08/14/2015 - 08/15/2015 - Harney Peak (7,244 feet), South Dakota and Panorama Point (5,429 feet), Nebraska

Ashley and I decided to do a road trip this weekend with the pup to hit a couple state high points, and a few national parks as well.  We decided to first hit the Nebraska high point (Panorama Point), continue up to Scotts Bluff NP, then up into the Black Hills of South Dakota to do Mount Rushmore and finally Harney Peak, the high point.

From Wikipedia:

Panorama Point is the highest natural point in Nebraska, at an elevation of 5,429 feet above sea level. It is located in southwestern Kimball County, near the point where Nebraska and Wyoming meet on Colorado's northern boundary.

Starb and I chilling around the high point marker.

Panorama Point - Elevation: 5424 feet

Enjoying the view

Some of the local flora around the high point




After taking in the view for a bit, we headed further north, with our next destination being Scotts Bluff National Monument.


From the NPS website:

From various tribes of Native Americans living and travelling through the area to our modern towns with populations made of many different cultures, Scotts Bluff has served as a landmark for a huge diversity of peoples.
Although earlier people did not leave very much that shows what the bluffs meant to them, evidence shows they did camp at the foot of the bluff. On the other hand, the westward emigrants of the 19th century often mentioned Scotts Bluff in their diaries and journals. In fact, it was the second most referred to landmark on the OregonMormon and California trails after Chimney Rock. Over 250,000 people made their way through the area between 1843 and 1869, often pausing in wonder to see such a natural marvel and many remembered it long after their journeys were over.
Early communications also came through Scotts Bluff . The riders of the Pony Express rode through Mitchell Pass from 1860-1861. Then came the telegraph. The first "singing wires", as they were known to the Native Americans, were strung between Eagle Rock and Sentinel Rock along the well traveled trails of the pioneers.
As the area became more settled, the idea of protecting the fragile bluffs became popular. Scotts Bluff National Monument was proposed and became reality in 1919. The history of the monument development involved many people and a lot of time.













After hanging out for a bit, and getting our National Park passport stamp, we continued up into North Dakota and into the Black Hills to Mount Rushmore.










After getting yet another NPS stamp, we headed out to the Horse Thief Campground to set up camp, chill and get ready for our hike in the morning.









In the morning, we headed out to the Harney Peak trailhead, located in the heart of the Black Hills.