Hiking to Harney Peak

Harney Peak Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Spud Groshong

Distance: 7 miles roundtrip (out and back). Elevation gain: 5,166 ft. Duration: 4-5 hours. Highest point in South Dakota. Incredible stone lookout. Great views of the black hills.

The Harney Peak Trailhead #9 is located in the northwest corner of the parking lot just beyond Sylvan Lake. From there, the hike is very straight forward – the beginning of the trail is very moderate, being slightly flat with a few ups and downs along the way.

Once you cross into the Black Elk Wilderness (don't forget to fill out the permit before moving forward), the trail descends a little more to the valley floor. On the other side of the valley, the hike intensifies for the last mile or so, heading uphill. The last quarter of a mile is mostly stairs. Once you get to the top, however, you will forget all about the climb, as you are struck by the beautiful views.

At the top of Harney Peak, if you are so inclined, you can hike quite far up on the climbing rocks.

Be sure to bring layers and rain gear with you in the summer months. The weather will change almost at the drop of a hat.

Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Swimming Hole

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Reviews

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Every time is an adventure!

I've been several times, taking new friends each time. While some of my friends are less "outdoorsy" than other, they all enjoy the hike and want to go back up with me the next time I go! It is a very popular area for locals as well as out-of-towners, so get their early and get going before everyone else is there :)

Beautiful Views!

I recommend arriving early during peak season as parking can be hard to come by. Trails are well marked and maintained, it's the hike you must do in the black hills!

Top Of The Dakotas!

We hiked this in the early spring when hardly any one else was on the path. It was a great time to do it and an amazing experience. I recommend taking the longer trail by the cathedral spires and little devil tower to add to the scenery. The peak gives a great 360 view and has awesome history behind the tower.