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An incredible hike! Hiked to the top on 1/15 and it was perfect visibility (we got lucky). All ice and snow had melted and it was even comfortable at the summit. With the government shut down, we parked right outside of the gate, and easily hiked the extra .9 miles in. Round trip it was 6 hours, even with a solid 30 minutes at the top. Definitely worth whatever drive you need to make to get here!

Amazing views, the juice is definitely worth the squeeze! This was a game changer for me, my brothers and I completed it in 7 hours

Such an awesome hike. Did it in two days one night, but spreading it out over another night would have been nice. Started in a Thursday morning and was back Friday evening. Saw other people out but we’re alone on the peak for most of the time we were up there. Starts out forested then opens into valleys with awesome views of the surrounding mountains, then over the pass and up to an epic peak.

This used to be called Harney Peak. We did it several times with children and my recollection is that there were many scenic vistas on the way up. Once on top, you know it. A great place to have lunch and enjoy the 360 view. The best hike in the Black Hills.

Such an exhilarating hike. Although government shut down is still in place we were able to access the park. We parked at the parking lot up the road from the national park HQ pinnery parking lot I believe. Its only an extra .9 miles to the trail head. Totally breath taking. Like others have said the first 1.5 miles are really tough and steep, but after that the inclines of the switch backs are quite moderate nothing too bad at all. A lot of false peaks. Winds were not too bad but there is still a bit of snow at the top. Nothing serious just take your time, and watch your feet. Completed 1/10/19 5hrs 15mins from the parking lot.

Awesome day hike. Pretty easy with amazing views. Plus my pup loved it. Can’t go wrong with this hike.

This is a good hike,but be prepared. we hiked yesterday (8/1/18). We started at 1am and I would recommend starting between 12-1am (especially if you are planning on hiking at a 10 hour or slower pace!). The views are amazing and hiking with the moon is really cool. The way the weather is I would recommend leaving the top by 10. The 3.5 miles on the crest take a while and is dangerous when the storm starts. The last water is on switch back 23ish. It's good clean water right from a spring. If it rains the trail rivals any major water park. The trail will become a river. It rained while we were on the switch backs and you will get wet. The puddles are unavoidable. I had fun hiking and splashing on the way down in the rain. I loved this hike and would do it again.
This mountain is not a joke, if you are hiking do research, train before you go, and bring all the proper gear (a good rain coat) Be Safe and have fun.

Nice easy trail. No views from the top- it is a clearing in the forest. The stone patio in the shape of Arkansas with the river and different geographic areas represented by different stones was neat to see but you may not appreciate it unless you look to see it. My kids got excited about the geography representation in the patio there.

A great trail, up to the saddle - at which point it becomes a search for the correct route. Be prepared for a couple of false summits and a glorious view from the top. If you hit it early enough in the summer (4 am), you'll have the whole mountain to yourself on the ascent. Round trip can be run with a bit of effort in under 3 hours, but it's nice to give yourself enough time to enjoy the views and allow for at least 5.

hiking
12 days ago

Great short hike, but bummed that there is no view at the top.

Great, tough hike! I would also recommend microspikes as the snow/ice is now hard packed in areas. Probably for about a mile. I did it in trailrunners and managed, but luckily I had trekking poles. Take it slow, and you’ll be fine. Cheers.

Woke up at 4 and hiked to see the sunrise. Stunning photos. Lovely experience.

1 star for today’s hike but five stars in general. Will be back.

Attempted this hike today (01/03/19) during the government shutdown :( I’ve done 39 state high points, hiked in the Whites in NH, and done high elevation stuff in UT and NM... this was by far the scariest, most intense hike I’ve ever done. Please be careful if attempting this in inclement weather or wind!! Turned back 1/2 mile from the summit.

The park had been experiencing a crazy weather system the last couple days that made it unseasonably cold (like daytime temps in the teens). Today was the first day of reasonable weather (forecast for visitor center around 45 with winds 10-20 mph) so we went for it. Got first start on the trail and any previous snow tracks disappeared above 6500 feet.

The trail was full of ice with plenty of exposed sections. Wind chill to the teens to twenties. Gusts of wind to 40-50 mph gave the drop off sections (up to 800 feet) the potential for deadly consequences. We had to crouch to stay planted several times. Even with micro spikes I feared I’d be blown off the mountain in certain parts. The wind never abated no matter how many times we turned a corner onto a new face of the mountain.

Hiked down and saw plenty of people attempting in jeans, sweatshirt, and worn out Nikes. I have no idea how they made it that far. If they reached the summit, good on them lol.

Beautiful scenery with amazing views of the desert floor. I’ll be back in the summer to bag this thing. Knowing my luck with Texas weather, it will probably be hurricaning

hiking
14 days ago

One of the most amazing experiences! Love the hike. Very hard as I was not in such good shape.
I loved the 360 degree views this place has to offer. It was cold in the morning and evening... but as we got to the top the sun shined on us and kept us warm... Not to mention the activity.
Highly recommended to train prior as much as possible and be prepared for the high elevation effect!

Gorgeous hike. If you are going soonish I would take some microspikes as there are icy areas starting at roughly 7000 ft. The ice isn’t everywhere so crampons would be overkill and not recommended. The summit could use a new log book in case anyone wants to take the initiative! I posted a photo of the current, overloaded one.

We hiked only a portion of the Guadalupe Peak Trail this past Saturday (12/29/2018). The views were beautiful everywhere you looked. There was snow, the trails were a bit slippery, and the air is definitely thinner the higher you go. My mom had a heavy cold and was not able to continue to hike due to the freezing air and high elevation. The day was also very foggy and it was a bit hard to see. The peak of the mountain was covered by both clouds and fog. We did also start the trail a bit late around 12pm. If we would have started a few hours earlier and left my beautiful momma at home, I’m confident we would have been able to complete it. We were only able to get about a mile till we decided to turn back. There are lots of sharp rocks and steep areas. It is a little difficult but it is manageable. If you’re headed during snowy days be prepared with snow/hiking boots, jackets/coats, and plenty of water. We can’t wait to go back in warmer weather and when my momma is feeling better.

Please note: We parked outside the gate due to the govt. shutdown so you do have to walk uphill about a mile from the main road to start the trails. Restrooms are closed. Visiting center is also closed. Water refill stations are open.

Who doesn't want to hike to the highest point in Colorado?!? Several false summits, but well worth the effort.

Hiked trail 9 from the Sylvan Lake parking lot New Year’s Eve night, we were the first to Summit Black Elk Peak in 2019!! Had a blast! Snow was really deep in some areas along the trail. Always love this hike and the view! Cheers to 2019!

This is a gnarly hike, tough but rewarding and incredibly biologically diverse. Must do if you’re in the area.

hiking
19 days ago

Did it to say I stood on the state's highpoint. Nothing spectacular.

I did this fantastic hike with my husband and two young children who were 2 and 3 at the time. We carried them with our Boba carriers the majority of the way. They were both able to hike for portions of this adventure, but they liked getting to hitch a ride as well (they napped in the carriers on the way down). The hike is a lot longer than it seems. On our way back we were asked by many people if they were close and I wouldn't tell them because I didn't want to discourage anyone, but they were only 1/4 or 1/2 way to the peak. Make sure to bring plenty of water and snacks, keep a steady pace, take breaks, and you will have no problem. The view at the top is spectacular! You feel like you are on top of the world and you kind of are. At 7242 feet, Black Elk Peak is the highest summit in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Awesome!

Hiked this on Christmas day and it was beautiful. A little ice at the top but we managed in just hiking boots. Some sort of spikes would make it easier though.

Awesome views and saw some elk real close to the trail! Took about 6 hours but we easily spent 1.5 hours taking pictures and meeting friendly folks on the mountain. On a clear day it's a beautiful hike.

hiking
20 days ago

My wife and I hiked this yesterday, December 27, 2018. We started at 9:45 and finished by 6. To our knowledge we were the only folks up there all day. It was quite an experience and I want to share a few tips / things we learned.

First, make sure you hike with good weather. For us, the weather was pretty gnarly. The high at the base was in the 20's which was actually great, but the summit was below zero (not counting windchill) and there were 40 mph winds. We had about 4 upper-body layers each and used 3 on the summit and were pretty comfortable temperature wise. However, the visibility was 15 yards max above the treeline and snow drifts made the trail harder to follow. Bad visibility and a blizzard made the last 1.5 ish miles extremely unpleasant and honestly pretty dangerous. We got to the summit at 3:30ish. We snapped a photo but then left to try and beat nightfall.

Second, if you're doing a winter ascent, wear crampons!!! I would recommend Kahtoola K10's since they work with any pair of normal hiking boots. I would not try it with yaktrax or microspikes. You don't need special winter boots but I'm sure they wouldn't hurt.

Third, find a way to keep your food and water warm. Our insulated CamelBak lines froze above the treeline so our insulated nalgene was all we had to drink on the way down. Our food also froze, so keep that in mind. Throwing a hand warmer in a sock with a Clif bar would have probably worked well, looking back.

Fourth, eat before you're hungry and drink before you're thirsty. Those two things are the best way to prevent altitude sickness if you're not used to higher elevation.

Overall, it went alright but we were pretty mentally beat up by the end. Neither of us actually got sick or any kind of frostbite which was. That said, the trip could have easily been a disaster with the conditions. There were a few spots on the saddle where the snow drifts just dropped off. Sheesh.

I just want to stress that you shouldn't do it in a sub-zero blizzard unless you really know what you're doing. We actually lost the trail below the treeline on the descent because the snow drifts hid our tracks and we lost the yellow ribbon markers. Ended up walking down the ski slope instead which was actually a blessing haha.

Hope this helps and good luck!

We hiked this trail, July 22, 2018. Very tough the first 1.5mile to 2miles. After that, it wasn’t easier, but tolerable. We took two 5 min every 30 min then two breaks every 45min to an hr. That really helped us a lot.
Going down wasn’t difficult at all. Only problem was, our legs started to to get tired and weak (possible risk of rolling/twisting ankles).
We did it in the middle of summer. Morning was 77-80 degrees, then reached up to +100 degrees once we arrived to the top. Thankfully we couldn’t feel the scorching heat at the peak, but coming back down..:yeah we started to feel it and we almost experienced heat exhaustion.. BE CAREFUL AND DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

Overall, would I do it again? YES!!! Maybe next time during cooler weather.

nice little loop trail, not a in and out trail and not maintained the best

first mile gain is a good warm up. easy after that. wonderful views from thw top.

Amazing views. Went here mid June, we camped at William's lake the night before and in the morning made our way to the top. Was a bit cold at the top due to the winds so bring a good jacket even in the summer. The hike is not beginning friendly so make sure you have a bit of experience hiking steep rocky trails. I would recommend trekking poles. We are from Chicago and didn't have much experience with the elevation. So we took it slow towards the top due to the elevation change. overall an amazing hike would love to explore other trails in the park.

The trail itself is not very demanding; the ice and snow makes the upper part of the trail extremely slippery (and hence somewhat dangerous). The view is splendid.

A beautiful trail with wonderful views. The trail is not difficult but this time the snow an ice made the trip a bit difficult, once on the summit, the 360 degrees view that we contemplated was a wonderful and unforgettable experience that made the effort worthwhile.

Good trail. Pretty good pull ..3000 ft. Views are excellent just be sure to bring some crampons or boots with real good tread. Very icy..not so bad on the way up but coming down it was a challenge.

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