Rapid City: Harney Peak

Backpack under tall Ponderosa pines to the highest peak east of the Rockies then continue to a landscape littered with needle-nose spires on this isolated 6.8-mile loop.
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Backpack under tall Ponderosa pines to the highest peak east of the Rockies then continue to a landscape littered with needle-nose spires on this isolated 6.8-mile loop.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 11.0

Waypoints

HPT001

Location: 43.8470344543457, -103.560386657715

Trailhead: Head NE, following Trail #9 (Harney Sylvan Lake Trail) marked with orange blazes

HPT002

Location: 43.8538818359375, -103.553565979004

Turn R

HPT003

Location: 43.85205078125, -103.55069732666

Vast SW views

HPT004

Location: 43.8549003601074, -103.538063049316

Veer R, keeping with Harney Sylvan

HPT005

Location: 43.8617515563965, -103.527549743652

Turn L to Harney Peak

HPT006

Location: 43.8625335693359, -103.526916503906

Fine views to the N, then in a few hundred yards to the W

HPT007

Location: 43.8645820617676, -103.528884887695

Turn L; climb switchbacks on granite steps to S. Dakota?s high point

HPT008

Location: 43.8658676147461, -103.532447814941

Summit: Harney Peak, 7,242 ft., marked by a USGS benchmark S of the stone lookout tower; return to WPT 5 and head S on Cathedral Spires Trail (Trail #4)

HPT009

Location: 43.8577842712402, -103.5263671875

Turn R

HPT010

Location: 43.8535995483398, -103.528564453125

Stay straight; Cathedral Spires Trail meets up with Norbeck Trail; ahead, watch for several trad and mixed pro climbing route

HPT011

Location: 43.8471984863281, -103.537696838379

Soft, flat bed of pine needles offers a great campsite with a fine view of needlelike spires (bring lots of water)

HPT012

Location: 43.8474655151367, -103.54443359375

Swing L to Sylvan Lake

HPT013

Location: 43.8435668945312, -103.551948547363

Continue across parking lot, then bear R and hike .6 mi. to trailhead

Trailhead

Location: 43.8470420837402, -103.560546875

Harney Sylvan Lake Trail trailhead

© Shannon Davis