Ever since we booked our trip to visit South Dakota, my sister was talking about hiking Harney Peak and how we had to add it to our list. It’s the highest point in South Dakota (at 7,242 feet with a 5,000+ foot elevation gain throughout the trail). We were on board for it, until we did our two hikes in Utah. 

The hikes we did in Utah were said to be easy, or green. So, when my sister was asking us if we were going to join they for Harney Peak, which is considered a blue or intermediate trail, we were like ummmm… maybe? The green trails in Utah kicked our butts and we were anticipating the same for Harney Peak, especially if it was harder.

She eventually got us to agree to it, and we quickly realized that the ratings for trails must vary based on state? It was a little challenging, especially when we started to climb significantly, but nothing like we experienced in Utah.

Sylvan Lake

 

 

Anyways, we started by Sylvan Lake (gorgeous) and started our hike. It was about two hours for us to get up to the peak, with taking a few breaks along the way to take in the incredible views. 

 
Harney Peak

 

Harney Peak

 

 

Once we were at the top, we climbed into the little building that used to be a firehouse back in the day (I can’t imagine being stationed up here!) and enjoyed some breathtaking views of the South Dakota surrounding us.

Harney Peak

Harney Peak

 

My nephew wanted to adventure on the rocks, so we headed out there and of course had to commemorate it with a selfie.  

Harney Peak

 

The way back was much faster, but doesn’t that always seem like the case? I think it only took us about 2 hours on the way back. 

It was a beautiful hike and definitely worth your while if you are in South Dakota. It can be a bit challenging so make sure you bring enough water and snacks, and give yourself time to rest along the way. There are several places where you can stop to take pictures, which I always like to use an excuse for a quick break. 🙂

 

 

Have you ever been to South Dakota? What’s the hardest trail you’ve ever hiked? 

When’s your next vacation? Where are you headed? 

 

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