Crow Peak Trail (Trail #64)

  

A 3.2 mile trail to Crow Peak Summit, with a 0.5 mile spur trail to Beaver Ridge.

Crow Peak is a dominant landmark because of its geological makeup. Billions of years ago, this area was covered by an ocean. Layers of sediment were deposited on the ocean floor, eventually hardening to form limestone and other sedimentary rock layers.

Underground molten rock called magma pushed the sedimentary layers upward forming hills. During the uplifting, crevasses within the limestone hills filled with magma. These flows of magma, called intrusions, cooled to form igneous rock.

The limestone and other sedimentary rock erodes at a faster rate than the harder igneous rock. As the oceans receded, the overlying sedimentary rock eroded, exposing the igneous intrusions. Crow Peak and other peaks you can see from Crow Peak summit, such as Bear Butte, Spearfish Mountain, and Terry Peak, were formed in this manner. Erosion of the igneous rock and the sedimentary rock surrounding these peaks continues to shape the landscape of the Northern Black Hills.

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Activities


Hiking

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Day Hiking

To access the Crow Peak Trail, travel from Spearfish southwest on FSR 214  approximately 7 miles to the trailhead, which is on the west side of the road.  The Crow Peak Trail is maintained for hikers, horseback riders, and bicycles. No motorized use is allowed. Difficulty Rating: Difficult.

Crow Peak is a key landmark in the Northern Black Hills. The name "Crow Peak" is an English translation of the Sioux name for the peak, "Paha Karitukateyapi," which means "the hill where the Crows were killed." The name stems from a battle between Sioux and Crow Indians in which the Sioux were victorious.