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Dugout Gulch Botanical Trail #77

Consensus:    (details)
 5.0 from 2 votes
  Easy from 1 vote
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Rank: #1 in Black Hills
#2 in Wyoming
#102 Overall
Featured Ride near
“A quick morning or evening ride, not technical, great cardio. Awesome views.”
Adrian Whitmore on May 8, 2013
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8.6 Miles 100% Singletrack 1,050’ Ascent -1,060’ Descent 3,847’ Low 4,685’ High
Restrictions
Winter use. There are featured walks at night so please plan accordingly and visit the http://www.fs.usda.gov/ for more info.
Overview
The Dugout Gulch Botanical Trail is a 2.3 mile trail plus a 4.4 mile loop trail to make a lollypop.
Need To Know
To access the Dugout Gulch Botanical Trail from Spearfish or Sundance, take Interstate 90 to the Beulah Exit, Exit 205. Travel south on FSR 863 for 6 miles to the trailhead, which is on the east side of the road. The trail is maintained for hiking, horseback riding, bicycling and cross-country skiing. No motorized vehicles are allowed.
Description
This is a good climbing trail and very well-marked. It has several wooden bridges to cross, and the fauna is unique. There are also several gates that can be ridden through or walked through.

When crossing the last bridge you'll come to a pond, the best route here is to stay left. Then after bit more climbing, you'll come to the top. Here, during the fall you're likely to hear or see elk. The trail meanders around the top of a hill four about 4 miles.

Hit the loop once or twice or reverse it. The descent back to the car is very fast and flowing, and there are dips that easily can be launched by advanced riders, be wary they can kick you sideways... with penalties.
History & Background
Far from the boreal (northern) forest of the upper Great Lakes region and Canada, is a small unique community known as Dugout Gulch Botanical Area. Relic boreal plants find refuge in the moist, cool gulches. These survivors are referred to as boreal disjuncts.

The boreal forests of Canada once extended as far south as Nebraska. With their retreat at the end of the Ice Age, boreal plants gave way to species adapted to periods of drought and heat. Only where life sustaining moisture averages about 24 inches per year and temperatures remain relatively cool, can these survivors be found.

Sheltered under the cool, green branches of paper birch, ironwood and hazelnut trees, you may find the Rattlesnake Fern, Common Solomon's Seal, Canadian Enchanter's Nightshade, and the Oval-leaved Milkweed. Also lingering in this area are several sedges - Meadow Sedge, Fox-tail Sedge and Rosy Sedge. Credit to:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/
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COMMENTS
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PHOTOS of Dugout Gulch Botanical Trail #77
 3.0 from 3 votes
A u turn gate. Looking east.. (Spearfish, SD)
 3.0 from 3 votes
One of the few bridges, view is north, and around the corner is the mois... (Spearfish, SD)
 3.0 from 3 votes
Just on the other side of the bridge..view south. (Spearfish, SD)
 2.7 from 3 votes
The beginning...and the end... (Spearfish, SD)
 2.3 from 3 votes
Some fuana. The trail holds many plants that are very rare. Also look ... (Spearfish, SD)
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