Formerly named Harney Peak, Black Elk Peak is the highest point of Black Elk Wilderness and South Dakota and is the highest summit between the Rocky Mountains and the Pyrenees Mountains in France. A hike here offers absolutely phenomenal views that you will not find elsewhere. From its bare rock summit, visitors can see up to four states! South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska can all be spotted on a clear day from this stunning vantage point. The summit is also home to an old stone tower that was once used as a fire lookout. Since it's decommission, it has become something of a viewpoint for hikers.
Located in the Black Hills in the southwestern portion of the state, you can reach Black Elk Peak from several South Dakota locations. Start in either Custer State Park or from various locations within the Black Elk Wilderness to find this mountain.
The forest covering Black Elk Peak is a stunning sight of its own. Enjoy various genera of trees thriving at the site, including grandiose Ponderosa pines, spruce trees, and aspens. Despite the steady flow of hikers who frequent the peak each year, the area is still home to an abundant group of wildlife. Expect to catch a sighting of deer, elk, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, or pronghorn antelope. Bird watching is another popular pastime at Black Elk Peak. While it is rarer, you may also steal a glance of a mountain lion or coyote on your journey.