Black Elk Peak / Harney Peak Climber's Log

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fallonclimbs - Aug 30, 2015 1:31 pm Date Climbed: Jul 27, 2015

Highpoint!  Sucess!

This was my first state highpoint in 2011, and I went back to repeat it in 2015 on my second lap of state highpoints (I have 49 completed). Pleasant little hike and cool tower on the top


cheetah262 - Aug 24, 2015 8:19 pm Date Climbed: Jul 1, 2015

Clear and Calm  Sucess!

An almost perfect day up the Willow Creek trail to Harney. Not another soul on this trail until I got to the final bit where it joins up with the Sylvan Lake trail (from the number of people on the summit, I imagine that trail was quite crowded!).
Read the little book Harney Peak Revealed for some interesting history/facts about the peak.
State Peak #10….40 to go!


Jenniferzivic - Jul 21, 2015 12:51 am Date Climbed: Jul 14, 2015

Adventure Travel Gal  Sucess!

Bagged SD on a trip to the Badlands. Just decided to do this. Wish there were more entries here from people recently. This is only #4.


DarrenKnezek - Jul 13, 2015 10:32 am Date Climbed: Sep 11, 2010

Glitter Highway  Sucess!

Fantastic Summit and Hike! The trail glittered like gold the entire way to the top.


rmjwinters - Jun 30, 2015 8:13 pm Date Climbed: Jun 13, 2015

Nice run  Sucess!

Nice trail run to a great summit with fantastic views!


mattdalman - Jun 25, 2015 2:23 pm Date Climbed: Jun 18, 2015

HP #31  Sucess!

We hiked this one on a beautiful day. Trail #9 on the way up and #4 on the way down combined with Little Devils Tower.


mountaingazelle - Jun 1, 2015 9:09 pm Date Climbed: May 26, 2015

Harney  Sucess!

Hiked the clockwise loop to Harney Peak from Sylvan Lake and then went up Little Devils Tower on the way down. It was a cloudy yet beautiful day as a storm came through in the afternoon.


vanman798 - Jun 1, 2015 7:03 pm Date Climbed: May 30, 2015

Great Area  Sucess!

To do this hike we drove up from Hot Springs, SD through Custer Park and saw a bunch of wild life. Had to drive through two one-way tunnels on the Needles Highway. Love the area. Hope to get back to do some rock climbing. Short hike but beautiful and a worthwhile destination.


Mooner - Apr 13, 2015 3:00 pm


04/07/15 Took about an hour to hike up here after climb in the Cathedral Spires that day. Relaxed on the summit with a goat and watched the sun set

Musisca - Feb 10, 2015 9:12 pm Date Climbed: Feb 10, 2015

Warm Winter Hike  Sucess!

This was a fortunate winter hike. The temperature ranged from 20s-40s. There was some ice on the trail, but it was mostly clear. It was very windy at the peak, but overall it was a pleasant and vigorous hike from the Willow Creek Entrance up the Harney Peak Trail and ultimately back. The best part is that I didn't see a single person the whole way which is a stark contrast from the mob of people in the summer.


16herdmanr - Feb 8, 2015 1:04 pm Date Climbed: Jul 30, 2012

Harney Peak  Sucess!

Took this hike with my younger brother and older sister when we camped out in the black hills on vacation. It was a nice, easy hike for just a couple of kids. Beautiful trail.


Pharmacist - Dec 2, 2014 7:46 pm Date Climbed: Jun 11, 2013

quick jog  Sucess!

jogged up into the clouds, clouds everywhere couldn't see very far. 1 hr up and 43 minutes back down.


sredfern - Nov 9, 2014 7:45 am Date Climbed: Aug 5, 2012

Great Hike for Just About Anyone  Sucess!

i can't say it is for anyone because the hike in the summer is hot and very arid, but it is not a technical climb at any point and promises fabulous views of the Needle Spires below and if you are lucky you can see as far away as the badlands in the east. I have climbed this twice... Once with my family on a vacation, and once with my Venture Crew on a trip to work with my Lakota friends of the Cheyenne River Sioux tribe in Laplante, SD.

If you are in the area, be sure to bag this state high point!


darinchadwick - Nov 3, 2014 6:12 am Date Climbed: Jul 3, 2014

Take the whole family!  Sucess!

Hiked up trail #9, and down trail #4. Took the baby, 7 year old, and 9 year old. All were happy until the last half mile out on boring dirt road that traversed through some wicked burnt out areas. Revolt was in the air, but promises of ice cream at Sylvan Lake carried our little band through. Lots of folks wheezing on the main trail. I suppose this is closest real mountain for many vacationers from Wisconson, Minnesota, and other flatland states.


VtownStrider - Oct 7, 2014 7:45 pm Date Climbed: Sep 5, 2013

Hp  Sucess!

Beautiful hike. The actual summit had a cool castle like structure on top. One of my favorite high points so far.

Bark Eater

Bark Eater - Sep 16, 2014 12:10 pm Date Climbed: Sep 10, 2014

Wonderful place  Sucess!

Greatly enjoyed our hike up the Sylvan Lake trail. Good views lower down but socked in at the summit. USFS work crew was repairing the masonry on the tower during our visit. Glad we hiked on Wednesday. Wednesday night we got six inches of snow, in mid-September! #41 for me, #28 for Lillian, #12 for John, #11 for Barb. The Black Hills are spectacular!


scramblingbadger - Jul 29, 2014 6:41 pm Date Climbed: Jul 28, 2014

Trip # 13  Sucess!

Last time I hiked to the summit was 2009. Things sure have changed! Sad to see so much beetle kill on the mountain. Where there used to be a beautiful shady and very quiet section on Trail 4, between Cathedral Spires and Harney, now looks like the aftermath of a war. Still, this is a great hike.

Jimmy Rivers

Jimmy Rivers - Jul 6, 2014 2:07 am Date Climbed: Jun 10, 2014

Beautiful Black Hills!  Sucess!

State High Point#37. Loved this area of South Dakota! We took trail #4 from Sylvan Lake and found it to be a mild day in June, and a very pleasant hike. It was a bit windy at the Tower on the summit. I would love to come back and explore more in the Black Hills one day....

Paul McClellan

Paul McClellan - Jun 25, 2014 11:20 pm Date Climbed: Jun 20, 2014

South Dakota Gem  Sucess!

Beautiful weather and views. The rocks along the trail from Sylvan Lake were sparkling in the sunlight. Had a few minutes of solitude at the lookout between other hiking groups.


harbor - Jun 4, 2014 6:30 pm Date Climbed: Jun 3, 2014

Misty Hike - No views  Sucess!

Hiked from the State Park out and back 2 hours. Completely cloud covered. ~50 feet visibility in a lot of places. The tower area at the peak was completely covered in clouds/mist/fog (whatever you want to call it). I didn't actually make it over to the benchmark because of how thick it was. It felt like a medieval castle more than a western US peak. The mystic feel made up for zero views. I was surprised at how well marked the trails and junctions are. Next time I'm here I'll do a through hike from the state park down to horse-thief lake.

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