Black Hills Journals

Hiking the hallowed Black Hills

A July 1994 trip to Black Hills by unorthodox traveler

Harney Peak Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota More Photos
Quote: Reflecting over many years of travel,our trip to the breathtaking beauty of South Dakota's Paha Sapa, as the Lakota Indians called their holiest of holy lands,will remain as one of our most enjoyable experiences.Hiking the Black Hills was a mystical and spiritual experience.

Hiking the hallowed Black Hills

Overview

Quote:
Hiking to the summit of 7,242-foot Harney Peak, exploring Jewel Cave National Park, visiting the cowboy/gold towns of Custer and Deadwood, exploring The Needles National Park.

Quick Tips:

You can climb to the summit of Harney Peak and return in a day...the trail is not difficult. Once you arrive at the summit, do climb up the fire tower for a 360 degree panoramic view.

Best Way To Get Around:

We arrived by car which is neccessary to get around the area.
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This was a pleasant motel with decent rooms which included tv, cable, swimming pool, whirlpool. After hiking all day, it was a pleasure to spend time in the pool. This place also has a restaurant which is open early...6 am which we appreciated since we are early risers and need our coffe to wake up. There is also a bar and gift shop.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Deadwood Gulch Resort
Hwy 85 South
Deadwood, South Dakota 57732
(605) 578-1294

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This is a place for elegant dining. The dining room has an impressive skylight, creating a pleasant atmosphere. I had a herb-crusted rack of lamb and my friend had the cajun seafood tortelli...all delicious. To add to the dining pleasure, there was a piano player.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Jake's Atop the Midnight Star
677 Main Street
Black Hills, South Dakota
(605) 578-1555

Quote:
This town of Deadwood, not far from our hiking the Black Hills, is filled with history. The town is best known for gold and such wild west characters as Calamity Jane, Preacher Smith, and Wild Bill Hickok. The main street runs through Deadwood Gulch, the rest of the town crawls up the steep canyon sides. At the height of the gold rush in 1876, 25,000 people swarmed the area to dig gold. We explored this interesting town and discovered such places as the Broken Boot Gold Mine. Here you can see how gold was mined in the historic camp days. There are also underground tours...which we did not take. A bust of Wild Bill Hickok by Korcak Ziolkowski, creator of the Crazy ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Deadwood South Dakota
Town
Black Hills, South Dakota

Custer

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Custer Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
Custer is another town we stayed in while exploring the Black Hills. This is where a prospector with Colonel Custer's expedition of 1874 discovered gold, prompting the gold rush of 1875-1876. Main Street was laid out in 1880, wide enough for wagons pulled by teams of oxen to make u-turns. There is much to see in Custer such as the Custer County Courthouse Museum(1881),the 1875 Log Cabin, oldest cabin in the Black Hills, and the museum of woodcarving. While in town we were shocked at the thousands of motorcyles which converged on the town. We discovered that these bikers were on their way to the Annual Bikers gathering in Sturgis. Check out these photos. ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Custer
Around the town
Black Hills, South Dakota

Harney Peak

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Harney Peak Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
Although the white man has transformed the Black Hills into a commercial playground centered on touristy Mount Rushmore, taking a hike up to the summit of Harney Peak can provide, not only solitude but a sense of Indian spirituality that predates the pilgrims. The Lakota Indians considered Harney Peak to be the 'center of the world'. Black Elk according to tradition, once pointed to Harney Peak and said:"There, when I was young, the spirits took me in my vision to the center of the earth and showed me all the good things in the sacred hoop of the world". It was a relatively easy hike to the top of South Dakota's 7,242-foot Harney Peak, the highest point east of the Rockies in the U...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Harney Peak
Black Hills of South Dakota
Black Hills, South Dakota

Jewel Cave National Monument

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Jewel Cave National Monument Photo, Black Hills, South Dakota
Quote:
on a high plateau in the Black Hills is Jewel Cave, with an entrance on the east side of Hell Canyon. This place is only 13 miles west of Custer on Route 16 so its an easy car ride. Once you arrive you have a number of choices. We decided on the guided 1 1/2 hour scenic tour which was enjoyable but crowded. For those more adventurous, there is a 4-5 hour hour spelunking tour through some of the more than 100 miles of passageways in this cave system.

Walking/hiking the area was a pleasure...the terrain is covered by ponderosa pine and we saw countless varieties of wildflowers.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2001

Jewel Cave National Monument
Black Hill
Black Hills, South Dakota