Explore Highpoints - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Highpoints Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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.

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

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!

Nice trail!

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!

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.

This was a beautiful hike. We did this hike on a Saturday in late summer. We started out early in the morning planning to take our time. We only met one other couple and a couple on horses. The overlook views were amazing and we enjoyed our lunch on a rock outcropping with a view for miles. We were also testing our overnight backpacks so our loads made the trail a little more strenuous but we made it to the top only to be met by the large numbers of people hiking up to Black Elk from the other side. The trail is well marked and easy to follow with many scenic views for photos. Some of the steps are pretty high towards the top and with my backpack load I was wishing I had done more lunges at the gym lol but the 360° view from the top was worth it all! The trip down was just as unpopulated but we could see an unforcasted storm moving in, with about an hour left to our car we were in the middle of a lighting storm. We debated about stopping to put rain gear on or staying out of the path of lightening but it was mostly a sky storm with only a few big drops here and there. Just as we were loading the car the sky unloaded. I'm not sure we will hike this trail again as we are from out of state and there are so many areas of South Dakota we want to explore but I'm glad we did this trail it only made us fall in love with The Black Hills even more.

hiked it on August 3rd, 2018. Was beautiful. I recommend hiking to the fire tower then to little devil's tower trail where you can see the fire tower

This a great, local, high altitude, hike to train on if you are going to be doing other hikes like the Inca Trail. I credit this hike for making us very well prepared for our trip. I am a little late with a review as snow has already begun to accumulate but in early October the trail was mostly clear. Hard to follow at the beginning through the ski resort and construction. Just look for the signage. Above the treeline it is incredibly windy (like have to hunker down at times windy) and cold. I recommend a very warm jacket / windbreaker, warm gloves and a hat. It is hard to appreciate the amazing view from the top if you are freezing. Take the time to go see Williams Lake if you can. We had lunch there and it was beautiful.

Hiked today (Nov 18, 2018). Was planning to hike from Massie Gap, but was redirected here by a helpful park employee due to ice on the roads in Grayson Highlands. From what I understand, the other route through the state park is more scenic. This was still really nice - probably a bit easier, too. There are a couple of nice open areas for views. Otherwise, the trail is very icy and snow covered. Once you turn onto the Mount Rogers Spur Trail, it really is like a winter wonderland. Definitely worth it! Will look forward to doing another route or two up to Mount Rogers as well. Note that there is an outhouse at the trailhead on VA 600.

Stats:
9.22 miles
3:41 hours

Beautiful, only able to get to Williams lake due to heavy snow in the past month. Trail is easy to follow and packed down good to the lake (very popular hike) I tried going up to wheeler but it’s still soft and deep snow. Not many people summiting anymore. A hiker coming down informed me the trail disappears after timberline so it looks like next year will be my summiting chance.

Great hike. A lot of scrambling and very steep climbing in first leg. Whole thing took 2:20. Great views. Would not try if snow and ice on ground. First third is very well marked. Last two thirds are basically flat. Overall great hike.

Ran the trail on 10/31, beautiful day about 40F, didn’t see anyone and the lake store was closed for the season. Went up #9 and down on #4. #9 is better with first scenic lookout at 1 mile mark. Don’t see much until all the way up. The view was wide open and the tower was neat. Very windy and probably 10 degree colder than the starting point. Finish in 2 hours by running, not the best for running since the path was unpathed and rocky, very easy to get ankle injury.

Went to see the fall foliage on 03 November, but majority of leaves had fallen (cold season starts earlier there). Still well worth it. Beautiful moss covered rocks line many portions of the trail. Eventually, you walk along some roaring mountain streams. Probably not an "easy" trail, but certainly not hard. Would recommend as a pleasant day hike.

will always be my favorite

The view from the top of Black Elk Peak is something else! I'd highly recommend to anyone visiting the area. In the past I've done trail #9 out and back, but yesterday I decided to mix it up and took trail #3 to trail #4 on the way back down. Awesome views of the Needles from trail #4. Both routes were pretty snowpacked and slick in the shade and my hiking partner took a couple of spills. I'll pack some type of traction device the next time I do this in the early spring or late fall.

hiking
3 months ago

I think this trail leans closer to “moderate” than “easy” in difficulty (ignoring the fact that it was covered in snow when I completed it). Most of the trail is narrow and rocky.

This is a great moderate hike. The first mile of the 5 is by far the most difficult where you gain most of the 1,000 feet of elevation for the 5.5 mile hike. It was a very foggy morning so the views weren’t great at first. However, I got the high point in Connecticut like I wanted and once we gained the ridge just to the west of the high point the valley below was bathed in sunlight and so that was a great sight. All-in-all it was a delightful hike.

Did an overnight trip and camped at the lake. This was such a great experience and it was my first backpacking trip. I would recommend and will be back!

Got to be in pretty good shape !!! Not a beginners trail!!! Great hike !!!

Beautiful views

Great hike! Went up #9 and down #4 in about 3 hours, including a LOT of stopping for pics and following tracks. #4 was pretty wet with the recent melt. If you are only doing one hike in the area, this would be it. If you don't want the full loop, go up #4, Cathedral Spires are a sight.

Took #9 up and #4 down. Went up two days ago. Beautiful hike just after a light snow and trail is well kept. Took my time exploring the little devils tower and cathedral spires on the way down, took about 4 hours in total. Saw a mountain lion 15 ft away about 3/4 of the way up #9, seemed like a nice guy though

Due to all the recent rain, the trail has spots where the mud is unavoidable and where a river crossing means you're going to wet. I enjoyed the many tiny waterfalls and the tower yielded better views than expected. This was a fun little muddy nature walk.

This is one of my all time favorites! Definitely a two-nighter to enjoy it! Very busy on the weekends! Start the summit very early, thunder and lightning storms come from out of nowhere in the afternoon!

Did this Oct 9. 2-3" of snow. Was a nice hike but of course fogged in at the top. We followed tracks in the snow for more than a mile before we came upon a cougar near the trail split at the top. Was cool to see for the few seconds we saw it. Despite no view it was a very awesome hike. Snowed on us on the way back down.

What a beautiful hike

Trail and hike are generally good, but lots of construction along first 0.5-1 mile from parking lot. Hiked all the way up today, but wind was howling. Wind-breaker and warm hat a MUST, and you’ll want gloves too!

We hiked out on trail 4 and took the Spur out to the little devils tower. It was a great lookout Over the valley and over to the fire station. It was also a fun scramble to get up to it. The view from the fire station is spectacular except it was very windy. We hiked back to our car on trail nine. It gave a great perspective of how high up we were on the little devils tower. It was also nice to get a different view coming back to our car. Excellent hike.

Load More