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Little Devils Tower Trail #4

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.6 (7)

An alternate route from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak (Harney Peak).


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Map Key

2.4

Miles

3.8

KM

87%

Runnable

6,705' 2,044 m

High

6,193' 1,888 m

Low

577' 176 m

Up

172' 52 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Views · Wildlife

This area is part of the Custer State Park and is subject to winter closure.

Also, as a South Dakota State Park, accessing the area you'll need to pay the park entry fee, or have an Annual Park Permit.

Runner Notes

Due to the elevation of the trail, and some of the grades, I would recommend this for only advanced runners.

Description

This is a great alternate route from the Sylvan Lake Camp area to the summit of Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak). The trail allows you to go up to the summit of Black Elk Peak along one route, while returning to Sylvan Lake via Harney Peak #9 (South).

Follow this trail along the north side of the "Needles" rock formation. These formations give you a different view of the famous granite spires, which are beautiful.

Generally, the trail is singletrack and in very good condition. Additionally, there are spur trails along the way: Little Devil's Tower Spur #4B, and the Cathedral Spires Trail #4A that will feed into this trail as you work your way up.

Flora & Fauna

There are a wide variety of birds and animals along the trail. The deer are around, but can be a bit skittish. Friends have even seen an occasional elk in the area (only rarely).

As with running in any wooded area, always take precautions against, and check for ticks.

Contacts

Shared By:

Greg Sage

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 7 votes

#5676

Overall
  4.6 from 7 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#20

in South Dakota

#5,676

Overall
19 Views Last Month
2,123 Since Mar 23, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
63%
13%
13%
13%

Photos

Gorgeous views into the Black Elk Nature Area peek through the trees along the Harney Peak Loop.
Feb 20, 2017 near Custer, SD
Curious locals
Aug 5, 2019 near Custer, SD
Heading back toward Sylvan Lake, enjoy gorgeous, quiet, moss-covered woodlands.
Mar 19, 2017 near Custer, SD
Along the trail, be sure to look up and check out the fantastic rock formations.
Feb 20, 2017 near Custer, SD
Little Devils Tower stands prominently on the hill above along the Harney Peak Loop.
Feb 20, 2017 near Custer, SD
A meadow along the Little Devils Tower Trail #4.
Sep 19, 2019 near Custer, SD

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