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Black Hills - Snow in May?

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Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby dwhike » Wed Apr 13, 2011 3:33 am

Hey all, hoping you can help me out. Planning to do some backpacking out in the Black Hills the first couple weeks of May, in particular the Black Elk Wilderness. Wondering what snow/trail conditions are like that time of year. I've heard that the Black Hills can see some freak spring storms but what's the norm? Has this been a drier/wetter winter? Any beta would help...I really hope to leave the snowshoes at home... :roll:
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Re: Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby Arthur Digbee » Fri Apr 15, 2011 2:30 pm

Expect thunderstorms, some real rocking-and-rolling.

Then pop over to the Badlands for wildflowers. :)
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Re: Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby highlandvillager » Fri Apr 15, 2011 3:26 pm

We spent May 15-17 of 2009 in Custer State Park and hiked up Harney Peak. We only saw a few small patches of snow in shady spots. For the most part, it was dry. I don't know how that year compares to this one though.
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Re: Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby dwhike » Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:49 pm

Arthur Digbee wrote:Then pop over to the Badlands for wildflowers. :)


We'll be stopping there on the way out and (my partners don't know it yet) but that's one of the major reasons I want to go! :mrgreen:
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Re: Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby Arthur Digbee » Sun Apr 17, 2011 10:57 pm

Do you have big plans for the Badlands? Castle Trail is the only maintained trail, I think, but of course you can explore anywhere.

We were there before/after a big May thunderstorm last year and saw several gullies with flash-flood-like conditions. FYI & FWIW.
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Re: Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby TheStender » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:48 am

I was out around Mt. Rushmore/Harney Peak about 10 days ago and didn't see any snow at all.
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Re: Black Hills - Snow in May?

Postby Kruck » Wed Apr 27, 2011 4:47 am

Tried my hand at BC skiing a few years back in March and had a hard time keeping from billygoating down Harney to the trailhead. This was after a snow the night before. Snowshoes = no. As stated above, wouldn't hurt to have gaiters in case there's muck.
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