Flume Trail

Location: South Dakota
Trip Starts: Spring Creek TH (USFS 390)
Trip Ends: Spring Creek TH (USFS 390)
Total Distance: 4.2 miles
Hike Type: Roundtrip, Loop Hike
Hike Difficulty: Moderate
Trails Used: Centennial, Flue Trails
Trail Traffic: Heavy
Trip Type: Overnight Hike
More Information:

Black Hills National Forest
1019 N. 5th Street
Custer, SD 57730


The Flume Trail has been designated a National Recreation Trail and has historical significance dating back to the mining boom of the 1880s. The Rockerville Flume carried water 20 miles, from Spring Creek west of the present day Sheridan Lake, east to the placer diggings near Rockerville, South Dakota. The flume operated until 1885, and helped miners take over $20 million in gold from the area. The trail follows the actual flume bed for much of its length, and you will see historic artifacts, tunnels, and sections of the historic flume on the route.

On our trip, we started at the Spring Creek trailhead and hiked a loop clockwise through the longer flume tunnel, to the Sheridan Lake dam, then back along Spring Creek to the parking area. The hike can be done as either a day or overnight trip, but the only suitable areas for camping are near the dam. The Flume Trail is near Rapid City, South Dakota and is very popular with locals – especially on weekends. So don’t expect a lot of privacy here in the summer, but this is a really cool hike.

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