Adventure Van Travels – Hiking Harney Peak, Devils Tower and Bighorn National Forest
After a restful night at Blue Bell Campground in Custer State Park, we woke up early because we had big plans for the day. Wild turkeys wandering through our site was the first thing I saw after a quick shower in the super clean bathrooms. Filling up on a big breakfast of bacon, scrambled eggs and yogurt, we loaded the van and headed down the road to take the Needles Highway Scenic Drive. The scenery along the Needles Highway is amazing, and we loved driving through two tight squeeze tunnels along the way. Traveling with 4 teenage girls is hilarious and they definitely keep me laughing. We arrived at Sylvan Lake around 10am and quickly parked our car and set off down Trail 9 to climb Harney Peak. The highest point in South Dakota, Trail 9 to Harney Peak is 7 miles round trip and leads through gorgeous Black Hills Wilderness with unbelievable views of the Black Hills. The trail ends at a fire tower built by the CCC. I’m not going to lie, this hike was a challenge, mainly because it was searing hot, but the views are absolutely worth it. All of the girls did awesome. Once back at the van, we hit the road and headed a couple hundred miles away to Devils Tower where we hiked the 1.5 mile trail that circles the huge monolith. Since scientists aren’t in agreement about what lead to Devils Tower forming, it remains a mystery. I love that there are still mysteries in the world! Thouroughly worn out now, we all climbed back in the van heading west to the beautiful Bighorn Mountains National Forest in Wyoming where we camped at Middle Fork Campground next to a babbling mountain stream. It was a wonderful day on the road, filled with beautiful views, amazing sites, laughter and love. While it doesn’t always feel that way, life is very good.
Like what you just read? Join 200,000+ readers and gain access to
OUR LIBRARY OF FREE PRINTABLE RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL LOVERS, BACKPACKERS AND ADVENTURERS!