Descent: -10' -3 m
High: 6,644' 2,025 m
Low: 6,228' 1,898 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Map Key

Trail shared by Russell Hobart

This trail tours the huge granite towers of the Cathedral Spires.

Russell Hobart

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Family Friendly While steep in sections, kids will love viewing the spires along this trail.

Description

From the parking lot, follow the obvious trail that heads north toward the Cathedral Spires. The first third of a mile gently heads uphill until you close in on the rock formations. Fight steep switchbacks for the next third until the trail turns east where you'll get a good look at the back of the spires.

A multitude of climber's trails weave their way in and out of the many spires and provide a great look at the strange geometry of the area and hours of discovery. The trail peters out at a series of connected spires called the Picket Fence.

Flora & Fauna

Some of the birds you might see here are the pinyon jay, gray jay, three-toed woodpecker, black-backed woodpecker, American dipper, and ruffed grouse. Introduced mountain goats can be found along with white-tail and mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, and cougars.

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Check-Ins

Aug 27, 2019
Tessa Vande Velden
Aug 23, 2019
Donell M
Beautiful scenery. Weather was perfect. Flora was at its peak.
Jul 5, 2019
Lauren Sargeant
Jun 10, 2019
Paul Thalacker
May 23, 2019
Neil M
Oct 6, 2018
Jessica Callahan
2mi
Aug 7, 2018
Logan Hange
Jul 22, 2018
M S
Nice trail in the evening, golden hour light made it very special 2.1mi

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 11 votes

#315

Overall
  4.7 from 11 votes
5 Star
82%
4 Star
9%
3 Star
9%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in South Dakota

#315

Overall
41 Views Last Month
1,478 Since Nov 11, 2016
Intermediate

0%
14%
29%
57%
0%
0%

Photos

Spire 2 and the Khayyam Spire towering above the trail
Aug 12, 2017 near Custer, SD
The view a mile off from the 500' Cathedral Spires
Aug 12, 2017 near Custer, SD

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