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Hiking Questions - Black Hills, Badlands. Climber going w/ non-climbing wife.


Original Post
Michael C · · New Jersey · Joined Jun 2011 · Points: 340

Hey. Topic Title is pretty much it. Going to South Dakota for the first time. My wife really isn't into climbing. Luckily, we both enjoy hiking and the mountains. Looking for recommendations on good hikes that will at least get me up on some scenic cliffs with awesome views. We don't mind doing some rock scrambles or getting exposure. But she isn't interested in roping up and climbing. Appreciate the help.
Also, any tips on lodging and eating. We're flying into Rapid City. Plan on doing something in Black Hills, Badlands, and of course, checking out Mount Rushmore. Anything in the Rushmore area too.
Appreciate it!
Michael C

Travis Bieber · · Spearfish, SD · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 48

Hey Michael, you're in luck. The hills are filled with tons of great hiking to be had. For starters, Black Elk peak in the Custer state park is an amazing morning hike, beat the heat and see an amazing sunrise, on the way down you'll be passing by the Cathedral spires and should defiantly take the time to scramble around, alone with Crow Peak in Spearfish and Bear Butte north of Sturgis. Spearfish Canyon and 385 are two very scenic drives but this year's tornado damages have left some sore spots. Within the canyon, the Roughlock Falls area near Savoy has very easy trails that wind through the hills and past some waterfalls. Around the Rushmore area, you'll find tons of trials weaving within the rock formations themselves either established by climbers or others just out walking about. Mt Baldy is a classic as well as Emancipation Rock directly behind Rushmore. If you're looking for a long haul there are tow 100-mile trails with sections of them pass through the black elk wilderness areas. Rend a bicycle for the day and ride the Mickelson.  A couple areas of cliff jumping if you're looking to cool off along with some good-sized lakes for paddling. Not to mention a dozen breweries and couple wineries to grab a drink at. There are about any type of restaurant to eat just depends on where in the hills you are and what you're hungry for. Very good East Indian food in Rapid. A couple local burger joints that are truly great. Alpine Inn only serves steak and salad in Hill City. A personal favorite here in Spearfish, Bunky's BBQ and in the same parking lot Crow Peak brewery for a drink, most weekends in the summer you'll find live music playing outside the brewery as well. As for lodging, it's gonna be cheaper the farther away from the large attraction you go. Spearfish will probably have the best prices on hotels but you'll have to drive more. You can sometimes find really good places to stay using deal sites or Airbnb. A couple of free camping areas. Contact me if you need more information, suggestions or help while you're here. Cheers 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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