register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Stratobowl Rim Trail, SD

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  2 of 5 
no permit
9 1 0
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 0.5 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 1.7 miles
Trailhead Elevation 4,356 feet
Elevation Gain -76 feet
Accumulated Gain 166 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 1 hour
Kokopelli Seeds 2.53
Interest Historic
Backpack Possible & Connecting
varies or not certain dogs are allowed
editedit > ops > dogs to adjust
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
9  2018-06-26 AZLOT69
Author AZLOT69
author avatar Guides 175
Routes 247
Photos 7,884
Trips 1,914 map ( 16,193 miles )
Age 70 Male Gender
Location Gold Canyon, AZ
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Expand Map
Preferred   May, Jun, Jul, Aug → 8 AM
Seasons   Early Spring to Late Autumn
Sun  5:40am - 8:19pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Out Of This World
by AZLOT69

Likely In-Season!
remove free decal offer
Few connect South Dakota with aeronautical successes in the last 100 plus years. The Wright Brothers, John Glenn orbiting the earth, Neil Armstrong walking on the moon come to mind. In 1934 the Army Air Corp and the National Geographic Society picked a relatively unknown location called Moonlight Valley outside Rapid City, South Dakota to launch a Hot Air Balloon in the hopes of reaching the Stratosphere.

Three Army officers in the largest Hot Air Balloon ever constructed embarked into the unknown, more than twenty years before the Soviet Union flew Sputnik. The first attempt failed with the officers parachuting to safety. The feat was attempted again in 1935 before an audience of 50,000 people. It was successful in setting an official altitude of over 74,000 feet. The Valley was renamed Stratobowl and has a Hot Air Balloon weekend annually to commemorate the event.

The hike is Straight forward on an old forest road. Forest Road 370 is barricaded, so go around the barricade and hike up the gravel road that nature is reclaiming. The trail meanders thru mature forest and soon you realize you are on the rim of this spectacular valley shaped like a bowl. Several side trails take you to viewpoints of the valley below which include Spring Creek. The launch site is well maintained and has a peace sign mowed into it like crop circle art. There is a formal deck with plaque for viewing as well as several granite tablets documenting the accomplishments at this location.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2018-06-26 AZLOT69
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    FR / Dirt Road / Gravel - Car Okay

    To hike
    Highway 16, 2 miles south of Bear Country attraction Rapid City, SD. Take first drive south of gas station to trail head on west side of highway 16.
    page created by AZLOT69 on Jun 26 2018 4:32 pm
    90+° 8am - 6pm kills
    prehydrate & stay hydrated
    help comment issue

    end of page marker