The Storm Mountain Trail, about 13 miles southwest of Rapid City, is an 11.6-mile challenging adventure that is popular with both hikers and mountain bikers. The loop winds around Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota, and is considered one of the best trails in the area.
What Makes It Great
Storm Mountain is a challenging single track trail that has a great balance of uphill and downhill. It is well-marked and easy to follow and is maintained by a local mountain biking organization. The scenery is mostly the pine trees that make up the Black Hills National Forest, but there are a couple lookouts with scenic views of the area.
The main loop is 11.6 miles, but there are several shorter sections of 3-5 miles if you don't have all day.
Who is Going to Love It
The trail is a great destination for hikers or mountain bikers, but is only about 30 minutes away from Mount Rushmore, so you could definitely make a weekend trip out of the two. It might be a little long and challenging for kids, but is great for anyone in reasonable shape or looking for a technical hike/run.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The Storm Mountain Trail is southwest of Rapid City. Take US Highway 16 west for 13 miles to Silver Mountain Road. Make a slight right on Silver Mountain Road, then turn right on Storm Mountain Road, and the trailhead is about 1.5 miles ahead.
Watch out for mountain bikers, who typically ride the trail counterclockwise.