Centennial Trail Elk Creek TH to Alkali TH
ElevationAscent: 1,189' 362 m
Descent: -2,238' -682 m
High: 5,163' 1,574 m
Low: 3,552' 1,083 m
GradeAvg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 20% (11°)
Current trail conditions
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“A singletrack adventure on the Centennial Trail #89.”— Adrian Whitmore
Directions to Elk Creek Th: From Alkali TH go west on I-90 to the 1st Sturgis exit 32, to Junction Ave., then go south at the light and head up Vanocker Canyon Rd you'll crest the mountain and come to a turn left at 7.9 miles onto RUNKLE Rd. Follow the road to the Elk Creek TH.
Starting from the Elk Creek TH you head north from the parking area. The TH parking is at most 4-5 cars in size. You begin climbing singletrack, for the first climb of the trip. It has a couple rock garden sections but very climbable on a bike, the pitch in some spots will push your lowest granny gear a bit, but doable on any drivetrain.
It then mellows out and you begin contour riding north utilizing the many ridges, and valleys of the Black Hills. Many of the canyons were foreign in name to me. But the views of granite outcrops and the plains of South Dakota were fantastic.
Upon descent into Three sisters, a long set of switchbacks, descends to the bottom of Bulldog Gulch. This is very beautiful area. Large pines, aspens, and an occasional creek crossing. The trail has great flow, and swoops and dips throughout the forest.
A short steep climb then begins at the bottom of Bulldog Gulch and you climb to the top of what is called Bulldog. Then trail then descends through some fantastic and exciting singletrack that swoops , flows, dips, and dives through the pasque flowers, pines, and prairies grass, as it exits to the the Alkali Creek. Here the trail travels under the I-90 freeway through a culvert to the other side, the trail then turns right and you head to the parking lot of the Alkali TH.
There are small bridge humps, called T.h.a.d. they usually are placed at fences for transport so you do need to dismount for gates.
Elk, deer, Turkey, Mtn goats, raptors, rattlesnakes are plentiful.
Local Club: Black Hills Mountain Bike Association
Land Manager: USFS - Black Hills National Forest Office
May 14, 2019: Interagency Wildland Fire Training Near Rockerville