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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4 Completed 3 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.

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6 Completed 6 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.

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43 Completed 33 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.

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29 Completed 21 Reviews

Nice trail. Good views. If you're going to see Mt Rushmore and feel like a nice hike this is the one.

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13 Completed 2 Reviews

I did this hike in mid-April and the paths were coated in a nice layer of snow, but it made it more of an adventure! This was a beautiful hike and the view from the top is extraordinary! If you are in the area, this hike is well worth your time!

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3 Completed 2 Reviews

I've been on this trail, and I have to tell you that the view from Harney Peak is outstanding. If you hike it in the summer, make sure to bring plenty of water, and be sure that you are in great shape because the last part of the hike is uphill, or make sure you rest every so often before you get to the top. The hike is well worth it, because it goes through a beautiful area, but there are other people that hike it, so the trail has a lot of hikers on it and there are two different ways to get to Harney Peak. One starts near Sylvan Lake in Custer StatePark, and prefer that trail because it is a better way up.

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3 Completed 1 Reviews

Took trail 9 up and down. First true hiking experience I've been on, but the view was totally worth it.

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3 Completed 2 Reviews

Did this with my wife and 11 year old daughter over Labor Day. All Trails lists this at 5100 feet gain, but is closer to 1500. Typo on their part I suppose.

We took the #4 trail up and the #9 trail down, which makes it a little longer with more of a gain than just the #9 trail both ways. The #4 loses a lot of altitude midway up and you have to climb it again.

This was an enjoyable day hike, but a bit crowded. The fire tower at the top was really nice and the views were great.

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5 Completed 5 Reviews

Absolutely loved this hike! This was also our first big hike - got us loving the outdoors and exploring!!! We were right next to a mountain goat coming down!!! Worth the hike!

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14 Completed 13 Reviews

Not just a hike but a family adventure that brought us closer than any other event. My wife fished Sylvan Lake while the kids and I along with our cousin took the ten mile high altitude challenge. We combined it with the Little Devils Tower Spur. Best part was having lunch with our legs dangling on a cliff at over 6,000 feet, The highlight for everyone was the lone mountain goat that was resting at the top when we got there! Eat heartily and drink lots of water, we all had a touch of altitude sickness. Even still, well worth it!

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