There are only two readily accessible peaks of the six ranked summits in the Seven Sisters Range of Fall River County, SD. The higher of the two summits is Brady Peak. This peak shows up on lists and maps simply labeled as “4298”. Since 4298 dominates the head of Brady Canyon, it is appropriate to dub it “Brady Peak”. Lists of John ranks Brady Peak as number 189 overall in the Black Hills, and with 363 feet of rise is ranked number 136 for prominence. The hike to Brady Peak is an enjoyable outing, with a variety of views, terrain and surfaces. Because of the trees, the views along the lower part of the route are somewhat limited. However, once you reach the Seven Sisters ridge crest, the views of the southern Black Hills are really great. It is readily apparent that this range sees few visitors every year. So for those who like peaceful forest solitude, this is a great hike. For those who have the time to explore the summit area, there is an old road just below the north side of the summit. That road descends down to the west a short way, near two old sunken areas in the mountain. These sunken areas are among the “sunken wells” the Seven Sisters Range was known for in the late 1800’s. The depressed area is a natural occurrence. The old road would be a great hiking route, since it intersects with Brook Drive about 2.5 miles east. But further east on the road it is also marked “no trespassing”.
To get to the Seven Sisters North Route trailhead at the Allen Ranch, travel .5 mile south of Hot Springs on Highway 385. Turn south into the ranch and follow the directions you received when you called Mr. Allen ahead of time for permission (605) 890-0198).
The Seven Sisters North Route is the best route to summit Brady Peak. You can access all the route information for this 6-mile hike, by clicking on this SummitPost page: Seven Sisters Range North Route
Your only other option for reaching the summit would be to bushwhack through private lands. That could take quite a bit of patience and detective work in reaching the landowners for permission. If you would like to try that, the first place to begin would be to check South Dakota’s online interactive land ownership maps. You can access those maps here: Fall River County Online Land Ownership Map
The first step of any red tape will be obtaining permission from the Allen Ranch to begin your hike from the ranch. You can reach Mr. Allen at (605) 890-0198. If you choose to do back country camping in the National Forest Service land on Boehnlein Ridge or Slaughterhouse Canyon, you will have to abide by the National Forest Service Back-country Camping Regulations. Campfires will be a problem because of the frequent fire danger alerts in the area.
Since the Seven Sisters North Route is dependent on a faint old forest road, you can be sure that the route will be obscured by any significant snowfall. That same snowfall will create hazardous footing for any bushwhack attempts from the west. Poor weather conditions will be your greatest concern. For the latest weather forecast and conditions, click on this link: Seven Sisters Range – Hot Springs Area Weather There is some hunting that occurs each year in the Seven Sisters Range. But, the same lack of access most hikers have to the range also happens to many hunters. Nevertheless, if you choose to hike during big the fall and winter big game seasons, it is wise to wear plenty of orange. You can learn more about South Dakota hunting seasons at this site: South Dakota Hunting Season Information
Brady Peak (4298) lies in the Hot Springs USGS Quad. The best maps for the area are the Black Hills South map by National Geographic and the official Black Hills National Forest Map, both of which are available from any Black Hills National Forest Service office.
Camping will need to be done at nearby campgrounds or in the Black Hills National Forest lands along the route. Your best bet is to camp at the Allen Ranch, the location of the trailhead for the Seven Sisters North Route. For more information on nearby camping and national forest camping, click on any of the links below. Allen Ranch Campgrounds Angostura Reservoir Campgrounds Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce Camping & Lodging Cold Brook Lake Camping The Black Hills National Forest allows back-country camping except where posted, however campfires are prohibited. You can access their camping regulations at this link: Black Hills National Forest Back Country Camping Regulations & Information
Hot Springs District Forest Service Office 1801 highway 18 Hot Springs, SD 57747 (605) 745-4107