Harney Peak is the highest point of the Black Hills and the state high point of South Dakota. It is also the highest point between the Rocky Mountains of North America and the Pyrenees of Europe.
The trail is well defined, and winds its way through forests of pine, aspen, and birch. It also skirts the base of several granite pillars.
The views along the way are pretty impressive and left me wanting to travel off the trail to see up close some of the spires.
About half way to the peak, the trail enters the Black Elk Wilderness. Government regulations require each group to get a free access pass at the wilderness boundary. We filled out our pass (bringing your own pen or pencil may be a good idea), and proceeded onward.
Right at the end, you have several sets of staircases to climb.
Then you turn a corner and see the fire tower that was built on top of the peak.
The views are amazing, and the historic fire tower is pretty cool too. There are several rooms inside, and you can pass through the tower and decend on the far side to see an old water reservoir and pumphouse that was used when the tower was manned.