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Black Elk Peak Loop

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.7 (54) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A shorter loop, great for a day run.


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Map Key

7.9

Miles

12.7

KM

87%

Runnable

7,152' 2,180 m

High

6,160' 1,877 m

Low

1,357' 414 m

Up

1,357' 414 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

31%

Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

No Camping within 1/4 mile of summit. No open fires within the Black Elk Nature Preserve.

This is part of the Custer State Park Area. Entry Fee, or Annual Park Permit is required. Area is closed during the winter months.

Overview

This loop run utilizes multiple named trails to go from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak, and back to Sylvan Lake.

This peak was previously known as "Harney Peak."

Runner Notes

This trail is not for the faint of heart. Only attempt to run this if you're an advanced runner

Description

This is a great day-trip from Sylvan Lake to Black Elk Peak (formerly "Harney Peak"). The loop takes you up past Little Devils Tower along the Little Devils Tower Trail #4, joining with the Cathedral Spires Trail #4A, and continuing on to meet up with the Norbeck #3 trail to finally reach the summit of Black Elk Peak (7,244').

The return brings you down a different path using the Harney Peak #9 (South) trail. This will allow you to see different views on the way back.

Contacts

Shared By:

Greg Sage

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 54 votes

#139

Overall
  4.7 from 54 votes
5 Star
72%
4 Star
22%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in South Dakota

#139

Overall
86 Views Last Month
13,367 Since Feb 20, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

View from Black Elk Peak
Dec 28, 2020 near Custer, SD
Gorgeous views into the Black Elk Nature Area peek through the trees along the Harney Peak Loop.
Feb 20, 2017 near Custer, SD
Stump along Black Elk Loop
Jan 20, 2021 near Custer, SD
Heading back toward Sylvan Lake, enjoy gorgeous, quiet, moss-covered woodlands.
Mar 19, 2017 near Custer, SD
Curious locals
Aug 5, 2019 near Custer, SD
Some nice climbing on the rocks around Sylvan Lake.
Nov 11, 2015 near Custer, SD

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Check-Ins

Apr 24, 2021
Charly Jackson
Jul 15, 2020
Matt T
Great run!
Jul 19, 2019
Jake Gutwein
Great trail and quite scenic, but a lot of traffic from hikers of all ages. Very close to the park entrance so a $20 fee is required. 5.5mi — 1h 05m
Sep 25, 2018
Kate McDermott
5.9mi