South Dakota February 08, 2020
Climb To The Top Of Stone Fire Tower Lookout In South Dakota And You Can See The Entire State
While South Dakota is chock-full of amazing hikes for every preference and skill level, we can all agree that the best hikes are the ones with incredible views at the end. Right? While many SoDak trails offer scenic views, there are none quite like Black Elk Peak and its beautiful Stone Fire Tower:
Nestled away in the heart of the Black Hills, Black Elk Peak is the highest spot in the Mount Rushmore State, with an elevation of 7,200 feet.
Formerly known as Harney Peak (the U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially changed its name in 2016), Black Elk Peak is one of the most popular hikes in South Dakota and features a nearly 8-mile loop that begins at Sylvan Lake.
Please note: The hike up Black Elk Peak is considered moderate, as the incline is low and slow, but the distance is long with a grueling elevation gain.
Once you reach the summit of Black Elk Peak, you will discover the crème de la crème of the hike: the old stone fire tower.
Built in the early 20th century, the stone fire tower was once a — you guessed it! — fire tower that was used by the U.S. Forest Service to monitor fires in the Black Hills.
Though the tower closed for good in 1965, it is still frequently visited by hikers today and makes for incredible sights and photo opportunities.
Think you can take the long walk and the 1,407-foot elevation gain? Good, because when you do, you will be rewarded with awe-inspiring views like this!
To learn more about Black Elk Peak and its current weather conditions, please visit the U.S. Forest Service's
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Address: Black Elk Peak, Mount Rushmore UT, SD 57751, USA