Thinking of hiking Big Hill Trails? Interestingly, the name Big Hill was given by some of the first prospectors of the area. When they had their wagons packed full and were being pulled by horses, heading to fields of gold, they had trouble making it over the “Big Hill.” Thus, the hill was given its name.
Are you thinking about hiking the Big Hill Trails?
The Big Hill Trails (Trail Number 72) consist of 5 loops and 1 spur. They range in difficulty from easy to difficult. The elevation change throughout is less than 500 feet, at a top elevation being less than 5,500 feet. The Big Hill Trails are named with a letter, A-D, with an additional trail being named A1 and a spur named D1. The trails are all marked with blue diamonds that say Big Hill Trails and have the appropriate trail letter.
The length of the trails are as follows, with the distance being from the trailhead through the loop and back to the trailhead: A – 2.8 miles, A1 – 0.5 miles, B – 3.5 miles, C – 6.9 miles, D – 7.5 miles, and D1 – 0.2 miles. The complete length of the trails is 13.6 miles.
The trails contain a mixture of aspen, birch, and ponderosa pine. The spur trail (D1) will take you to an overlook where you can view Spearfish Canyon and Spearfish Mountain. Loops A1, A, D, and C are usually maintained for cross-country skiing during the winter months, in cooperation with the Black Hills Nordic Ski Club. Eleventh Hour Spring and Cabin Springs run through parts of these trails.
The trailhead is found on Tinton road (FSR 134). If driving from Spearfish, travel this gravel road for about 8 miles. You will come to a large open dirt parking area with an outhouse and a map of the area posted. If you hike north, you are hiking in trails that have become known as Tinton Trails (if anyone knows the actual name of these trails, message us!). This is where you can find Citadel Rock. Across the road from the dirt parking lot is the Big Hill Trails trailhead.