Finding Crow Peak
Jul 8, 2011
The Black Hills of South Dakota are a hiker’s dream — as long as you can find your trailhead. My husband and I learned this lesson on our first visit to Crow Peak last summer. We got up early feeling optimistic about our day. We’d hike the trail near Spearfish in the morning and then have the afternoon to do whatever we wanted, maybe even hike Harney Peak if we felt ambitious.
Google Maps had driving directions, but we found a hiker’s blog that gave the gps coordinates of Crow Peak. “What a great idea,” we thought and entered them into the Garmin. Do not try this! Our navigator took us on a winding trip through gravel logging roads, continually shouting “recalculating.” We soon realized it was trying to get us to the actual peak and not the trail. Even worse — we hadn’t realized we were nearly out of gas.
We reset our destination point as our hotel, but the Garmin insisted we were not even on a road. Resigned to the fact that we had been led astray, we turned it off and used our brains to get us back to Spearfish — placing bets on whether we would run out of gas. Luckily we didn’t.
We found the trailhead three hours later than planned and it was totally worth the hassle. The hike was beautiful and the view at the top was amazing!
Do not let my story discourage you. The Crow Peak trailhead is actually easy to find – take Hillsview Road from Main Street in Spearfish and head west. From there, take Forest Service Road 214 approximately 7 miles southwest of Spearfish. There is a small parking area. No sign is immediately visible but a small green gate opens to the trail. I encourage you to give it a try!
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