Scenic USA - South Dakota

Black Elk Wilderness

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Black Elk Wilderness - Black Hill, South Dakota

Photos by Eric Noel
Eric Noel Photography

Harney Summit      Harney Peak, found just south of Rapid City, is not only the highest point in South Dakota, but also the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains. Reaching 7242 feet in elevation, Harney Peak is surrounded by the Black Elk Wilderness and the South Dakota's famous Black Hills. At Breezy Point Overlook, Black Hills visitors are treated to incredible mountain views. Located on Route 244, just west of Mount Rushmore, Breezy Point offers a lofty view of the Black Elk Wilderness, Mount Rushmore and Harney Peak.
     For those with a little more ambition than taking it all in from Black Elk Wilderness Cliffsan overlook view, and thousands do, Trail No. 9 leads to Harney Point. While tracing the footsteps an Oglala Sioux medicine man, you may be able to appreciate the land that Black Elk once called home.
     The Black Elk Wilderness, one of the two South Dakota wilderness lands, provides a free range for turkeys, deer, mountain lions and elk. Its jagged spires and granite outcroppings are surrounded by deep ravines and a black forest of pine, fir and spruce. Many come to experience Mount Rushmore and the popular Black Hills attractions, while others enjoy a connection with nature at the Black Elk Wilderness.

Area Map

"I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being." - Black Elk

Additional Points of Interest


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