Harney Peak - South Dakota Highpoint

#1 of 32 trails in black hills national forest

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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.

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Taylor Farr (569)

21 Completed20 Reviews

K.A. Harper (231)

32 Completed5 Reviews

This was one of our favorite hikes. We took trail 4 up, trail 9 back. Do watch for thunderstorms, we were at the top and the clouds rolled in quite suddenly. We got halfway down the mountain and got caught in a thunderstorm complete with hail. At least the terrain on trail 9 was fairly easy and allowed us to pick up the pace! The rain was gone just as quickly as it came by the time we reached the bottom of the mountain and we were soaked to the skin. Our family (kids 18, 12, 9) agreed this certainly made the hike very memorable.

Aaron Craig (58)

1 Completed1 Reviews

Beautiful views and a trail that didn't keep your gaze downward. We started too late in the day though. Didn't make the peak but was still a great hike!

Jeff Line (451)

11 Completed11 Reviews

Did this hike with my Wife and kids (then 7 and 9). Great sense of accomplishment for young hikers to climb a mountain. Only complaint was no gift shop at the fire tower on top. we took an alternate route to the top and came back on the main trail so we only saw other hikers on the return.

Jim Kempen (419)

22 Completed2 Reviews

I took an alternate route starting at Willow Creek Horse Camp which added another 1,000 feet of elevation gain and a round trip of 10.8 miles. It starts out meandering through meadows of tall grass and wild flowers. Then follows below a cliff for a while. From then on cliffs spring up all around you and the views are absolutely amazing. This trail is shared with horses so watch your step. I cant wait to bring my kids here.

Olin Machen (92)

2 Completed2 Reviews

I combined the Lost Cabin trail with the Harney Peak South and North trails for a great loop. The Harney peak from Sylvan Lake was crowded but but the rest of the loop I only met 2 other hikers. It was a great mix of scenery and terrain. 4 stars instead of 5 due to the heavy use from the horse camp on the north end. Watch your step! The link is to my tracks.

Michele Whisenhunt (816)

37 Completed35 Reviews

Fun hike with a variety of trail options so that the return trip does not have to be exactly the same. Great vista at the end. Advertised as the highest peak between the Pyrenees and the Rockies. :) Lots of interesting rock "needles" formations along the way.

Kevin Reeves (188)

4 Completed3 Reviews

One of the best hikes I've ever done. It took us about 90 minutes at a pretty good pace. You should allot 2 hours each way. The trail starts out across a meadow, but then ends up quite steep with lots of boulder hopping. You should bring water, wear appropriate shoes (not thongs or flipflops!) and apply sunscreen generously. The views are absolutely outstanding. The former Fire Station is in good condition and is a great place for lunch. There are no restroom facilities at the Fire Station Lookout. Go early in the morning when it is more cool. Avoid going to late in the afternoon as sudden thunderstorms can blow through.

Kevin Ensminger (205)

6 Completed6 Reviews

Adored this trip. There were three of us. Forecast was bad. 40's and rain. We thought the rain was done when we started but it wasn't. Thought about turning back a few times. But we kept on. Glad we did. Made it though to the top and got a great view of nothing but white. It was still wonderful. Wet, muddy and sometimes grumpy, but we did it. Pack accordingly.

Nathan Thompson (6806)

48 Completed36 Reviews

Splendid as usual. Depending on what time of year you're going, make sure to pack weather appropriate gear. I usually hike this in May and the weather can be very unpredictable. For instance, when I hiked this trail a couple weeks ago the temps were in the low 40's and the wind was 25 - 35 mph. It actually snowed on us briefly before it turned to rain. I was glad that I had packed rain gear because damp clothing in those conditions can lead to stage 1 hypothermia rather quickly.

I am a bit disappointed in the amount of trees lost in the last few years due to the Pine Bark Beetle. Not the trail's fault, just an observation.