Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 43.91130°N / 103.7135°W
Additional Information County: Pennington
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Elevation: 6878 ft / 2096 m
Sign the Climber's Log


Rocky Summit AreaRocky 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.

Rank: 11th highest peak in South Dakota
Prominence: 338 feet
USGS Quad: Medicine Mountain
Planning Maps: Trails Illustrated #751 Black Hills North & #238 Black Hills South

Rank & Prominence Information: Lists of John

Getting There

Views from the open southern slopes

Views from southern slopes (a)
Views from southern slopes (b)
Views from southern slopes (c)
Views from southern slopes (d)

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.

Red Tape

WildflowersWildflowers on the slopes

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

Enjoying the rocky summit area

Rocky Summit OutcropWildflowers on the slopes
On the summitWildflowers on the slopes
Rocky summit outcropWildflowers on the slopes

Camping & Lodging

Views from the summit of Medicine Mountain

Views from the summit (a)
Views from the summit (b)
Views from the summit (c)
Views from the summit (d)

Down the southern meadowDown the southern meadow
Up the southern meadowUp the southern meadow

Rustic Camping
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 rocksFern in rocks



Children refers to the set of objects that logically fall under a given object. For example, the Aconcagua mountain page is a child of the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits.' The Aconcagua mountain itself has many routes, photos, and trip reports as children.