Where is Poet’s Table?

How do you find Poet’s Table?

What are the directions to Poet’s Table?

Poet’s Table Custer State Park

Poet’s Table Black Hills

These are all extremely popular searches in google, especially during the summer hiking season.  Unfortunately, these searches and the online pages they lead you to, are not very helpful in actually finding the location of Poet’s Table.  Not to burst your bubble, but this page isn’t going to directly lead you to its location either.  Why, you ask?  Poet’s Table is an incredibly unique location in the Black Hills and only the determined hiker and wanderer will stumble upon its location.

Poet's Table Black Hills SD
Poet’s Table Black Hills SD

Several of the directions I read when searching for Poet’s Table (in no particular order):  start from Little Devil’s Tower Trailhead and continue 200 paces, turn left after the footbridge, you will come to a clearing roughly the size of a gas station (huh?), follow the leaning birch tree (because there is only one fallen birch tree in Custer State Park < um, no), stay to the right of the highest peak (again, which highest peak are you referring to?), and continue along the deer trail.

A View From Poet's Table
A View From Poet’s Table

Reasons why these directions make finding the location of Poet’s Table quite the adventure?  There are actually 3 “trailheads” for Little Devil’s Tower trail, one from Sylvan Lake parking area, one from a second parking area about a mile from Sylvan Lake, and a third at the Little Devil’s Tower Spur Trail turnoff.  So, 200 paces from what trailhead?  There is a footbridge, many, actually, and the trail has long since been moved from this particular bridge.  What gas station are you referring to?  The one in the Safeway parking lot or the Iowa 80?  A lone leaning tree?  Storm Atlas ravaged through the Black Hills in 2013 and delivered feet of snow.  The area will forever be changed.  Fallen trees are everywhere.  Peaks and valleys are largely what make up Custer State Park and the Black Hills, these are part of what draw so many of us to the area every year.  Deer trails are developed by deer.  Deer change with the seasons, as do their trails.

Hiking to Poet's Table
Hiking to Poet’s Table

The best advice I can give you if trying to find Poet’s Table?  Don’t give up.  The directions are probably right in front of you.

Poetry Poet's Table SD
Poetry Poet’s Table SD


And if you are still struggling in the search, check out this read: Finding Poets Table: and Other Black Hills Gems

8 thoughts on “Poet’s Table

  1. Those are exactly the directions that I followed, all of them. I found it. I’m so impressed that nobody has just posted coordinates. I’ve know of the Poets table since I was a boy. My grandmother told me about a really tall, nice “hippie” who worked in the park named John who founded it in the late 60’s or early 70’s. Thanks, John!

    1. Hi Scott. The John you may be referring to was my Uncle John Page, who passed away in early June. He and a few friends tended to and cared for the Poet’s Desk furniture for the past four decades. He wasn’t particularly tall, but a ‘hippie’ for sure. He also picked up trash along the Needles highway (not as a worker), but as a kind and caring soul who wanted to preserve the beauty of the area for many generations to enjoy. All on his own dime and all on his own free will. He was a kid from a very flat place in Kansad who fell in love with the Black Hills on a rock climbing adventure in 1973. You can read more about him at http://www.forevermossed.com/John-Page. Our family has established a memorial through the Black Hills Climbing Coalition and some of the funds received will go directly to providing others with the means to keep the desk area furniture for years to come. So glad to hear John touched your life. He would be quite pleased to know the place became a special place for others as well.

  2. I am celebrating my birthday tomorrow with my daughter. We want to hike to Poet’s Table. I just really want simple directions from someone. We only get to spend this one day together. Please keep it simple. Thank you..

  3. After living in the southern hills since the early 70’s finally did the hike w/my daughter as my guide last week. My post in one of the journals. “I finally made it 6 /2017” Has been on my bucket list for awhile. The grass and the wildflowers along the trail are beautiful this year. The view from The Table is fantastic..

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