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Centennial trail, South Dakota

I have been looking at the centennial trail in South Dakota and I am trying to gather up more info for a possible thru hike next spring. If anyone in here has any experience and info I would really appreciate it. Looks like they are a couple of Nat Geo Maps that cover it, would these be sufficient or should I try to find better ones? A guidebook is available by Cheryl Whetham and Jukka Hutinieme. Reviews of the book are a little questionable but will probably be better than nothing. Looks like water may be an issue, tentatively planning on last half of May/first half of June but I have the ability to move the dates around. Any idea if this will help the water situation? I assume the weather at this time could be anything from 15 degrees and snow to 110 degrees and heatstroke. Does anyone know of any shuttle services for this area and resupply options along the way?

I guess no one's been here Jason. I love the Black Hills but haven't hiked this trail. Maybe bumping it up will grab someone's attention.

I like your timing.  I used to hunt giant mule deer in western SD on the breaks of the Cheyenne River near Wasta, SD.  It is relatively well watered country.  May/June will be a good time to find water.  It should be before the heat of summer.  There is water around if you know where to look.  Best of luck.  We want to hear more. 

I have not hiked the Centennial Trail, but have biked the Mickelson Trail several times.  The Black Hills are great!

I doubt you will find any better maps than the Nat Geo editions; they are based on the USGS topo maps for the region, as would be any of the alternatives.

Just remember that for any map, there may be changes that have occurred since the map was last edited and ground truthed.  There is logging in the Black Hills so there may well be some changes, so keep your eyes open.

i am familiar with summer weather in the region, but not late spring.  Temps will be on the cool side, snow is definitely possible -  hot temps not so much.

Only part of the trail is in official wilderness (Black Elk)and the area is rather well settled, with plenty of tourist accommodations.  You will go right by Mt. Rushmore, which has ample facilities or food and water, as do other locations along the trail. IMHO, Custer State Park and Wind Cave NP are the most interesting parts o the trail, but it is all great country...

Thanks everyone. Lonehiker from Whiteblaze gave me a couple of places for mail drops to resupply and a shuttle service. I ordered the maps and guidebook, will be able to start working out the details when they arrive. I had never heard of this trail. I was prowling around the internet and came across it. Looks like a good trail to mix up some grassland and the Black hills.

November 28, 2020
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