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After crossing the hot, dry Great Plains, the Black Hills Expedition arrived on the western side of the Black Hills on July 22, 1874. The entire force entered the pine-covered Hills, forging a road, cutting trees, building temporary bridges over gullies and streams – anything necessary to continue on their way with the wagon train. Working their way through the western Black Hills, the Expedition eventually arrived at a beautiful valley south of Harney’s Peak, now the site of the town of Custer, S.D. Here, and at a “permanent camp” 3 miles east, they stayed for 6 days, exploring and mapping the area, and climbing Harney’s Peak, while meanwhile back at camp civilian miners tested French Creek for gold, and found some.

Decimal Degrees: 43.77025, -103.53845