Friday, September 30, 2011

Hiking the Harney Peak In South Dakota at Five (5) Months Pregnant

by: Adin U. Blankenship

Part of our vacation this summer was a visit to South Dakota to meet some of my husband's relatives on his mother's side. Although it was a short trip, we had a great time exploring the beautiful state once again, and this time with our son Harley (and baby sister in the tummy). During our visit, we decided to go for a hike to the Harney Peak along with some of the family members. Harney Peak is 7,244 feet high and the highest point/mountain in South Dakota. At first I was a little bit hesitant to go and a bit worried that I might not make the hike since I was about five (5) months pregnant, but then again, something tells me that I know I can do this hike pregnant or not. I just had to be extra careful to make it to the top. I already knew I can take a long hike because I based it on the hike that we took at the Great Sand Dunes in Colorado last year so I was pretty confident. Even if it takes me to crawl to make it to the summit, I will.

(Five months pregnant)

Since we were staying at the Game Lodge in Custer State Park at that time, the closest trail head was at the Sylvan Lake so we took that route and started our hike at six (6) in the morning. Mind you this year's summer was a cruel one and the weather was not that cool. Even though the trail head at the Sylvan lake said to be the least strenuous and the shortest trail of all, but for a pregnant one like me it was not all that easy. The trail was about six (6) miles to the summit and back, and it took us about six (6) hours of hiking back and forth. The moment we started hiking I thought to myself; "What have I gotten into? What if I won't make it and for some reason I need an emergency assistance because I am pregnant? Are they going to air vac me? There is no way for another vehicle to get on the trail." Those thoughts went through my head while we were walking. 

I really wanted to thank my husband for being supportive and the encouragement that he had given me. Reminding me to take it easy, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and if I feel like I wanted to take a breather, then make sure and rest. He was like a mule carrying our 3-year old boy all the way up to the summit. My husband was in his element because he loves climbing the mountains. He was there to help me every time I needed a lift climbing up the steep trail. The closer you get to the summit, the tougher and steeper the trail gets, but when you arrive there, everything was well worth it. The gorgeous view awaits you from the top. 

There is an abandoned fire lookout tower that you can take a good 360 degrees view of the surroundings. SPECTACULAR!!! Even though I was so tired and in pain, all those went away the moment I saw the gorgeous view. I was glad I went on that hike and I patted myself on the back saying; "I made it at five (5) months pregnant!"

(My mule husband carrying our little man all the way up to the summit)

(The fire lookout tower with a 360-degree view of the surroundings)

(Stopping for a drink of water. Gotta stay hydrated)

Going back down the trail was not as bad as going up and our little boy decided he wanted to walk, which gave my husband some time to relax his tired shoulders from carrying him all the way up. This little man of ours loves the outdoors. After the trip in South Dakota and hiking the Harney Peak Trail, we headed to Colorado and went on another 4-hour hike down the Curecanti Creek Trail, but that is on the next post. By the time we made it back to the vehicle after our long hike, all I could think of was to drink a lot of really cold water and feast. I deserved it! So the next time you are on your way to South Dakota, you might want to think about hiking the Harney Peak Trail. It's well worth it!


  1. Very nice place! Ganda nung rock formation!

  2. Whoa, saludo ako sayo sis. You are so brave hahaha. 6 hours is a lot of hiking for a preggy like, you are so tough! Am sure adventurous yan si baby girl!

  3. oh,boy! you guys are think about it you are pregnant...grabi man jud ang energy level sa buros woi...what a breathtaking experience....:)

  4. Wow that looks amazing completely breath taking views - and go you doing that at 5 months! x

  5. That is awesome, I know so many that slow down when they are pregnant. Good for you for staying active and enjoying life with your family.

  6. Wow, this is such a beautiful place. How brave you were to take this hike while pregnant, good for you!

  7. Cool pictures! I like hiking and it's a great adventure with the family. It's a good exercise though.

  8. What a gorgeous park, never been to South Dakota.

  9. You are a real trooper MommyA, kaya naman game lagi ang mga bagets mo hehehe. Sarap siguro if we are neighbvors kasi we love doing outdoors din.

  10. I love the family photo, the hiking you and your family are doing is just wonderful, very healthy indeed.


Thank you for visiting and leaving your comments. I hope to see you again, soon!