“the highest natural point in South Dakota”
Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak, or Hinhan Kaga) is the highest natural point in South Dakota and the Black Hills. It lies in the Black Elk Wilderness area, in southern Pennington County, in the Black Hills National Forest. The peak lies 3.7 mi (6.0 km) WSW of Mount Rushmore. At 7,242 feet (2,207 m), it has been described by the Board on Geographical Names as the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Guadalupe Peak and Sierra Blanca also lie far to the east of the Continental Divide and are substantially higher, but the Rockies end north of the region of that latitude.
A great hike for brisk fall weather, on October 4th. Took wife and two boys (11 & 8) up and back in about 4 hours on trail 4 starting at Sylvan Lake about 9 in morning. Came across only 4 others (and 4 dogs) on way up and about 12 on way down. Beautiful views but be ready for wind and flurries this time of year.
Such an amazing hike! It took us all morning to get up there and back with a 2 year old but it was totally worth it. We did not feel the need to rush because there was so much to see along the trail. We saw lots of wildlife and I would highly recommend going in the early morning or evening. Make sure you pack lots of water and snacks. It is mostly uphill especially at the end. The actual tower was a nice place to sit and relax.
Beautiful hike. If going during the summertime expect the trail and peak to be extremely crowded! I would suggest starting early in the morning (we started at 7am and it was still crowded). Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack/lunch to enjoy at the top!
Video of my hike: https://nuttyhiker.com/hiking-black-elk-peak/
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Black Elk Peak
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