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South Dakota Backpacking Trails

Rapid City: Harney Peak

Backpack under tall Ponderosa pines to the highest peak east of the Rockies then continue to a landscape littered with needle-nose spires on this isolated 6.8-mile loop.

Badlands National Park: Castle-Medicine Root Loop

Watch thriving bison herds while surveying million-year-old glacial architecture on this 4.2-mile lasso loop through the largest untouched mixed-grass prairie in North America.

Custer State Park, SD: Little Devils Tower

Scramble up Little Devils Tower on this 3-mile out-and-back that climbs 600 feet to otherworldly views of the Cathedral Spires and South Dakota’s highest peak.

Badlands National Park: Sage Creek Wilderness Area

This 22-mile backcountry route weaves through pinnacled formations, serpentine washes, and expansive grasslands in Badlands National Park’s Sage Creek Wilderness Area.

Badlands National Park: Pinnacles Overlook

Although short, this popular 0.2-mile trail to Pinnacles Overlook offers big views of Badlands National Park’s iconic rock formations.

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