Lover’s Leap

Distance: 3m | Climb: 580ft | Surface: dirt, rocks

Star Rating

Trail Addict Rating: 4 20 ratings

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Experience

Lover’s Leap trail is a loop that peaks at a fantastic viewpoint on a large granite rock ridge.  Black Elk Peak, Cathedral Spires and Mount Coolidge are visible from this viewpoint.  The story of this peak is that many years ago two young Native American lovers leaped to their deaths for reasons unknown.This trail starts with a quick, steep climb through ponderosa forest for the first mile.  There are stream crossings with possibility of poison ivy near the stream so be aware.  The trail then takes you down the side of the ridge parallel to Galena Creek among aspen trees, thick ground cover and possibly even bighorn sheep. Be careful as some of these creek crossings can be difficult even when the water is low. The final stretch of the trail follows a road back to the Coolidge General Store to a paved path and back to the trailhead.

Directions

  • Take Hwy 16A East out of Custer for 13.5 miles.
  • The trailhead is across Hwy 16A from the Peter Norbeck Visitor Center, behind the schoolhouse.

Reminder: To use this map on your route, make sure to download this gpx file into your favorite mapping app. in case you lose cellular connection.

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20 Comments

  1. 3

    Maybe they mean 3 miles one way? It was a little over 5.25 miles (started logging it late) and took a couple of hours. Nice view from the top towards Black Elk Peak, and also there’s a clear view to the south. Not a lot to see on the way, but I enjoy plain ol’ pine forest anyway.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 5.25
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  2. 4

    We did this trail with borrowed snowshoes from Custer State Park. It was a fun little hike with rewarding views at the top. The trail going back down was more picturesque and interesting. Probably not a good choice for beginners, unless they are in great shape.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  3. 5

    Easy trail to find and ample parking. Great hike with a little of everything! Views at the summit are incredible! Make sure to go all the way to the lookout, don’t stop with the fun sign.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Male
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  4. 4

    Forgot how the steep parts at the beginning…and also the water feature at the end. Would be beautiful once everything is greened up or in the fall.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  5. 4

    Great Trail on a nice sunny day. Some reroutes at the end of the trip which adds 1 mile to the original trail. A new Visitor Center has been built 1 mile before the trailhead. The Peter Norbeck Visitor Center has been renamed to Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Male
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  6. 4

    Beautiful viewpoint

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 3
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  7. 5

    This hike was beautiful from the top. And my husband actually proposed to me during this hike. It was so wonderful.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 3
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  8. 5

    Always a favorite trail to hike. Very nice since CSP put in the bridges.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4.17
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  9. 4

    Forgot how much of an incline this trail is at the beginning, but worth every step breath for the views.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 3
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  10. 5

    Hot outside!

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  11. 3

    This was a great trail. longer than the 3 miles posted.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 5.25
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  12. 4

    Great hike for southern hills.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 3
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  13. 5

    This is one of my favorite hikes. You get a great incline at the start (take the left fork), amazing view when you climb the rocks at the top and a whole differnt landscape at the bottom where you cross the creek several times.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  14. 5

    Fun hike thru snow.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Not completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 3.6
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  15. 4

    I did this trail with snowahoes! It was super fun, but there wasn’t enough snow at times :/

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Male
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  16. 4

    Nice hike, with a great view from the top! First 40% is up hill for the most part! It can get fairly steep at times and would probably not be a good hike for small children!

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 3
    Gender: Male
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  17. 4

    Didn’t have time to finish, but it’s not a long trail. Will go back because we’ve heard great things about it!

    ———
    Trail completion status: Not completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 1.6
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  18. 5

    Wonderful Trail, on the top 10 list but it is just a little over 4 miles not 3 as listed. would suggest go left at the fork get the hard part done at the beginning of the hike. Saw about 10 Mountain Goats on this hike in Aug.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4.4
    Gender: Male
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  19. 5

    Saw big horn sheep on the trail

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed again
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

  20. 5

    Neat trail! Nice view at the top.

    ———
    Trail completion status: Completed
    How: Hiking
    Miles completed: 4.1
    Gender: Female
    Trail: Lover’s Leap

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