Black Elk Wilderness Trail System

  

Black Elk Wilderness and Norbeck Wildlife Preserve Trail System has eighteen trails ranging in length from 0.6 mile to 8.9 miles. Unless otherwise noted, the trails listed are open for hikers and stock users only.

Individual Trail Information:

  • Lost Cabin Trail (Trail #2), 5.0 miles.
  • Norbeck Trail (Trail #3), 6.3 miles.
  • Trail #4, 2.3 miles.
  • Willow Creek-Rushmore Trail (Trail #5), 1.9 miles.
  • Sunday Gulch Trail (Trail #6), 3.2 miles
  • Grizzly Bear Creek Trail (Trail #7),  6.3 miles.
  • Willow Creek Loop (Trail #8), 2.8 miles.
  • Harney Peak (North) Trail (Trail #9), 4.7 miles.
  • Harney Peak (South) Trail (Trail #9), 3.8 miles.
  • Horsethief Lake Trail (Trail #14), 2.7 miles.
  • Iron Creek Trail (Trail #15), 2.4 miles, Difficulty Rating: Easy. Mountain biking allowed.
  • Iron Mountain Trail (Trail #16), 1.4 miles.
  • A portion of the Centennial Trail (Trail #89), 8.9 miles.
  • Centennial Bypass Trail (Trail #89B), 1.7 miles.
  • Blackberry Trail, 0.8 mile.
  • Sylvan Lakeshore Trail, 1.0 mile, Difficulty Rating: Easy.
  • Cathedral Spires Trail, 0.9 mile.
  • Little Devils Tower Trail, 0.6 mile.

Black Elk Wilderness and Norbeck Wildlife Preserve Trail System brochures are available at most Ranger District Offices and at the Forest Supervisor's Office.

Activities


Hiking

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Day Hiking

Only primitive, non-mechanized methods of transportation are allowed in the Black Elk Wilderness. Items such as bicycles, strollers, chainsaws, handcarts, and hang gliders are prohibited.

The water in forest streams may look safe to drink, but usually it is not. There is no drinking water available along the trails, so it is best to carry water with you.

To reduce conflicts with wildlife and other visitors, pets must be leashed or under strict voice control.

Black Elk Wilderness and Norbeck Wildlife Preserve Trail System brochures are available at most Ranger District Offices and at the Forest Supervisor's Office.

Backpacking

The Black Elk Wildnerness and Norbeck Wildlife Preserve Trail System provides many opportunities for 2-3 day backpacking trips. Camping is allowed anywhere except within 1/4 mile from Harney Peak and the Harney Peak Trail (Trail #9).  Do not camp or dispose of human waste within 100 feet of streams or other water sources.

The water in forest streams may look safe to drink, but usually it is not. There is no drinking water available along the trails, so it is best to carry water with you.

Visitors to the Black Elk Wilderness must fill out a Use Registration Form, available at any of the major trailhead portals into the Wilderness. The Registration Form provides the Black Hills National Forest with important visitor use information. In addition, the form asks for the visitor's commitment to abide by the wilderness regulations, ensuring that visitors "leave no trace" of their visit.

Open fires are prohibited throughout the forest at all times.

Black Elk Wilderness and Norbeck Wildlife Preserve Trail System brochures are available at most Ranger District Offices and at the Forest Supervisor's Office.


Horse Riding & Camping

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