Hell Canyon Trail
ElevationAscent: 606' 185 m
Descent: -629' -192 m
High: 5,790' 1,765 m
Low: 5,296' 1,614 m
GradeAvg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)
Popular runs nearby
Black Elk Peak Loop
7.9 mi 12.7 km • Loop • 1,357 ft Ascent 413.68 m Ascent
Sanctuary/ Centennial/ Highland Creek Loop
11.2 mi 18.0 km • Loop • 839 ft Ascent 255.58 m Ascent
Horsethief Lake Loop
11.1 mi 17.9 km • Loop • 1,672 ft Ascent 509.77 m Ascent
Lookout Point Loop
4.9 mi 7.8 km • Loop • 429 ft Ascent 130.91 m Ascent
“Experience beautiful surroundings along this great loop trail through West Hell Canyon.”— Greg Sage
Features Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
If kids are part of your running party, you might want to consider running this trail in the counterclockwise direction, opposite to how it's mapped. This allows for more gentle inclines as you ascend from the canyon floor to the ridge above. If adults comprise your group, however, then the mapped direction is the way for you.
Need to Know
• Ticks are prevalent in the area, so always check yourself after your run.
• There are NO bathroom facilities or trash services at this site.
• Don't expect cell coverage anywhere in this area.
Starting from the trailhead, follow the trail as it ascends the steepest part of the run right away. Your efforts will quickly pay off though, as the rest of the run is quite leisurely as you take in the views from the ridgeline. If you'd like, veer onto the Hell Canyon Spur for an interesting look into the canyon.
Past the spur, the trail continues through a small drainage before quickly climbing again over a varied tread along the canyon wall. Eventually, the trail enters the mouth of the canyon and begins a steady descent to the canyon floor. While in the canyon, soak up the views of your surroundings as you make your way back to the trailhead and parking area through lush, verdant undergrowth.
Much of this trail exhibits loose and rocky footing, so you might have to find a balance between enjoying the views and watching where you place your feet.
Flora & Fauna
Land Manager: USFS - Black Hills National Forest Office