Thursday, July 2, 2009

Black Hills 7,000 Foot Peaks: Crow's Nest, Crook's Tower, & Terry Peak

There was a good chance of rain in the forecast for today so Noelle and I opted to stay close to home. We packed up some snacks, water, and rain gear and hit the road. Our destinations for the day would be the three peaks above 7,000 feet in the Black Hills that I had not ascended yet. We drove north through Custer and Hill City, and then veered west to Deerfield Lake. From there we left pavement and headed towards Crow’s Nest Peak. The forest travel map was a bit confusing. We spent a bit of time trying to find the right road to get us to Crow’s Nest. We finally decided that a grassy, old road was the correct one and hiked it, bushwhacked across an aspen clone to another road that led us to the summit and a benchmark.

From Crow’s Nest we headed north to Crook’s Tower. Once again the correct route was not as obvious as the map would have you believe.
We first ascended a small limestone bluff to what we originally thought was the summit. Upon hiking down we found a small limestone arch.
From there we started to drive back out when we noticed a road that more closely resembled what the map showed. We hiked this road to another limestone bluff. This, I believe is the actual summit of Crook’s Tower.

After Crook’s Tower we headed into Deadwood/Lead for lunch at Taco John’s. After lunch we drove over to Terry Peak Ski Area to hike up Terry Peak. We parked at one of the ski lodges and then hiked up the steep ski slopes to the summit.
There’s a large viewing platform up there that offered pretty decent views of the surrounding Black Hills.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of towers up there that tend to ruin the view. We descended the way we had come up and then headed to Rapid City for some grocery shopping. The quest is now officially over!