Saturday, July 16, 2011

Running up Harney Peak, Black Hills, SD

I had the chance to run the trails up and down Harney Peak in the Black Hills of South Dakota 3 times during the last few days of our family vacation.  I ran with Jim Fox (pictured down a few pics) from Duluth, MN twice...the first time from the KOA and the second from Sylvan Lake.  I also had the chance to run it from Sylvan Lake with my 9 year old son Jack.  He loved the views from the old fire tower on the summit.  The run from the KOA is considerably more difficult, with about 2200 feet of climbing during a 13 mile round-trip run.  The run from Sylvan Lake is a bit easier with about 1000 feet of climbing during the 7 mile round-trip run.  The trails from Sylvan Lake are also in much better condition and are used much more than any of the other trails leading to the summit.  I wore the Brooks Launch for all 3 runs.  Even though they are a lightweight road shoe, they work perfectly on the trail.  The weather on Harney Peak can vary greatly, from cool and sunny, to quite cold even in July, very windy, and cloudy.  I had the chance to experience all of these conditions on my runs this year.