Hell Canyon Trail
ElevationAscent: 606' 185 m
Descent: -629' -192 m
High: 5,790' 1,765 m
Low: 5,296' 1,614 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)
Current trail conditions
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“Experience beautiful surroundings along this great loop trail through West Hell Canyon.”— Greg Sage
Family Friendly Only one section is steep, but still passable by children. Doing the route counterclockwise would be best for kids.
If kids are part of your hiking party, you might want to consider hiking this trail in the counterclockwise direction, opposite to how it's mapped. This allows for more gentle inclines as you ascend from the canyon floor to the ridge above. If adults comprise your group, however, then the mapped direction is the way for you.
• Ticks are prevalent in the area, so always check yourself after your hike.
• There are NO bathroom facilities or trash services at this site.
• Don't expect cell coverage anywhere in this area.
Starting from the trailhead, follow the trail as it ascends the steepest part of the hike right away. Your efforts will quickly pay off though, as the rest of the hike is quite leisurely as you take in the views from the ridgeline. If you'd like, veer onto the Hell Canyon Spur for an interesting look into the canyon.
Past the spur, the trail continues through a small drainage before quickly climbing again over a varied tread along the canyon wall. Eventually, the trail enters the mouth of the canyon and begins a steady descent to the canyon floor. While in the canyon, soak up the views of your surroundings as you make your way back to the trailhead and parking area through lush, verdant undergrowth.
Much of this trail exhibits loose and rocky footing, so you might have to find a balance between enjoying the views and watching where you place your feet.
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History & Background
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Land Manager: USFS - Black Hills National Forest Office
Jul 16, 2019: Gubbels New Mystic District Ranger