Little Elk Creek Trailhead
Length: 5 miles
Location: Piedmont, SD
Winter doesn’t mean pack up the hiking gear until spring when you live in western South Dakota like we do. Yeah, there might be some cold days and heavy snow; but there are still opportunities for 50 degree or sometimes 60 degree days. So when a warmer day is on the horizon, we love to hit the trails.
I would consider Little Elk Creek to be one of those hikes that can be done year-round weather permitting. Located near Piedmont, SD, the trailhead is about 5 miles and is an in and out—this trail doesn’t loop back! Luckily, the views are great going in and out: a rushing creek cutting through large boulders with quieter sections to wade into, cliff faces, and beautiful plant-life.
You can also access this hike just up the road from Dalton Lake off Nemo Road. Like any hikes you’re doing in the hills, it’s always a safe bet to assume it’s probably 10 or more degrees cooler than in town—so bring warm layers when you’re hiking in cooler months.
This is a great hike for dogs and families. Unlike other hikes in The Black Hills, there’s not much of an incline so there’s no need to get your climbing shoes out. In the winter it does tend to have larger patches of ice due to snow run-off that freezes on the trail so be mindful of those hazards. But overall this is one we’d recommend if you’re wanting to get out of the house for a few hours and enjoy a beautiful walk any time of the year.