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Horsethief Lake Loop

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 5.0 (1) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

11-mile loop of varied terrain, and you get to see parts of the Black Hills that most tourists don't.


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Map Key

11.1

Miles

17.9

KM

Loop

5,665' 1,727 m

High

4,877' 1,486 m

Low

1,672' 510 m

Up

1,672' 510 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

28%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Cave · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

This is an 11-mile loop with the option to add an "out-and-back" to Mt. Rushmore via the Mt. Rushmore Spur Trail. It takes you into the heart of the Black Elk Wilderness Area, where camping opportunities abound.

Description

This is a singletrack trail and is generally in good condition, although sections of Centennial On Hell #89-HC are heavily damaged by horse traffic and wet conditions.

This trail offers amazing views of the Black Hills most people don't see, because they won't get away from the tourist traps.

This is a long hike, so bring water (and lunch) and spend the day. Or, bring a tent and spend the night.

You'll travel on the following trails:
Horsethief Lake #14
Grizzly #7
Centennial On Hell #89-HC

Trail junctions are clearly marked, but the trail is not, so having a map and being able to read it helps greatly.

Contacts

Shared By:

Greg Sage

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1190

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
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Recommended Route Rankings

#5

in South Dakota

#1,190

Overall
65 Views Last Month
1,625 Since Jun 24, 2019
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Photos

Mount Rushmore from The Centennial Trail.
Jun 24, 2019 near Custer, SD
Sun breaking through the clouds.
Jun 24, 2019 near Custer, SD
Looking north into the Black Elk Wilderness.
Jun 24, 2019 near Custer, SD
Looking south into the Black Elk Wilderness - panorama.
Jun 24, 2019 near Custer, SD
South on Horse Thief Lake Trail.
Jun 24, 2019 near Custer, SD
Looking south into the Black Elk Wilderness.
Jun 24, 2019 near Custer, SD

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Jun 17, 2020
KT Ranch