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Boulder Hill

Boulder Hill

Boulder Hill

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: South Dakota, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 43.96190°N / 103.3982°W

Object Title: Boulder Hill

County: Pennington

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Elevation: 5331 ft / 1625 m


Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Jun 13, 2012 / Oct 8, 2012

Object ID: 795126

Hits: 4845 

Page Score: 84.82%  - 19 Votes 

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*Under Construction*
From the north
Boulder Hill from the north

Boulder Hill is a surprisingly scrappy and rugged little peak in the eastern Black Hills near Rapid City, South Dakota. The peak is a splendid example of the surprising beauty of the Black Hills. The 10 or so minutes of scrambling at the top of the hill came to me as a very pleasant surprise. The summit area is characterized by two highpoints: A lower, southern highpoint with the ruins of an old lookout on top from which broad views can be enjoyed, and a smaller, northern true highpoint which includes the USGS marker.

The views from the top of this peak are mostly open and quite nice! Rolling hills are all around. Parts of Rapid City can be seen in the distance to the northeast and Harney Peak dominates the horizon to the southwest. The easiest route to the summit is a Class 2+ jaunt through and over boulders and up ramps, and this is a good introduction to scrambling for beginners or kids.

Rank: 124th highest peak in South Dakota
Prominence: 391 feet
USGS Quad: Mount Rushmore
Recreation Map: Trails Illustrated #751 | Black Hills North

Rank & Prominence: Lists of John

Getting There

Wild Iris
Wild Iris
Rocky Terrain
Rocky Terrain

Boulder Hill is just a few road miles out of Rockerville, South Dakota. Rockerville is approximately 15 minutes southwest from Rapid City and can be reached by travelling roughly 13 miles westbound on US 16. Boulder Hill is also readily accessible by visitors to Hill City, a popular Black Hills tourist town. The mountain is snuggled between US 16 to the south, US 385 to the west and County 228 / FS 433 to the north.

Ruins of old lookout
Ruins of old lookout
Southeast down the ridge
Southeast down the ridge
USGS Marker
USGS Marker

Red Tape

Views to the northeast
Views to the northeast
Harney Peak dominates
Harney Peak dominates

Generally, there is relatively little red tape in this area. There is no fee to visit this part of the Black Hills National Forest and permits are not required for parking or foot travel.
Please follow LNT (Leave No Trace) principals:

1. Plan Ahead and Prepare
2. Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
3. Dispose of Waste Properly
4. Leave What You Find
5. Minimize Campfire Impacts
6. Respect Wildlife
7. Be Considerate of Other Visitors


Along the ledge system (1)
Along the ledge system
Ledge System (2)
Beautiful ledge system

The nearest camping is in the Sheridan Lake complex (elevation 4,624 feet).

Sheridan Lake South Short Campground
• Open year-round
• $21/night
• 126 sites
• Grills, tables & vault toilets

Visit the Black Hills National Forest Website for Sheridan Lake Campsite for more information.

Toward Rapid City
Toward Rapid City
Harney Peak to the Southwest
Harney Peak to the Southwest
Summit Views
Summit Views

Weather & Seasons

Find more about Weather in Hill City, SD
Click for weather forecast

Climate Hill City
Source: U.S. Climate Data

Find more about Weather in Hill City, SD
Click for weather forecast

Panoramic Views

Panorama (1)
Views over boulders to Harney Peak

Panorama (2)
Harney Peak dominates the southwestern skyline

Panorama (3)
Mountains, mountains everywhere!


Boulder HillBoulder HillSummit ViewsBoulder HillHarney Peak to the SouthwestAlong the ledge system (1)Views to the northeast
Ledge System (2)Ruins of old lookoutRocky TerrainPanorama (3)Harney Peak dominatesFrom the northSoutheast down the ridge
[ View Gallery - 6 More Images ]