Rocky summit area
Medicine Mountain is a pretty and petite little peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota. It features stunning, open views of surrounding hills from its rocky summit and the wildflowers are amazing in the springtime. The mountain has a nearby Boy Scout camp named after it, has its own USGS quad, and is said to have some of the oldest exposed rock in the region.
Stands of pine (some ravaged by pine beetle) are interspersed with open meadow and the mountain, while lacking a formal trail to the summit, is apparently midly popular not only with local scouts but also by residents of and visitors to the surrounding communities. Medicine Mountain is a great place to enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills without the crowds of the Harney Peak area.
11th highest peak in South Dakota
Trails Illustrated #751 Black Hills North & #238 Black Hills South
Rank & Prominence Information: Lists of John
Getting ThereViews from the open southern slopes
Medicine Mountain is approximately 12 road miles from Custer, South Dakota. Have good planning map or Gazatteer to locate this trailhead. This trailhead should be accessible to most passenger vehicles in dry conditions. The roads are graded and well-maintained.
I will post a simple route page, complete with GPX file, shortly.
Wildflowers on the slopes
Enjoying the rocky summit area
| 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
Wildflowers on the slopes Wildflowers on the slopes Wildflowers on the slopes
Camping & LodgingViews from the summit of Medicine Mountain
Down the southern meadow Up the southern meadow
A nearly unlimited supply of rustic backroads camping is available on a first come, first served basis on Forest Service roads near Medicine Mountain. Haul your own water and pack out what you pack in.
Designated US Forest Service Camping
The US Forest Service operates three campgrounds (Custer Trail Campground, Dutchman Campground and Whitetail Campground) at the nearby Deerfield Reservoir, 20 miles west of Hill City, South Dakota. This USFS page
provides more detail.
Custer & Hill City
The nearby towns of Custer & Hill City provide a wide range of lodging options, from Mom & Pop campgrounds and simple motor lodges to chain hotels and upscale vacation homes.
Weather & Seasons
Fern in rocks