8 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone In South Dakota Should Take

If you love South Dakota but have never explored these areas by foot, now is your chance. These are the best hikes under 5 miles in South Dakota, which give the perfect opportunity to discover new sights and adventures without having to sleep in the wilderness overnight. The best part is, these easy hikes in South Dakota are all close enough together that you could plan a road trip and visit them all in a week!

Quick Hits: Best Hikes Under 5 Miles In South Dakota
By Annie Sandmeier

What are the best day hikes in South Dakota? Are you looking for a South Dakota hike that spans a bit more than 5 miles? Lucky for you, there are plenty of wonderful day hikes in South Dakota, including the 7.7-mile out-and-back Crow Peak, 1.8-mile Saint Elmo Peak Trail (which may sound short and sweet, but is deemed difficult with its steep incline), and butt-busting 14.7-mile Lost Canyon Trail.

Does South Dakota have any backpacking trails? As a matter of fact, we do! Whether you explore and camp out in the Black Elk Wilderness, adventure around the Badlands, or follow the 111-mile Centennial Trail, you are guaranteed an unforgettable backpacking hike in South Dakota.

What are the best kid-friendly hikes in South Dakota? Are you looking for the best kid-friendly hikes in South Dakota? You’ve come to the right place! If you haven’t done so yet, we recommend beginning with the Mount Rushmore Presidential Trail, which spans 0.6-miles and passes through – you guessed it – the iconic Mount Rushmore! After you’ve mastered the Presidential Trail, take the family to Oak Park Trail (0.9 miles), Roughlock Falls Trail (2.1 miles), and Willow Creek Trail (also 2.1 miles).

What are the best 1 night backpacking hikes in South Dakota? For the best 1-night backpacking hike in South Dakota, we recommend the aforementioned Black Elk Wilderness; a 13,426-acre section of Black Hills National Forest that has various trails and campsites to choose from, making it all-the-more easy to customize! (Want to make your backpacking adventure last longer than 1 night? You can easily do that at Black Elk, too.)

How many of these hikes have you done? What would you add to our list?