South Dakota -- Harney Peak

Today we hiked up Harney Peak!  At 7,242 feet it's the tallest point in South Dakota and the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains.  We started at the Sylvan Lake Trailhead in Custer State Park and started climbing into the Black Elk Wilderness.  The trail is only 6-miles round trip and moderately strenuous (the climb is steady, but not steep.)  We walked through forest meadows, marshes, and streams.  As you climb, spruce and pine give way to granite outcroppings.

The view from the top was amazing.  You get a 360 degree panorama that encompasses most of the Black Hills.  The CCC built an old stone fire tower on the summit, which was really cool.

starting out by Sylvan Lake

old CCC fire tower @ the top