COVID-19: At REI, we encourage you to get outside responsibly. Stay local, avoid recreational travel, practice social distancing and check ahead for area and facility closures. Learn More
Trail Run Project Logo

Cathedral Spires Trail

Difficult

Trail

0.9 mile 1.4 kilometer point to point
79% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 426' 130 m
Descent: -10' -3 m
High: 6,644' 2,025 m
Low: 6,228' 1,898 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)

Dogs

Leashed
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Russell Hobart

This trail tours the huge granite towers of the Cathedral Spires.

Russell Hobart

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

This trail's even surface will allow you to focus less on your feet and more on enjoying the fantastic spires around you!

Description

From the parking lot, follow the obvious trail that heads north toward the Cathedral Spires. The first third of a mile gently heads uphill until you close in on the rock formations. Fight steep switchbacks for the next third until the trail turns east where you'll get a good look at the back of the spires.

A multitude of climber's trails weave their way in and out of the many spires and provide a great look at the strange geometry of the area and hours of discovery. The trail peters out at a series of connected spires called the Picket Fence.

Flora & Fauna

Some of the birds you might see here are the pinyon jay, gray jay, three-toed woodpecker, black-backed woodpecker, American dipper, and ruffed grouse. Introduced mountain goats can be found along with white-tail and mule deer, bighorn sheep, elk, and cougars.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow runners know what's here.

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 12 votes

#338

Overall
  4.7 from 12 votes
5 Star
75%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
8%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#5

in South Dakota

#338

Overall
35 Views Last Month
1,607 Since Nov 11, 2016
Difficult

0%
50%
50%
0%

Photos

The view a mile off from the 500' Cathedral Spires
Aug 12, 2017 near Custer, SD
Spire 2 and the Khayyam Spire towering above the trail
Aug 12, 2017 near Custer, SD

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running