I've hiked Harney Peak three times in my life with three different sets of people, and all of my experiences have been very rewarding. Wonderful views from the top. I'd love to try a different route next time; glad I came upon this site!
Brother Tom and I used this as our post Thanksgiving workout. The trail was snow and icy in places so we didn't run the entire loop. Great views and due to the cold few people.
great view, really. highest point from the rockies to the pyranees! hope they don't turn it into a paved trail to get up there one of these days. I have a feeling they might.
1 hour roundtrip.
Chalk up the first state highpoint for my 3 kids, ages 9, 7, and 4. My wife is also 6 months pregnant and did great. We saw 2 mountain goats down the rocks to the West. We got sprinkled on a little on the return and the rain came gushing down just as we got into the truck. Whew!
Made a long loop out of this climb. Even though it was relatively easy, it was surprisingly beautiful and incredibly scenic. The summit area offered some fun scampering opportunities as well. After gaining the summit, we heard a couple incredibly loud explosions in the distance (the Army was performing some exercises outside of Custer). Have to admit, those were some loud booms. Louder than I've ever heard. Just added to the unique experience. Anyway, southwestern South Dakota is underrated. Great hiking can be had.
Left Sylvan Lake on trail 9 to summit and returned on trail 4 to visit Cathedral Spires on the way back. Could see storm clouds and rain falling north of the peak, great day. Too many people on top and trail 9, not many at all on trail 4, but still a wonderful and scenic hike to an easy summit.
Last minute decision to head up in observance of Summit for Heroes. Great trail, a little chilly on top with light rain. Completed with Troy and Keith.
Made the hike with Keith and Chuck for the 2008 "Cops on Top Summit for Heroes" memorial service. Great day....a little cold.
Great hike to a summit with fantastic views. We climbed it early enough in the year to have avoided the hoards of people. I recommend the No. 4 Trail as it is somewhat longer and tends to be a little more remote. Great close up views of the Spires and not so many people.
Shortly after visiting Mount Rushmore in the morning, my wife and I hiked up to South Dakota's highest point. We had beautiful (perfect, in my opinion) weather conditions and met a lot of great hikers (from all over the country) to talk with along the way, including many fellow hockey fans. I had photos taken at the tower (South Dakota's manmade highpoint) and at the true geographical highpoint. Good times. The views from the summit are spectacular. Highly recommended summit hike.
Met two guys near the trailhead who were heading back due to "snow conditions we weren't equpped to deal with." I was with my 6 and 9 year olds wearing tennis shows and rubber raincoats. There was no snow at the trailhead and the most we ever got into was about 3-4 inches deep. THe only real problem we had was high winds at the summit that were strong enough to blow my kids over. Fortunately they love that kind of thing, so we had a great hike. Even saw a marmot crawling around in a stack of freshly cut logs at the trail head (Sylvan Lake). Pretty rare for the Black Hills from what I understand.
I think I left from Willow Creek Horse Camp. The weather was perfect, with just a little bit of snow, but little or no accumulation. Gotta love Dakota Territory, but shouldn't it be East Dakota and West Dakota (instead of North and South)?
Perfect day for a hike. There was about an inch of fresh snow to cover all the old tracks. The weather was clear with temps in the 30s. Trail was a little icy in places.
Three inches of fresh pow over ice made you pay attention on this straightforward and easy trail (No. 9). Stunning views as you hike, if you stop to look around 360 every once in a while. It looks like Little Devil's Tower could be attempted from this side, though I had no time to improvise a route. Just passing through area. Had the trail entirely to myself, which was very nice.
PLEASANT TRAIL HIKE AFTER DOING KANSAS AND NEBRASKA HIGHPOINTS EARLIER IN THE DAY
I've probably climbed Harney Peak a couple of dozen times. Classic with all the granite spires near. If you're a climber, bring a rope and explore the Cathedral Spires.
It was a nice hike and a state high point!
Mostly clear and windy day on the summit of Harney. Trail was a treat with about 2-3 inches of snow and the song of chainsaws in the woods. (?!) Views were great in all directions.