Views · Wildflowers
Make sure to grab a self-service wilderness permit at the box near the trailhead or the upper end of the trail.
The Lost Cabin Trail runs from Palmer Canyon Road near Hill City up to the uber-popular #4 / Black Elk Peak
Trail 0.6 miles from Sylvan Lake
. After an initial 0.3 miles through rolling meadow, it climbs steadily through open forest with occasional views and frequent switchbacks for 2 miles to a ridgeline and the wilderness boundary.
Once in the wilderness, the trail runs past many stone needles with views of the Pinnacles and Black Elk Peak
. A final climb up 0.5 miles of narrow trail brings you to the well-traveled trail from Sylvan Lake
Mostly the trail is narrow, overgrown, and eroded. As a descent route, it is fun (though it leaves you with a few miles of dirt road running if you didn't park at the trailhead). As an ascent, it would be a long slog up challenging terrain, which is just steep enough to be a really exhausting run. However, it allows you to connect a few other fun trails in the area and make a big wilderness loop including the state highpoint.
Shared By: Charles Danforth