Have you ever heard of the rock formation in the Black Hills known as Citadel Rock?  This rock mountain sits south of Spearfish and can be viewed from the top of Crow Peak if you know what you are looking for.

Citadel Rock South Dakota
Citadel Rock South Dakota

Directions to the trailhead of Citadel Rock are fairly simple.  If you know how to get to the Big Hill Trails, then you are nearly there.  Leaving Spearfish you will want to be on Tinton Road.  Shortly after driving on Tinton you will come to a stop and will want to take a left to stay on Tinton.  After about 8 miles you will come to a very large parking area with an outhouse and a map.  On the south side of the road you can find the entrance to the Big Hill Trails.  On the north side, you will see several trail roads, most of them eventually merging into the trail that will lead you to Citadel Rock.

What type of hike is the hike to Citadel Rock?

The difficulty of the trail is fairly moderate.  One stretch of the trail is fairly steep so keep this in mind and be prepared to stop for breaks if needed.  The trail itself is a dirt trail.  There may be free cattle on different parts of the trail so watch your step.  The total length of the trail is 2.4 miles and this includes a complete loop around Citadel Rock.

Citadel Rock South Dakota
Citadel Rock South Dakota

The scenery and atmosphere of the area is very similar to much of what  you can find in the Black Hills.  This includes a mixture of aspen, birch and ponderosa pine.  Through the trees there are several spot that you can catch a glimpse of Spearfish and Lookout Mountain.  Unfortunately, Citadel Rock is not visible until you are right up on it so be sure you are traveling the correct trail.

Citadel Rock - the Drop Down
Citadel Rock – the Drop Down

Once you reach the rock you are not directly able to hike to the top.  There are several areas where you may be able to climb on the rock to reach the top but be sure that you know what you are doing as it is very steep.  Hiking around Citadel Rock is much more manageable, though there isn’t a worn path around it and parts contain loose rock and are rather steep.  Children should be watched very closely.

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