As with any mountain, there is a variety of ways to reach the summit of this peak, but the route described here could be considered the Standard Route to the summit of Medicine Mountain. There is no formal trail to the top, but segments of footpath can be woven together, combined with common sense navigation, to reach the top of this cool little peak.
Roundtrip Distance: Less than 1 mile, depending on exact parking location
Elevation Gain: About 500 feet, depending on exact parking location
YDS Class: 2
Driving directions from Hwy 385 northbound out of Custer…
• Head west/northwest on CR 297, passing the Boy Scout camp, for several miles to FS 299.
• Turn left at the fork in the road onto FS 299 (Bobcat Road). Any standard passenger vehicle can get this far.
• Turn right on FS 1H. From here you will want high clearance in dry conditions and need 4x4 in wet conditions.
• FS 3M cuts across the southern slopes of the mountain. Look for an unmarked road (which appears on some maps and not on others, including the Trails Illustrated Maps) heading up the southern meadow across the western edge of the peak. Find a place to park.
• Head up the unmarked road that cuts across the western edge of the peak.
• Near where this road levels out, look for a faint foothpath running east-ish through the brush and grass.
• Ascend the meadow toward the trees.
• Again, keep an eye peeled for a faint footpath through the trees, threading its way through the first gentle rock bands to another higher opening.
• Cross this small opening in the trees, aiming for the western side of the summit rocks. Select the line you prefer up through these rocks, your ascent should not exceed Class 2+ unless you want it to.
• Stroll southeast along the summit ridge to the apex and enjoy the views!