While we were planning our trip to the Black Hills of South Dakota, we decided as a family that we wanted to climb Harney Peak. Harney Peak is the highest point in the state of South Dakota. In fact, it is the highest elevation between the Pyrenees mountains of Spain and the Rocky Mountains.
We purchased a map at one of the NFS visitor centers-I am really glad we did as it was really nice to have while we were on the trail. The map we got is water resistant. We folded it so that the portion of the Hills that we were hiking in was showing.
For the hike we drove to the Sylvan Lake trail head in Custer State Park. We headed off on Trail number 4 toward the Little Devil’s Tower Trailhead, past the Cathedral Spires Spur and eventually onto Harney Peak. We took the less strenuous Trail number 9 back down to the parking lot.
This hike isn’t for the faint of heart. It was strenuous, but worth every step. My biggest regret is that we didn’t do more hiking/walking before hand to be in better shape. We were all pretty sore after our hike, but all of us agree that it was worth it.
On our way we saw several mule deer including this handsome guy. N & E were so excited to tell hikers that we met about the deer in hopes that they could see him as well.
We thought about hiking to the Cathedral Spires, however the clouds were low enough that we thought we wouldn’t be able to see anything.
It was a tough hike up to Harney Peak, but what a view!
My suggestions to anyone taking this hike on is to make sure you have LOTS of water! We had about 3 Liters for the 4 of us and it wasn’t enough. Bring lots of snacks. Our favorites were beef jerky and our homemade snack bars.