The trail from the Willow Creek trailhead was incredibly scenic. The wind also was incredible. Lots of tree fall on the trail. Beautiful views.
Before my hike my mom reminded me that it was Friday the 13th (9/13/2013). That was an ominous comment. : )
My hike up started around 9:30am from Sylvan Lake. It was 54 degree's, overcast and foggy at the start.
I took the direct route (path #9) with no deviations on other paths. This route is about 7 miles round trip. I saw around 30 others on my climb and only had decent visibility for the first mile up. After that the fog consumed all views greater than a couple hundred feet. This was my first journey up Harney and I found the climb to be very easy and the path well defined. Signage along the path was clear at every juncture, so much so that one probably wouldn't need a map when taking this route up, although I always strongly suggest having a map anyways. When I reached the juncture of route 9 and 3 the fog became much thicker and could be seen blowing by. It was still around 50 degree's at this point. From there the climb is a little bit more vertical to Harney, which is roughly .7 miles away. On the final descent the temps dropped dramatically and there was nothing to knock down the wind anymore. I arrived at the Firehouse in about an hour and forty five minutes. This included several stops to photograph and one to change clothes. I walk/climb at a pretty average pace. Anyways, due to the fog the visibility at the top was roughly 50 ft. The temp was alos down to 36 degree's, according to another hikers jacket thermometer. For a location that offers a view of four states and several great parks and monuments, that was a bit of a downer. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the hike up. On my climb down the fog turned to a mist, which thickened into rain..so I was thoroughly soaked by the time I arrived at Sylvan. All in all I loved the hike/climb to/from Harney. Just wished I could have seen the views it offers on a clear day! Cheers.
Hiked to the summit behind my twin daughters (age 11). A great hike and a great day. Memorable experience for all.
This route is longer than Don Holmes says it is. My GPS pegged the one way distance at 5.76 miles. I marveled at the raw beauty of the Black Hills. Warm day-90 degrees. 1+54 up, 1+42 down. Crossed one trickle of a stream on this trail.
Great views at the top, easy but fun hike. Took my wife and I an hour up and 45 min. down.
Pretty easy hike. Forest had some trees being killed by pine beetle infestation (returned to the area in 2012 and it is much worse). After reaching the top return via a different trail to make a loop.
Hike w/the folks.
Going to school in Rapid, I've climbed this many, many times. Every time it is awesome, such a great view of the Hills. Makes me really miss the Black Hills!
great sunny afternoon hike with my boys, lots of ice in several spots on the trail, but we had a great time and had the summit all to ourselves until the wind chased us off
Easy walkup but amazing scenery!
While I have only a very small amount of Native blood in me, the time spent on this mountain, as with that on Bear Butte, was very thought provoking above all else. My heart sank to look down on the devastation of the Black Hills pines by the beetle, and to think of how the history of this magical place has gone in the last hundred and fifty years. The sun will always shine on Harney Peak though. For a minute, I thought I could see the Chicago skyline off to the east.
Did this with my family on vacation. It was my second state high point, after doing Minnesota's when I was 5. Should probably return someday.
It felt like an aerial view of the southern Black Hills. One of the best summit views I have seen.
from Sylvan Lake
Started off from Sylvan Lake. Wonderful temps, but clouds started rolling in and a mere half an hour into the hike the thunder was getting close. Great hike, but as the storm rolled through realized I was under dressed. Incredible view of the Hills from the top!
Really cool area, nice easy hike. Some snow from the storm a couple days before made things even better. Black hills area is definitely worth seeing.
Great hike, probably my 10th summit on Harney Peak in the beautiful black hills!
I took the whole family (six kids ranging from 12 years to 7 months old) on this hike via the Sylvan Lake TH. High point number seven for me. The views along the trail and from the top were magnificent, and the kids loved playing and climbing on the rocks at the summit.