Lawrence County Highpoint Trip Report

Crooks Tower

Date: May 13, 2006
Authors: John and Kathy Mitchler

After gorging on cheap crab and yanking slot handles in Deadwood, SD, we hit the road near dusk, intending to camp on top of Crooks Tower. Rain began to fall as we headed west on US 85. We took the following mileages.

Approaching from the east, at US 85/385 on the west end of Deadwood, travel west on US 85. At mile 9.8, pass US 14 on the right (north). At mile 21.5, turn left (south) on good gravel FR 231.

Approaching from the west, at US 16/85 in Wyoming, travel east on US 85. At mile 17.5, pass WY 585 on the left (north). At mile 31.0, just east of O'Neil Pass, turn right (south) on good gravel FR 231.

Drive south on FR 231 for 0.8 miles and turn left on South Rapid Creek Road. At mile 3.8, pass by FR 117 (Boles Canyon Road) on the right (south). At mile 4.9 turn right (south) onto FR 189, which takes you to the highpoint areas.

In a steady rain, we drove a short distance south on FR 189 and blasted through a snowdrift before reaching a pine tree across the road. A late-spring blizzard caused many Black Hills roads and trails to be closed by fallen trees. Normally, I would have taken my saw and cleared this obstacle. However, being dark and raining we decided to retreat and head home. We got stuck in the snowdrift on the way out and used our lowest gear to pull out of it. Spring conditions can block travel in the Black Hills in mid-May.