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Forest Service Road 156
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Forest Service Road 156

 
Forest Service Road 156

Page Type: Route

Location: South Dakota, United States, North America

Object Title: Forest Service Road 156

GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Less than two hours

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes
 

 

Page By: Sarah Simon

Created/Edited: Dec 26, 2012 / Dec 27, 2012

Object ID: 831497

Hits: 639 

Page Score: 79.04%  - 10 Votes 

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Overview

 
Views from Scruton Mountain
Views from Scruton Mountain


This pleasant route follows a gated forest road to the top of Scruton Mountain. Highlights include the new tower and the site of the historical tower, also where the USGS marker can be found. Pleasant views are enjoyed from the top of this peak and navigational challenges are minimal. This could be enjoyed as a hike or as a (wide-tire) bike ride topped off by a short hike.

Roundtrip Distance: 3.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 660 feet
YDS Class: 1+
Recreation Map: Trails Illustrated #751 | Black Hills North

Getting There

 
Gated road where the hike begins
Gated road where the hike begins
 
Scruton Mountain USGS Marker
Scruton Mountain USGS Marker


See the solid driving directions in the man Scruton Mountain page “Getting There” section. The road to the start of this hike is graded dirt/gravel and suitable for most vehicles in dry conditions. A high-clearance, more rugged vehicle is always nice to have on dirt roads in dry conditions, and in wet or snowy conditions, you’ll want 4x4 or AWD.

We found parking for a full-sized pickup truck just west of FS 156 (the gated road for hiking) on Edelweiss Mountain Road (FS 251).

Summit Views
Summit views
 
Summit Views
 
Summit Views
 

Route Description

See the GPX file including in this page for route mapping.

Scruton Mountain Summit Area
Rocky summit area
 
Summit area
 
Historic Tower Site
 
Old tower foundation
 


• Round the gate on-foot (or on bicycle) and begin gently ascending FS 156 northbound.
• The road passes through several beetle kill remediation areas full of stumps and stacked logs, making several broad switchbacks first to the north then the south, then the north and then a western switchback before returning east again, then west, then again east toward the summit.
• At the end of the road, head southeast to visit the modern lookout tower. Next, trend to the southeast again to clamber up the old stairs to reach the remains of the historic lookout tower and to visit the USGS marker.
• From the historic marker, a somewhat difficult to find but obvious once you’re on it (make sense?) trail makes its way through the pine needles back to the road, heading first south and then west to regain the road for the descent back to parking.

Scruton Mountain Summit Area
Enjoying views from the top
 
Trail to historical tower
 
Trail through the woods
 
Ascending the trail
 
New fire tower
 

Essential Gear

Summit views, including Pactola Reservoir
Summit Views
 
Pactola Reservoir
 
Summit Views
 


 
New Tower
New Tower
 
New Tower
New Tower


• Standard hiking equipment suitable to the season
• Sunscreen and sun protective clothing (as the beetle kill has eliminated much of the shade the now-dead pines would have thrown)
• Plenty of drinking water and snacks
• Camera

Missing Something?
Missing something?

Images