Black Hills TrailsThings to do in the Black Hills

Black Hills Trails – Little Black Elk Trail and Horsethief Lake

Black Hills Trails_Little Black Elk

Black Hills Trails – Little Black Elk Trail

It was a beautiful day and NOT raining – so we decided to go for a hike in the hills.  I had been camping last year up at Horsethief Lake with some friends and we had started down a trail there that I hadn’t been on before. Black Hills Trails_Little Black Elk We didn’t get very far that day, so I suggested we try that.

Located just beyond Mount Rushmore off Hwy 244 is Horsethief Lake.  Just before you get to the lake, there is a road to the left taking you to a parking area with restrooms.  After getting out of your car and using the restrooms, head back up the road a bit.  You’ll see the entrance to the trailhead – The Little Black Elk trail. It’s part of the Black Elk Wilderness Trail System.

We enjoyed the little waterfalls, rocks to climb, bridge, and steady up hill climb of the trail.  We even ran into some friends of ours on the trail.  The kids enjoyed climbing to the top of several of the rock formations.

Purple butterflies flitted past, the creek flowed down some of the path (lots of water this year), and the weather was perfect.



After half hour or so on the trail we turned around and headed back to the lake.  Around a portion of the lake is a wooden pathway and fishing plaforms.  We walked the wooden pathway to a look out area and consumed our picnic lunch to the croaking of frogs.

We decided to finish our excursion with a walk all the way around the lake (more Black Hills trails!).  We followed the wooden walkway back around to the bridge to the campground and proceeded on the pathway with a stop at the lookout at the top.  Once we reached the main campground area, we had to veer off the paved road to a dirt path to continue around the lake.  We reached the rocks that over look the lake and climbed the hill to get to the road.  We had to follow the highway for a bit and then hit a trail to take us back to the wooden walkway.

Black Hills Trails_Horsethief Lake  Black Hills Trails_Horsethief Lake  Black Hills Trails_Horsethief Lake  Black Hills Trails_Horsethief Lake

Of course, no trip would be complete without the final stop at Dairy Queen!  Keystone provided us with the perfect refreshment after a good day.


Curious about the newest listed homes for sale in the Central Black Hills?  See what’s around!