American Indian Sacred Sites

Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) and Black Elk Wilderness 

Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) is the sacred site where Black Elk received his Great Vision and thus, the Black Elk Wilderness, which borders the peak, is named after this revered religious leader of the Oglala Lakota.  Learn more about Black Elk Peak and Black Elk Wilderness. Congress established the wilderness on December 22, 1980; legislation in 2002 increased its size by 3,774 acres.

Inyan Kara

Translated from Lakota as "Rock Gatherer," Inyan Kara is listed on the National Register for Historic Places because of its cultural importance.  It is recognized by the Lakota people as sacred to mothers giving birth. Inyan Kara is also known as one of General Custer’s stops on his expedition through the Black Hills in 1874, and stands as a landmark to early travelers and explorers in the region, with the mountain reaching 6,368 feet.  

Inyan Kara is located in the Black Hills of northeast Wyoming. While it is located on U.S. Forest Service land, access is limited. Private property must be crossed to reach Inyan Kara, so access is only obtained via the landowner’s permission.  There are multiple routes to climb the summit, as there is no permanent trail on the mountain; therefore climbers ascend at their own risk.

Inyan Kara is located in Crook County, WY and can be viewed from County Road 585. 

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