Cook Lake Trailhead (Trail #88)

The Cook Lake Trailhead provides access to Trail 88. Cook Lake Trail is a 1.0 mile trail with some stairs and a stepping-stone crossing of Beaver Creek, the lake’s inlet.  The trail generally parallels the lakeshore on the south, east, north, and northwest sides of the lake. Hikers using the trail must “double-back” since the analysis of and safety precautions for a landslide southwest of the lake now bars hiking on the southwest segment of the lakeshore. Much of Trail 88 is fully accessible on the lake’s south and east shores. There are opportunities to see various breeds of ducks and geese, and osprey, blue heron, and bald eagles.  In the water near the shore, very large fish called white amur are often seen.  These hybrid fish are distant relatives of carp and were introduced into the lake about 15 years ago to help control aquatic vegetation. The Forest Service allows non-motorized boating. Toilets are available at the Cook Lake Recreation Area.

Mountain lions, although rarely seen, also call this area home.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Mountain Biking

Day Hiking

To access the Cook Lake Trail from Sundance, take Highway 14 west one mile to FSR 838. Travel north on FSR 838 and 843 to FSR 842. Take FSR 842 one mile to the trailhead. 

To access the Cook Lake Trail from Spearfish, take Interstate 90 west to the Aladdin Exit, Exit 199. Travel north four miles on Highway 111 to FSR 843. Turn west on FSR 843 and travel to FSR 842. Take FSR 842 one mile to the trailhead.

The Cook Lake Trail is maintained for hiking and bicycling. This trail is not designed or maintained for horse use. No motorized travel is allowed.  Difficulty Rating: Easy.

This recreation facility charges a day-use fee for parking at the trailhead.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


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