Harney Peak South Dakota Highpoint Trail

#1 of 28 trails in Black Hills National Forest
Harney Peak South Dakota Highpoint Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Custer, SD that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

7.0 miles 1407 feet Loop
dogs on leash kid friendly birding hiking nature trips trail running walking horses forest lake river views wild flowers wildlife old growth rocky
Hide Map

Sylvan Lake Harney Trail is a 7 mile out and back trail located near Custer, South Dakota that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

2 days ago

8 Completed4 Reviews

We did the north trail access, more difficult, longer I think. Round trip was 12 miles (all trails only recorded 9.6 for some reason). It's trail #8, from the horse camp on hwy 244, that connects with trail #9. This route is way less busy, but has its challenges. Took us 5 hours round trip, jogging through some of the flats. Anyway, well worth the views!!!

Stephanie Bender Westbrook
22 days ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

This has been my favorite hike since I was a child. It's just long enough to feel like real exertion and the view at the top is magnificent. I try to go when it's less traveled.

Nate Taylor
1 month ago

10 Completed2 Reviews

Good day hike with family.

Dennis Dennis
2 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Perfect day - sunny, cool morning before anyone else arrived. Great views from the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and Pyrenees in Europe.

Regina Staufer
2 months ago

5 Completed3 Reviews

It was a good hike. Give the snow time to melt. It's a little muddy & windy today too.

Ty Christoffer
2 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews


Jackie Bratkowski
3 months ago

6 Completed3 Reviews

Great views at the top. I didn't see any people on the way up (I went by the Cathedral Spires) on the way down though there was almost 50 people. Pretty crowded. And it was a Friday in winter. I'm sure it's packed come summer time.

Nikki Stewart
4 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

grant berry
4 months ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

My daughter and I completed this hike in October, 2013. There was snow on portions of the trail. It is a great view once you get to the tower at the top. The lake is beautiful at the trailhead

Theresa Goebel
6 months ago

3 Completed2 Reviews

Long hike & strenuous at times, but well worth it once you get to the top! Breathtaking!

Jenn Albertson
6 months ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

Christina Nauman
6 months ago

14 Completed13 Reviews

Such a long hike but definitely worth it. I'm from SD originally and I still find my state beautiful.

Brandon Bahensky
7 months ago

6 Completed1 Reviews

A fun little hike in South Dakota. Nothing to strenuous, most likely something the whole family could enjoy. Be careful of falling trees. We went on a day with 50-60mph wind gusts and with all the beetle kill this meant that dead trees were literally falling left and right. The tower at the top gives a great view and is a great place to stop and eat lunch. We sent on a Sunday and while it was off season it was still a pretty busy trail. I can imagine that certain times of year this trail maybe a little too heavily used for my liking.

Penny Hanke
7 months ago

19 Completed19 Reviews

It can get surprisingly hot; take lots of water.

Terry Gabriel
8 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

Fun and a Great Workout. View from the top is fantastic.

Brent Radcliffe
8 months ago

1 Completed1 Reviews

I hiked the Harney Peak Trail from the north entrance (State Hwy 244), starting at the northern part of the Willow Creek loop. The trail is 5.6 miles one-way from the Willow Creek trailhead to Harney Peak. The overall difference in elevation is 2200 feet, but with all the ups and down the elevation gain is actually 2789 feet. The elevation really picks up half-way through the ascent: the first half has a 730 foot gain and the last half has a 1500 foot gain. Odds are you will feel the burn.

The trail itself features a variety of cutbacks once you get closer to Harney. Lots of flowers along the way and a good view of rock formations similar to the Cathedral Spires. Looked like beetles killed off trees over some stretches, which took away the shade and made the trail less comfortable to hike.

The Peak itself offers some great views of Little Devils Tower and the surrounding area. Visibility was relatively limited because of haze, possibly from all the fires that were raging in Montana and states further west. A lot of hikers take the shorter, southern approach to the peak, so the top may be a bit more crowded. Did not see any water sources at the top, so pack accordingly.

Clay Brasher
8 months ago

21 Completed11 Reviews

Great Hike- one that everyone needs to do at some point!

Patty Kulick
8 months ago

1 Completed2 Reviews

My husband and I hiked this trail back in 2005. It was the longest hike I've done, it was nice and wide but a little busy. Once we got to the top it was wonderful with the most beautiful views I've seen. This place is a place I will remember forever! Loved every bit of it.

Patty Kulick
8 months ago

1 Completed2 Reviews

One of the best hikes I've done and very proud of, beautiful views.

Christine Kruger
9 months ago

15 Completed15 Reviews

the view from the top is worth every step. We were there July 4, 2015 and the trail was BUSY! There were beetle problems and the park has lost a lot of trees to them. This made it very easy to see the surrounding scenery but shade was hard to come by in spots. The peak is made for adventurous souls. Plenty to climb around on or just find a spot to have a packed lunch. It's a fairly long hike and no restrooms or privacy along the way, so plan accordingly during busy season.