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Harney Peak Climber's Log

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xDoogiexHP #12  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 4, 2010


We took the mini alpine route with Knoback. awesome times. class 4-5.5. way more fun then the crowded trail.
Posted Aug 11, 2010 2:02 am

maddie77777Great hike  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 6, 2010


We had a nice hike on a gorgeous day. It was pretty crowded up at the top, but Sturgis was about to start, so I'm sure this wasn't a normal weekend. Awesome area of the country, though.
Posted Aug 8, 2010 6:48 pm

mlandau3Seventh Of Eleven This Trip  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 21, 2010


Trail now leads from the Cathedral Spires parking to Harney. i've hiked harney several times - it's a fine high point
Posted Jul 31, 2010 5:05 pm

EleutherosDesolate Wasteland  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 24, 2010


A crowded climb amidst thousands of dead pines, spray-painted trees and slashed woodland... sad to see the once beautiful area decimated... as expected, the views from the top were memorable. Cathedral Spires, Little Devils Tower and other rocks hold their grandeur amidst the dying forest.

...on a positive note, no flies or mosquitoes.
Posted Jul 25, 2010 8:43 pm

DougBentonFirst State highpoint!!  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 12, 2001


A couple of ascents of this peak in 2001, one really hot day in July with a good friend of mine and former bandmate of the long defunct PTD. What a nice hike with spectacular views!
Posted Jul 9, 2010 5:20 pm

ChinigoExcellent day; and HP #25  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 7, 2010


From Sylvan Lake, hiked up via trails 4, 3, and 9 - and returned by 9. The weather was slightly cool and overcast. Also, there were no biting flies or mosquitos (unlike Katahdin in late June)!
Posted Jul 8, 2010 1:28 am

Jeremy HakesGreat HP
Date Climbed: May 28, 2010

Jeremy Hakes

A fantastic peak, and a state HP as a bonus!
Posted Jun 3, 2010 10:43 am

kteichertHP #8  Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 27, 2010


Eric Willhite you have got to be kidding me. Is there any peak I can climb without you first being there? ha ha Took a girl along with me, whose previously long hike was 4.5 miles, also done with me. Felt she was prepared enough. Knocked Harney out!! Great hike with fantastic views! Loved to get to know an area of the country I had no interest in visiting.
Posted May 29, 2010 1:12 am

bukhtanCourteous Crowds  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 1, 2005
We walked up from Sylan Lake on August 1st, 2005. We ascended by Trail #9 and descended by #4.
I had heard that this is an extremely popular hike, and experience bore this out. We started before 8:00 AM, but nonetheless wound up sharing the peak with a considerable crowd, greatly augmented by a school group. Though some of the kids were far more interested in their cell phones than in their surroundings, they really didn't bother us too much. Among the unschooled were some highpointers on their way to White Butte in North Dakota, not long before having visited Mt. Rogers in Virginia, which they highly praised. (There were some murmerings about other parts of the Southeast, but, since I'm from Alabama and am already painfully aware of what that State has done to Mt. Cheaha, we left the Heart of Dixie alone.)
Trail #9 offers a very gradual ascent through ponderosa pine forests, latterly much damaged by beetles, with patches of aspen here and there. The famous multilith'ed shouldering of Harney's Peak was not much in evidence till we were right on the summit, though there were occasionally good views of the top and its attendant heights, from various openings in the forest. Total elevation change over the approximately 3 mile trip was about one thousand feet.
Most striking, once eastern exposure is gained, are the views of the blessedly un-vandalized BACK of Mount Rushmore. What a beautiful rock! We used to get in real trouble for carving on desks - what in the world induced the State of South Dakota and Uncle Sam to let that rogue Buglum dynamite a live mountain? (And now some other vandal is tearing up another mountain (fortunately not visible from Harney's Peak), ostensibly to honor the stalwart patriot Crazy Horse, who wisely refused to allow himself to be photographed!)
An unwonted humidity had arrived by the time we descended the #4 trail, which skirts the great Cathedral Spires before dropping somewhat steeply to a series of meadows below the "Little Devil's Tower", which really does resemble its namesake in Wyoming, at least from Harney's Peak.
All in all, a pleasant walk, in spite of the crowds. But the ascent up that northern lead sure did look interesting, from Hill City. And NOBODY seemed to be coming or going that way. I thing we'll take that route next time.
I DID take the loop route up Harney Peak the following September, on a hot day in the Badlands. Met no one on the west part of the loop going up, and a few people on the east side coming down, and had a very pleasant conversation with a local gentleman about a number of things, among them the virtues of various forms of water provision while day hiking (we were both opposed to tube-and-bladder assemblies, among other points). I'd recommend the north route - a little bit more of a work-out, much more forested (fewer vistas of course), and there are just too many people on the south route, though, as I said, most are fairly well-behaved.
Posted Apr 2, 2010 2:39 pm

ericwillhiteDidn't see anyone   Sucess!
Date Climbed: May 24, 2009


Saw nobody and it was a holiday. Map and pictures at http://www.willhiteweb.com/state_highpoint/south_dakota/harney_peak_171.htm
Posted Mar 9, 2010 12:00 am

mtncorgUp from Sylvan Lake  Sucess!


Great place to be early in the morning watching the sun rising over the Badlands.
Posted Jan 14, 2010 11:33 pm

NDhikerSouth Dakota Highpoint  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 11, 2007


This was my 2nd state highpoint. We took the Harney Peak #9 Trail from Sylvan Lake to the top. Very good hike.
Posted Dec 12, 2009 10:09 am

dakotaconcreteThe advent  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 18, 1992


Great place, responsible for my desire to climb.
Posted Nov 24, 2009 9:42 pm

climber555Where it all started  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Aug 12, 2009


First climbed Harney when I was 7 years old. Usually climb Harney about once a month or so. Have summited from Willow Creek, Sylvan Lake, Little Devils Tower, up the east from Iron Mountain Road and straight up the west side, off the trail. Favorite time to climb is in Feburary. All three main trailheads closed for 2009-2010 winter due to pine beetles.
Posted Oct 24, 2009 11:50 pm

EpicaNice memories  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jun 15, 1992


I was working for the Forest Service in Sundance WY and thought it would be fun to hike to the top of SD..... I don't remember much, but I think I have pictures somewhere. Maybe I'll scan and post one day!
Posted Sep 21, 2009 11:13 pm

StansburyA great state high point  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Sep 15, 2009


This is really a great hike for a wide range of abilities. Views are beautiful and I recommend it.
Posted Sep 15, 2009 5:34 pm

BadgerSummitSeekerHP # 7  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 3, 2005


Took the trail up from Sylvan Lake and topped out without too much trouble. I had broken my leg 3 months earlier so I wasn't sure how I would do going up but was far enough into recovery that I made it without too much difficulty. Awesome views!
Posted Aug 27, 2009 6:40 pm

Up2zmtnsSD Highpoint  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 23, 2009
Looped from Little Devils Tower Day use area back to Sylvan lake. Great hike, great weather. HP#2
Posted Aug 23, 2009 11:27 pm

Norseman197Never gets old...  Sucess!
I've probably climbed this 3-4 times since I was young and it never gets boring. I'm most familiar with the Sylvan Lake trail, but I'm planning on doing the Willow Creek horse Camp trail this fall and also a early morning hike to catch the sunrise on the summit. Just a few items on my South Dakota To-do-list!
Posted Aug 13, 2009 12:12 pm

grabbs146sylvan lake   Sucess!
Date Climbed: Jul 31, 2009


great hike!! Even with the crowds and the bikers still very enjoyable
Posted Aug 12, 2009 6:24 pm

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