Saturday, August 8, 2009
Black Hills National Foreest: Inyan Kara Mountain
The drive through Custer and Newcastle was uneventful. Other than a large number of bikers there was nothing extraordinary about it. When we finally turned off of Wyoming Highway 585 the excitement was really building. We pulled into the front yard of our contact person who had allowed access. From there we started on foot along an old road. The road seemed to go around the mountain but not up it, so at the far end we started to climb in earnest up to a ridgeline.
The mountain is interesting in that the center of it is made up basalt, some of it of the columnar variety that is seen at nearby Devil’s Tower.
We spent some time signing the registers and looking around the summit. After a while we decided to move our search for the Custer carving to a false summit not far from the true one. While we didn’t find the signature at the false summit, the views from it were amazing. After looking around there and eating a snack we moved back to the true summit for one last search.
We spent some time looking at the signature and photographing it. I’m still a little bit skeptical that it was actually carved by George Armstrong Custer, but it was a fun hike nonetheless. After looking at the carving we made our way back down the mountain to our car. The hike down went much more quickly than the way up! For another interesting Inyan Kara trip report, check this site out.