A hike to the top of Bear Butte.
Today, we hiked to the top of Bear Butte. It is in the same State Park where we are camping. We can see it from the table in the RV. The park is about 5 miles north of Sturgis, SD. You may know of Sturgis as the motorcycle capital of the world. During bike week, the town swells in population from about 6,000 to over 500,000. As you can guess, we plan to be far away from here during that week. We have been warned that people start to arrive as early as the last week of July.
The Butte is an uplift of magma that never quite broke through the surface. So no this is not a volcano even though from a distance it looks like one.
This is a sacred site to the Native American people. Prayer cloths are tied many places on the mountain. It is know that Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, and Sitting Bull all made pilgrimages to the site.
The hike up to the top of Bear Butte gains 1,000 feet in elevation and is a 2.8 mile trail round trip.
The views are pretty impressive even from halfway up the mountain. We can even see the RV from here.
We did see some pretty flowers and wild raspberries.
Only a few animals. The most surprising was caterpillars.
The last third of the hike up was even more interesting. We crossed rock "falls" several times. If one of these were time lapsed over a couple of years, it would look like a waterfall moving down the mountain side.
At the top, we got a great view of the Black Hills to the south and prairie West, North, and East.
There are several informative signs around the platform on the top.
Time to head down.
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