Cement Ridge is a quaint little spot tucked away in the heart of the Black Hills. With picnic tables, a vault toilet, and beautiful views, this is a perfect place to spend several hours enjoying what nature has to offer. While the ridge actually sits in Wyoming, it gives you a view in every direction, including Crow Peak, Inyan Kara Mountain, Spearfish Peak, Terry Peak, Old Baldy Mountain, Custer Peak, Rattlesnake Canyon, Wagonwheel Canyon, and Wyoming’s Grand Canyon.
How do you get to Cement Ridge?
Probably the easiest route to access Cement Ridge is via Tinton Road, 134, heading south. At Wagon Canyon Road, 105, turn west (right) until you come to the junction with 804. At 804 you turn north (right) until you come to the junction with 850. This is the ideal spot to begin a hike to the top, though you can drive much closer if a hike is not an interest. You can also eventually get to the same route via Savoy in Spearfish Canyon and FSR 222, turning right when 222 meets 134. During the winter months several of these roads close and turn into snowmobile trails, so be sure to call the forest service prior to venturing out in the winter months so you know where you will be able to access.
The highest point on this peak is 6,447 feet. Around 1941 a fire lookout tower was placed as the 360 degree view of the area promised a perfect location to spot a fire. This was used as a lookout prior to 1941 and other structures stood in this area at one time. It is one of eight lookouts still maintained in the Black Hills today. There was no vehicle access to the summit until 1927.
What is the trail like to Cement Ridge?
The hike to the lookout can be as draining or as simple as you want to make it. You can now drive nearly up to the lookout so hiking isn’t really even necessary to access. However, to fully appreciate the surroundings and view the entire area, you must wander all around the mountainside. If you do choose to hike from the 804/850 junction, the hike is around five miles there and back on a gravel road. Because it is a road, there may be vehicles, atvs, horses, and mountain bikes.
There is no water access at the top. Being one of the highest peaks in the area, the weather can change in an instant. Be prepared. The mountain can also become very dry during the summer months so things like rattlesnakes may be present.
Whether you are searching for an all day adventure of hiking and scenery, or a simple picnic on a mountainside, Cement Ridge offers something for everyone. A must see for a Black Hills hiker.