Ascent of Cicero Peak on 2014-12-13

Climber: Lupe !

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, December 13, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cicero Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:6166 ft / 1879 m

Ascent Trip Report

For photos and additional commentary, go to

Black Hills, SD Expedition No. 109: Lupe's human porter drove the G6 up USFS Road No. 338 to a small parking area just below the summit of Cicero Peak. Her porter will NEVER do that again. No. 338 is a narrow road that is largely rut free and climbs gradually its entire 1.5 mile length to the summit. The problem is that the road is strewn with rocks jutting up, some of which are loose, and a great many others are firmly attached to the mountain. The drive is very bumpy and Lupe's human porter spent the entire time on the drive up worrying that a rock might possibly crack open the oil pan under the G6, which would have been a disaster. Even if that didn't occur, nothing good could be happening to the alignment, suspension system, or tires on a passenger sedan like the G6 traveling over such rough ground.

After reaching the summit of Cicero Peak, Lupe left the G6 there to spend the day hiking up several other mountains (NE Cicero Peak, Daisy Peak and Kruger Peak). Despite her human porter pitching somewhere between 100 and 200 loose and threatening rocks to the side of the road on the hike back up Cicero Peak in the dark at the end of the day, it was still a 25 minute drive to crawl carefully back over the remaining rocks down the 1.5 miles back to a decent road again at the end of USFS Road No. 338.

Owners of high clearance vehicles built for rough terrain will have no problem reaching the summit of of Cicero Peak and wonder what the fuss was all about. It should be noted that there is only one possible place to turn around on No. 338 other than the small parking lot at the summit. That spot is a grassy slope along a curve on the W side of the road a bit less than 1/2 way up. Everywhere else the road is too narrow.

Lupe suggests leaving vehicles other than high clearance vehicles parked somewhere near the start of No. 338. Just hike up to the summit of Cicero Peak. It won't actually take that much longer and the rotten road is a great hiking trail. There is a long section of road with very nice open views to the E. Occasionally there are views in other directions. The road climbs gradually its entire length. Cicero Peak is certainly worth climbing. Except perhaps for some very distant peaks toward the far W edge of the Black Hills, Cicero Peak is higher than any other peak to the S and offers a unique perspective on the southern Black Hills area.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:30 ft / 9 m
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Partly Cloudy
Breeze out of W, 45 degrees
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:30 ft / 9 m
    Route:USFS Road No. 338 to summit area
    Start Trailhead:Small parking area just below summit  6136 ft / 1870 m
Descent Statistics

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