Looking for a fun, moderate difficulty trail to hike in the Black Hills? Crow Peak trail is a great trail with a wonderful view of Spearfish and the surrounding area
Hey friends! It’s been a little while since I did a hiking post, and I didn’t get up to do a ton of hiking this summer, which is something I really miss in the winter since we don’t snowshoe or anything like that. But I did try to get to some new places this year, like the Community Caves in Spearfish Canyon, and this hike up Crow Peak Trail a few weeks ago.
This was a hike I had wanted to do for a few years, but didn’t get around to finding it and getting up there, so my kids and I got some stuff together to do this hike. For some reason I thought it was only 6 miles up and back, but it ended up being over 7 miles (about 7.5) when all was said and done.
We had a little trouble finding the right turn-off at first. The puny little map that was on the Forest Service trail guide was pretty poor at showing which specific roads we needed to take. It shows that we needed to turn at a 4-way stop, but McGuigan Road has several of those. We took the second 4-way stop off McGuigan Road (turn off exit 8) onto Hillsview Road and this was the right one.
So, turn off 1-90 at Exit 8 south onto McGuigan Road, take a right onto Hillsview Road (2nd 4-way stop), drive down the road for a mile or so and then turn left onto Higgins Gulch Road. Take this road a few miles until you get to a large turnout next to a gate (above), and this is the Crow Peak trailhead.
Check out other places to see and hiking in Wyoming, the Black Hills, and Montana:
- Garden Creek Falls, Casper, WY
- Crow Peak, Spearfish
- Ayres Natural Bridge
- Community Caves (Wildcat Caverns), Spearfish, SD
- The M Trail Missoula
- Devil’s Bathtub, Spearfish Canyon
- Crazy Horse Volksmarch
- Red Beds Trail, Devil’s Tower
- Trail End Museum, Sheridan
- Koltiska Pumpkin Patch, Sheridan
Since the tiny map in the trail guide was pretty terrible, I took a few wrong turns before we actually found the right road to the trailhead. The Forest Service should seriously consider relabeling that map 😉
Unfortunately, we hadn’t planned our trip very well, and we started the hike without lunch. I didn’t think it would take us as long as it did, so we were going to hold off on getting lunch till afterward. And we didn’t pack enough snacks and water for us during the hike. Oy.
We were all so tired and crabby by the time were were finally done. It definitely would have been more enjoyable if I had planned things better. Lessons learned! The hike took longer than we thought as well since it was slow going at the beginning since my kids were tired and didn’t feel like hiking that day, but the hike down went quick and easy.
A little video of view from the summit of Crow Peak
Most of the trail was through the trees and there were a few steep places (especially up closer to the top), but overall the trail was great. There are quite a few people on the trail during the weekends (we went on a Sunday).
A few years ago, there was a forest fire on Crow Peak, so there is a lot of burned areas and trees that are black, but most of the undergrowth as grown back well.
The trail isn’t too steep until you get to the last mile or so, then it gets steeper, but still not too bad.
Almost to the top! Looking North
Looking East, a nice view of Spearfish from Crow Peak
Looking South, not quite to the summit yet!
View to the South East from the Summit
Don’t let the smiles fool you! We were not happy campers that day LOL. But we still made good memories 🙂
My favorite hiking essentials:
- Camelbak hydration pack (I’m not sure that the one I use is for sale anymore, mine is a small one that works perfect for short hikes and bike rides)
- Takeya water bottle
- SPI belt
- Natural bug repellent
Sarah Jane Parker is the founder, recipe creator, and photographer behind The Fit Cookie. She’s a food allergy mom and healthy living blogger based in Wyoming. Sarah is also an ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Health Coach, Revolution Running certified running coach, and an ACE Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist
2 thoughts on “Hiking the Crow Peak Trail”
So do you think this hike would be ok for kiddos age 15, 13, 10, and 6-with 4 boys sometimes they aren’t always thinking straight and didn’t know if there was any close edges or drop offs
There are some drop offs and steep places as you get toward the top, especially near the boulder field on the north and northwest side. The very top has some drop offs as well, esp on the south side. I think those ages are generally fine on this hike, but there are some steep drop offs in areas so that might not work out for your kids. Iron Creek Trail in Spearfish Canyon and the trail to Roughlock Falls are both great trails that don’t have steep areas. Iron Creek trail also has a nice swimming area and a cave near the trail as well.