Bear Butte State Park re-opens its sacred trail after fire

It has been one week since an enormous blaze consumed a portion of Bear Butte State Park. After the hard work of many different hands, park officials say the Bear Butte Summit Trail is still in one piece.

"We've lost a few side panels and boards but for the most part, the trail fared very well," District Park Supervisor Shannon Percy said.

It begins at the visitor center taking visitors to the very top of the mountain over 1200 feet later, meeting the scenic views of the Black Hills.

To the Lakota Sioux Native American Tribe and the many others that walk or run it, this pathway is so much more.

"This is a holy place and this is where they come to pray and do their offerings for what they need," Percy continued.

Although the fire may have burned a good bit of the land, you will see when visiting the trail that many of those offerings still remain.

After putting the fire out, and figuring out what would be next in cleanup operation and restoration, there was no question as to whether the trail would be one of the first on the list.

"We thought we need to get that open as soon as possible for people to visit the mountain," Percy said.

Although the trail is now fully reopened, park officials still urge visitors to take precautions when visiting Bear Butte.

"It's in its winter time use, so you know if you do come to the mountain, could be icy but for the most part everything is on track," Percy concluded.