Crow Peak Trailhead (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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