Hiking to Harney Peak

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.

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Tags

Photography
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing!

It isn't an easy hike, but my 8yr old managed it. The stairs at the end were pretty tall which made them more difficult. The pay off of the CCC castle with a look out tower at the top was more than worth it!

Fun Fact

Did you know that Harney Peak is the tallest peak in the continental United States east of the Rocky Mountains? Happy trails!

Harney Peak, fun trail with some unique features and great views.

I just moved to Rapid City, SD and did this hike over the weekend. The trail is well marked and maintained. It includes some cool spires and rock formations along the way. In addition to the awesome 360 degree view you get from Harney Peak, you also get a few good overlooks along the way. Important things to add to the original trip review. When parking at Sylvan Lake you have to pay a $15.00 day use pass. Also there's an amazing look out tower at the top of Harney Peak. It's well worth the the hike.

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Nearby Adventures

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    To get to Sunday Gulch Trail you will need to walk around Sylvan Lake to the Northwest End of the Lake, there is a loop all the way around the lake, so either way will take you there. You will see a sign for Sunday Gulch Trail, it is trail #6.  Th...

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