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Storm Mountain Trail Running

By Michaela Mader

Article courtesy of RootsRated.

Fifteen minutes southwest of Rapid City, just off of Highway 16, you’ll find the network of trails known as Storm Mountain. Popular with runners and bike riders, the trails have awesome flow and are well maintained. And along the trails you’ll find remnants of history. The area was once a popular placer gold mining spot, so be on the lookout for rusty mining tools and remnants of cabins. Now, 11.6 miles of trails wind through the forests of Storm Mountain.

photo: Michaela Mader

Trail Running, RootsRated

Perfect for Experienced Bikers and Runners

If runners are ok sharing the trail with mountain bikers (most of whom are aware of runners and are looking out for them), this is an excellent run. At 11.6 miles, it's got more than 2,000 feet of vertical gain along the well-maintained trail. The pine forest smells sweet in the summer sun and offers a bit of shade on warmer days. Note that there are several ways to truncate your run, including a popular 6-mile route that follows orange markers. The same rolling flow that makes the terrain appeal to mountain bikers also works for trail runners. The elevation gains happen along rolling hills. Down hills can be a little rough on the knees and there are a few portions of the trail with layers of rounded, embedded rocks, but these minor technical aspects will add to the fun for most trail runners. 

For Less Experienced Runners

Stronger trail runners will love the views, the setting, and the rhythm of the terrain. Less experienced runners can opt for shorter loops or out-and-back runs to get a feel for the place. As mentioned, there can be a lot of fast-moving mountain bikers here, though most places offer enough line of sight that they will be able to see you and vice versa. Just know that mountain bikers typically ride the trail counterclockwise.

photo: Michaela Mader

Trail Running, RootsRated

Start Your Run!

To try the Storm Mountain Trail for yourself, take US Highway 16 west from Rapid City for 13 miles to Silver Mountain Road. Make a slight right on Silver Mountain Road, then turn right on Storm Mountain Road, and the trailhead is about 1.5 miles ahead.


Difficulty: 4/5
The Storm Mountain loop is 11.6 miles and has some features easier done on two wheels than by foot.

Time To Complete: 2.0 hours
It would take the average runner around two hours to complete the loop, but you can always make it an out and back if you're short on time.

Distance: 11.6 miles

Seasonality: Spring, Summer, Fall
These trails are best when snow and ice are no longer on the ground.

Dog Friendly: Yes
Dogs are allowed off leash.

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