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blue Custer Peak

  4.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

8.3 mile 13.3 kilometer out and back
Intermediate

Elevation

Ascent: 1,014' 309 m
Descent: -1,014' -309 m
High: 6,686' 2,038 m
Low: 5,780' 1,762 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 11% (6°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Ryan Dosch

A hike to the Custer Peak Fire Lookout Tower.

Ryan Dosch

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife

Located in the Black Hills National Forest. Look for closures in the summer due to high fire danger.

Overview

A trek up Custer Peak to the Fire Lookout Station...and awesome views!

Need to Know

No water/services at the top.

Description

From the Mystic Hills Hideaway Campground, follow Custer Peak Road. You'll soon see Custer Peak with the Fire Lookout at the top...that is your end goal!

You'll hit a Y in the road. Take a right and follow the signs pointing to Custer Peak. A fairly steep climb up a single-lane gravel road awaits. Just as you second guess your decision to climb South Dakota's 13th tallest peak, you are treated to awesome views of the whole area from the Fire Lookout!

After a well-deserved break to snap a few pictures for proof that you made it to the top, pat yourself on the back and head back to the start.

For a shorter distance: Start at the Y in the road (technically the start of the Custer Peak Trail) but parking is only available on the shoulder of the gravel road.

For the full distance: There is a large parking lot just east of the campground that is used as a Snowmobile Trailhead in the winter, more info here. Park here, and your first stretch to the Y is on a very lightly traveled gravel road.

Flora & Fauna

Elk, deer, ground squirrels, birds.

History & Background

The current fire lookout was built in 1941 and was placed on the National Historic Lookout Register in 1990.

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Dogs Allowed

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Check-Ins

Mar 27, 2019
Brady Schaner
Couldn't make it to the peak due to 3+feet of snow on the north side of the summit. Hike would be considerably shorter if you park at the Y. 6.6mi — 2h 30m

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#2987

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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Featured Hike Rankings

#9

in South Dakota

#2,987

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1,272 Since Apr 28, 2017
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