Ascent of Black Elk Peak on 2014-09-02

Climber: Lupe !

Others in Party:Joe & Dusty
Date:Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Elk Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:7231 ft / 2204 m

Ascent Trip Report

Black Hills, SD Expedition No. 93: Lupe started out a little after 9:00 AM from Hwy 87/89 just E of Sylvan Hill and WNW of Sylvan Lake. It was clear, calm and about 60 degrees out. Joe and cousin Dusty were along with for this entire hike. Hiked from Hwy 87/89 down to the Sunday Gulch Trail just N of Sylvan Lake Lodge. Followed a short section of the Sunday Gulch Trail down to the intersection with the Sylvan Lake loop trail just below the dam. Followed the loop trail up around the NE side of the lake and S past the beach to Black Elk Wilderness area Trail No. 9. Trail No. 9 is the most popular, and one of the shortest routes up to Harney Peak.

Lupe, Dusty and Joe took Trail No. 9 all the way up to the lookout tower on Harney Peak. Unlike many of the trails in the Black Elk Wilderness area, Trail No. 9 is free of deadfall timber, so it was an easy hike up. Conditions were still clear and calm at the summit. There was a bit of haze in the air, but visibility was very good except very close to the far horizon. At the lookout tower, met two sisters who were members of a high pointer club. Harney Peak was the 21st state high point reached for one of the sisters. Joe, Dusty, and Lupe explored out along the huge granite outcropping to the W of the lookout tower to where the Harney Peak benchmark is and also a photo benchmark. Lupe barked at helicopters when they flew by giving tours of the Harney Peak and Mt. Rushmore areas. After photos, a break for water and snacks, chatting a bit with other hikers in the summit area, and Joe calling his son Matthew from the lookout tower to wish him a happy birthday, it was time to head back.

Lupe, Dusty and Joe returned via the same route and were back at the G6 around 2:00 PM. It had warmed up some and was now in the low 70's. There had only been a few hikers on the trail on the way up to Harney Peak in the morning, but the trail was quite crowded all the way back.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
Black Hills, SD Expedition No. 94: Joe and Dusty near the Harney Peak lookout tower (2014-09-02). Photo by Lupe !.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1086 ft / 331 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Upper 50's to low 60's at outset, low to mid 70's on return
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1086 ft / 331 m
    Route:Trail 9
    Start Trailhead:Sylvan Lake  6145 ft / 1872 m
Descent Statistics

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