Harney Peak Full Story


  • 9th high point
  • 7,242 feet
  • Summited on 9/7/2015
  • We traveled to South Dakota to the black hills region for labor day weekend
  • This ended up being a way more awesome weekend than we even thought it would be
  • We went to the Badlands National Park as well as Wind Cave National Park and Jewel Cave National Monument– these caves got us further into caving and turned me more into the cave nerd that I am
  • Hiking the South Dakota high point, the highest point east of the Rockies, was the last thing we did on our trip
  • Getting to the park required driving through Custer State Park- which was really large and had so many restaurants and resort hotels that it reminded us of being in Yellowstone
  • We drove past a large really pretty lake, Sylvan Lake, and this was where we parked to begin our hike
  • When we first started our hike it was kind of cloudy and overcast, but soon after getting going the sun came out and it to be a really nice day
  • Although less eventful and less weird than most of the rest of the high points we have done, we really enjoyed this one
  • The scenery is beautiful in the Black Hills region and very different looking than Colorado
  • We even saw a mountain goat on the way up- which we didn’t know existed in South Dakota
  • This hike was hard enough to get a work out but not so hard as to ever be in pain or suffering- it was just right in my opinion J
  • To make the hike even prettier- the trail had tons of shiny rocks and minerals that sparkled in the sunlight
  • At the top there is an old stone structure still in place from when the summit used to be used as a fire lookout tower
  • Although Jeb and I might not be the biggest fans of Indians… the colorful flags that the Lakota Indians hang at the top of the summit (prayer flags to them) were really pretty looking
  • When we got to the top we wanted to find a pretty place to sit and eat our lunches, but as often is the case- it was super windy at the summit. So we ended up sitting in the structure where we were sheltered from the wind.
  • After a quick hike back down and to the car we were on our way back to Colorado and already making plans for our next trip back to the Black Hills region
  • Lessons Learned: It doesn’t have to be the hardest/tallest mountain out there to be a very pretty and enjoyable hike, and although South Dakota has some of the slowest drivers we’ve ever encountered… it makes for a great vacation weekend!

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