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Elk Mountain Trail

A short, dog-friendly hike around the campground where the towering ponderosa pine meet the lush grasslands.

Hiking Easy

1.3 km
40 m
40 m
0-1 hrs
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
1.3 km
Elk Mountain Trail Map

The Elk Mountain Nature Trail offers campground visitors an easy stroll through lush grasslands shouldered against towering ponderosa pine. Through September and October, the park notes how "elk may be heard bugling at dawn and dusk," while deer, prairie dogs, and countless birds can be observed year-round. Paired with the Prairie Vista Trail, these two hikes are the only dog-friendly trails in Wind Cave NP.


The trailhead is at the southern end of the Elk Mountain Campground, and a small parking lot is available for those who aren't staying the night. Since the trail forms a loop around the campground, some sites may offer access via social trail. Just remember to respect other camper's privacy and adhere to any posted signs of closed areas.

For those planning to spend the night, Elk Mountain Campground hosts over 60 sites with plenty of options for RV's, tents, and 2 group sites. Amenities are limited, however, so make sure you grab everything you need in town. Flush toilets are only available seasonally, but vault toilets are available year-round. Water and electric hookups are available at many sites, but public showers are not available for campers.




Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.


1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

all year round


  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area