Skyline Wilderness -Stonewall Overlook
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
Hidden in Rapid City's residential west side is a little-known trailhead buried at the end of Cerro Court. In the southwest corner of the Skyline Wilderness Area, a small trail network leads up to one of the best views of western Rapid City and the Black Hills beyond. A series of switchback paths weave along the hillside up to Stonewall Overlook.
We parked at and started from the Cerro Court Trailhead (at trail marker SWA 430). Signs clearly marked the entrance to the Skyline Wilderness Area. An almost immediate left at marker SWA 426 led us into the wooded hiking area.
The trail wound back and forth gradually uphill, so as not to be too strenuous. Glimpses of the Black Hills in the distance, and the city below, popped up along the way throughout the hike (the best views were from the overlook at the top).
There were several forks in the trail along the way. For the most part we stuck to the right and headed uphill. We would eventually come back down via the trails that would have been left turns on the climb up.
The main intersection that really mattered was at trail marker SWA 412. Here a left took us up to the lookout while a right led out along the hillside and back.
Stonewall Overlook was easy to spot as we ascended; the namesake stonewall lines the crest of the hillside. Once at the top there were plenty of places to enjoy a water and treat break while taking in the views. The girls very much enjoyed looking out over the city below.
There was a large parking lot and restrooms that are open seasonally. This was also the location of the Skyline Trail Trailhead, which leads into the main part of the Skyline Wilderness Area. From here we could access the Southern Gully Trails, the Amphitheater East Loop, and of course the Amphitheater Trail itself.
The trip back down went fairly quickly. The trails were in generally decent condition for January. Dry for the most part, we encountered only the occasional patch of ice or mud along the entire route. The trail was a bit narrow in some places but we managed to make it work.
The dogs seemed to be having a great time on the trails; there was a lot to sniff along the way. They enjoyed the scenery at the top of their climb as well as all of the enriching things the forest had to offer throughout their journey.
This was a nice hike; not too strenuous, but with great views from the overlook point at the top. These trails see sun for a large portion of the day, making this a good place for a winter trek while still being within Rapid City.