Lt. Colonel George A. Custer made French Creek famous during the summer of 1874, when gold was discovered by prospectors of the Custer Expedition. The specks of gold found sparked a flurry of gold seekers into the Black Hills. Today it attracts other prospectors, those seeking the golden opportunities to observe and interact with the natural world of French Creek Gorge.
The French Creek Natural Area is a 12 mile (19 km) back-country hiking trail. It was established to protect the abundant natural resources within the area while providing visitors the opportunity to experience the untouched beauty of the French Creek Gorge. Keep a sharp eye out for birds, mammals, and wildflowers. There is always a chance that you may see Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep scaling the canyon walls, an eagle circling above, or trout darting about in the stream.
The hiking trail follows the creek as the trail is not marked or developed, hikers generally cross the creek 42 times. Approximately eight miles from French Creek Horse Camp the trail diverges from the horse trail at the sign to Fisherman’s Flat and b...