What an amazing adventure that lies within the Hell Canyon Trail (Trail #32), south of Custer. This trail is a 5.3 mile loop and, if taken in the Spring, the beauty that lingers among the flowers, trees, and animals is incredible. There is also a 0.3 mile spur trail that will take you to an overlook. The entire trail sits between 5,000 and 6,000 feet in elevation.
In 2000 the Hell Canyon Trail was entirely burned in the Jasper Fire. The remains and regrowth of this fire are very evident for the entire hike, as well as along the drive through this area of South Dakota. The fire burnt over 83,000 acres in a very short time. The cause of the fire was established to be from arson. In looking at the damage to Hell Canyon and its surroundings, the reminder to practice fire safety hopefully seems only obvious and essential.
The Hell Canyon Trail is available for hiking, horseback, and bicycles. No motorized vehicles are allowed on this trail. A small portion of this trail is a bit of a climb, but overall this is a very easy hike. The views from the fire, and also the natural beauty of the Black Hills will make excellent keepsakes in your photo albums or hanging on your walls. The Hell Canyon hike can be finished in only a couple of hours or can be stretched to an all day event.
A friendly reminder to hikers, especially those in the Southern hills, storms can build and arrive quickly so hike prepared!