We tried to explore at least one new thing about the park each day. One morning we set our alarms for 30 min before dawn and drove up to a trailhead on the other side of the tower.

The park is gated to the outside for regular park hours. However, one of the amazing things about being there is, for anyone staying at the campground *inside* the park, access is 24/7.


There are distinct micro-climates in the park. One of the main reasons we wanted to do this particular hike is that the loop circles through prairie and forest and ravine. Very different plant and animal life are evident in each section.

Really interesting and so beautiful !


The Black Hills are a small and isolated mountain range rising from the Great Plains of North America in western South Dakota and extending into Wyoming. We couldn’t see Black Elk Peak (7,244 feet, the range’s highest summit) but we’ll go back for it.

Bear’s Lodge has a different personality to share throughout the day.