Moon Walk Features Caves of Elk Creek Canyon

Moon Walk features Caves of Elk Creek Canyon


RAPID CITY, SD Join the Black Hills National Forest at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 16 for a moonlit hike and to learn about the geology that created the abundance of caves found in the Black Hills. 

Participants in the scheduled Moon Walk event will walk a total of 1 1/2 miles roundtrip on a rolling ridge top primitive road. This is an easy to moderate hike.

Featured speaker, Karl Emanuel, North Zone Geologist from the Black Hills National Forest will discuss the geology of caves, their hydrology and importance of safeguarding this unique and unparalleled resource in the Black Hills.  Visitors will walk to the rim of Elk Creek Canyon near Bethlehem Cave and observe the cave riddled walls during this discussion.

To reach the Moon Walk site, take I-90 to SD exit 32, Vanocker Canyon. Travel 6.9 miles to Runkle Road (FS 168).  Proceed 1.75 southeast on Runkle Road to the intersection with Crystal Cave Road (FS168.3). Proceed 2.2 miles along 168.3 to the intersection with Bethlehem Road and park in the open areas near FS 168.3A.

The drive from Rapid City should take approximately 1 hour. Signs will be placed at major intersections to guide visitors to the site.

Prepare to hike on uneven terrain.  Attendees should bring flashlights, water, and bug repellant and dress for evening temperatures. Long pants and sturdy footwear (hiking boots or athletic shoes) are recommended for your comfort and safety.

The program may be cancelled unexpectedly for unforeseen reasons such as lightning, high fire danger forecasts and other reasons beyond control. The program will not be cancelled due to rain unless lightning is spotted.  Please arrive early to aid us in parking vehicles as over 100 visitors per walk have been attending the programs.

For more information about the program and summer schedule go to www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills or call the Black Hills National Forest at 605-343-1567.

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