Ascent of Black Elk Peak on 2018-06-21

Climber: Will Wente

Others in Party:Christie
and Taren
Date:Thursday, June 21, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Black Elk Peak
    Location:USA-South Dakota
    Elevation:7231 ft / 2204 m

Ascent Trip Report

Drive took <20 min from Custer, and although we did not get an early start (9:46am) still found a place to park near the TH. We took Harney Pk Tr. #9 up to the summit, then descended Norbeck Creek and Little Devil's Tower Trails to complete the loop hike. Tr. #9 was a veritable superhighway of people. Don't know whether the heavy usage was because rain had kept people off the trail the previous days and today was the one rain-free day before precipitation set in again, it was summer solstice, or because it was always this busy during the summer. There was at least 1/10th the number of people on the descent route, which was a nice escape. The scenery was beautiful both during the hike and especially from the summit. Glad we did the loop hike. Being used to hiking to much higher elevation, this hike (although rated moderate to severe) was a breeze and would make an excellent run. The trail is superbly maintained and easy to follow. We did see and mountain goat relaxing on a patch of grass at the summit and a deer on the descent, which was surprising given the number of people and their attendant noise.

I was confused by the name of peak and finally did web search. Harney Pk was renamed Black Elk Peak in 2016, and therefore the differences between Peakbagger and name on USGS map and trail name.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1053 ft / 320 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1053 ft / 320 m
    Round-Trip Distance:7.2 mi / 11.6 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1053 ft / 320 m
    Distance:3.4 mi / 5.4 km
    Route:Harney Pk Trail
    Start Trailhead:Sylvan Lake TH  6178 ft / 1883 m
    Time:1 Hours 32 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1053 ft / 320 m
    Distance:3.9 mi / 6.2 km
    Route:Norbeck Creek & Little Devils Tower
    End Trailhead:Sylvan Lake TH  6178 ft / 1883 m
    Time:1 Hours 55 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Will Wente
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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