The Lost Cabin Loop is a 16 mi looped trail that starts and ends at the Willow Creek Trailhead in South Dakota and is located in the Black Elk Wilderness, in Black Hills National Forest. The trailhead is located at the Horse Camp, just off the south side of South Dakota Highway 244, about 6 miles going west from Mount Rushmore.
For those looking to stay overnight at the start, there is the Willow Creek Campground near the trailhead. You could potentially stay overnight to start very early and make it a one day hike. You could also stay in the KOA resort, Mt Rushmore Resort and Lodge just near the turnoff for the trailhead. This is certainly a tough hike that can expect to challenge all, but the views will keep you going.
Starting out at the Trailhead, the first very tough and continuous climb comes at about the 3rd mile. If you were to do it in the reverse order, the first climb would be very difficult, almost continuous for 9 miles, therefore the anti-clockwise route is best. The whole trail packed with spectacular, no more so than the top of Black Elk Peak, the tallest mountain in South Dakota and the highest point in North America, east of the Rockies. The loop we have mapped also includes a small spur out to Little Devils Tower which can be challenging and include some scrambling.
Outside of late May to early October, you may well get icy conditions near to the top, so it is best to avoid the trail unless adequately prepared and experienced.
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