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Hiking

Hiking

Summer Hiking

Hiking at Great Bear Ski Valley

Summer Hours of Operation

  • 8am – Dusk, 7-days a week


The dramatic hills at Great Bear, comprised of sand and gravel and held in place by a thin layer of topsoil, feature picturesque nature walks and backcountry hiking experiences.

This 220-acre park is the largest in the Sioux Falls Park and Recreation Department and is a wonderful example of the glacial deposit areas common to this region. For information about safe park usage, please visit www.siouxfalls.org/parks/covid-advisories.

The Ralph and Doris Wallin Nature Trail winds through the hills and valleys of the park, offering hikers spectacular views of Sioux Falls as well as secluded Burr Oak canopied creek bottoms. This 4-mile (6 kilometer) trail system has 3 distinct loops ranging from an ADA-rated hard surfaced trail for those seeking a leisurely stroll through the park to the more demanding primitive deer trails for those wishing a more backcountry experience. 

There are no fees associated with hiking at Great Bear! 

Remember, Great Bear Ski Valley has a fragile ecological system. Please, take only pictures and leave only footprints! Pet are welcome but must be on a leash at all times. 

Address:

Great Bear Ski Valley
5901 E Rice St
Sioux Falls, SD 57110

Directions and Map

 

5 Tips for a Great Day Outdoors!

1) Pace Yourself

Choose a trail and pace that is comfortable for your fitness level. Walking and hiking is an ideal way to get and stay in shape, but overdoing it can be risky. Great Bear offers a variety of paths and trails to suit almost every one. Click here to see our trail maps.

2) Stay Hydrated

It’s always a good idea to bring plenty liquids to ensure your body stays hydrated. Water or sports drinks are ideals ways to keep your body working at peak performance. There is no access to water at the park.

3) Pack a Snack

A quick snack is a great way to keep your energy level up when walking. Health bars or granola provides a quick and healthy energy burst. Better yet, bring a picnic and make a day of it. There are concessions open to the public at Great Bear in the summer.

4) Leave only Footprints

Please be sure to clean up after yourself and your pets. After all, nothing ruins the beauty of nature more than litter. 

5) Have Fun! 

Bring a camera to capture the flora and fauna on and off the trails.

Great Bear Ski Valley warm weather activities include:

  • 4 miles of hiking trails
  • Varied terrain for different skill levels
  • Amazing scenic overlook
  • Beautiful natural vistas
  • Ideal picnicking spots
  • Great on-leash dog walking areas
  • Close to the city convenience
  • 32 miles of visibility on a clear day from Overlook Trail
  • Picture perfect settings with wooden bridges crossing creeks and ponds throughout 220 acres

    Your Guide to Outdoor Fun.

    Great Bear Recreation Park offers a 4-mile (6-kilometer) trail system just waiting to be discovered. Our park, just minutes from the city, features the Ralph and Doris Wallin Nature Trail which winds through hills and valleys. Click the link below for the Great Bear’s summer trail map that will make planning a great day outdoors as easy as a walk in the woods.

    Greatbear Trail Maps

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