Meade County Highpoint Trip Report

"Virkula Hill"

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

Located in the northern Black Hills of southwest South Dakota, this pine covered hill requires 730 feet of gain up an obvious ridge to a flat forested summit. This hill is 9 miles south of Sturgis and 27 miles north of Rapid City.

We choose to drive north on I-90 to Sturgis and then drive south to the HP.

From I-90 Exit 32 at Sturgis, drive south on FR 170. On road maps, this road does a dogleg south of I-90. However, a new road is being constructed under the interstate just to the east which will eliminate this dogleg. Measure from under I-90, and head south on this excellent paved highway.

After 4.6 miles, pass gravel Galena Road on the right (west). After 7.2 miles, pass Runkle Road on the left (east). After 9.0 miles, pass a ranch road and paved pullout on the right (west). After 9.2 miles, notice a stream on the left (east). At mile 9.3, pull off the highway on the right (west) on the inside of a curve. Spot a white boulder which acts as a fence post, and cross the fence there. Cross the small stream and ascend the southwest-trending ridgeline to the flat summit and proceed northwest through a forest to a large pine on the HP.

The explanation of the summit in Mike Schwartz's trip report was great. Be sure to hike far enough northwest on the flat top among small trees to reach the true summit. There is a slight rise in the thick forest which had a small cairn of flattish rocks. The true summit lies farther to the northwest where a large pine stands on the highest ground among many small pines, with a cairn of angular rocks. We noticed shards of pink ribbon on the ground which had a barely readable inscription, "cohp Spooky Mike". Our only error was to not take Dave Covill's report and thus we did not look for his dime under the cairn. We redistributed the small, incorrect cairn, forming a line of rocks in the forest pointing to the true summit.