|Distance||1 mile roundtrip|
|Terrain||A few hills|
- Views of Deadwood and the Black Hills
- Educational signs about President Theodore Roosevelt
- Historic hand-built stone tower
Just outside of the town of Deadwood, you'll find this short, scenic hike to a monument for President Theodore Roosevelt. This is one of those neat attractions that are not as well known yet surprisingly close to heavily touristed areas. Who would have thought there's a castle turret in the hills above an old west town? This is one place in the Black Hills that I would gladly take anyone to again, and not just because I need better pictures (thanks for nothing, fog).
This easy trail starts between the two signs pictured below, where you can learn more about President Roosevelt and his relationship with Deadwood's first sheriff, Seth Bullock. This lifelong friendship greatly contributed to the preservation of the Black Hills area, including the establishment of Devil's Tower National Monument and Wind Cave National Park.
Generally National Forests are less restricting about pets, so you can most likely have your dog off leash on this trail; whether or not that is a good idea depends on how your dog reacts to other people and wildlife or if they're prone to wandering off into places you don't want to follow. As a short hike with a view, an opportunity for a presidential history lesson, and a tower that looks like a castle turret, this is a great trail for kids. You can definitely hike here in the three warmer seasons, but it's unclear whether or not roads are plowed in winter. The paved portion of the roads should be plowed since they lead to a resort and homes, so if the dirt road is snow covered, you can add another 2 or so miles roundtrip and hike to the trailhead. Since the trail is scenic and close to Deadwood, expect to see other people -- despite the gloomy fog, I still saw two groups of hikers on a Wednesday afternoon.
From Interstate 90 between Spearfish and Sturgis, head south on U.S. Highway 85. Just before Deadwood, turn right on Mount Roosevelt Road -- also the turnoff for The Lodge at Deadwood. After about a mile, turn right onto the dirt road to stay on Mount Roosevelt Road (there should be signs). You missed your turn if you end up in a housing development. The parking lot is another mile or so further on the right side.
Google Maps Directions
Parking, Fees, and Facilities
Parking is free! There is a pit toilet and picnic area near the lot.