“A connector trail to the east side trailhead of the Bearlodge Mountains trail network.
— Adrian Whitmore
This trail starts out at the east side of the Bearlodge Mountains. The Sundance TH parking lot is predominately utilized by equestrians. There is camping at the trailhead.
The Sundance trail is a giant climb. It's relative short length disguises the climb and technical aspects of its design. In the beginning of its original trail design and trail building it was built in sandy soils and the use of log dams was used for water control. It has been a long steady process to utilize newer and better methods to fix those miscalculations.
The trail climbs through a series of small turns and switchbacks, which include the water diversion logs. So as you climb you must set yourself up to shift your weight uphill and unhitch the rear tires to get the bite needed.
As you climb up farther, embedded rocks, and loose rocks become more prevalent and might throw you around. Due to the nature of the trail and the amount of equestrian traffic, the soil becomes soft and loose, hence the loose rocks. The rocks do dissipate at the top.
Please be aware of equestrian traffic as the terrain is dangerous, with steep exposures, and a spooked horse and/or riders can be a very bad thing. Remember the IMBA rules.
There are excellent overlooks of South Dakota, Crow Peak and the northern parts of South Dakota Black Hills.
In years past this trail was not climbable due to erosion. However Black Hills National Forest - Bearlodge Ranger Station, equestrian volunteers, and SCGMBA have remedied some of the most eroded areas.
Things to watch out for; loose rock, sand in the summer, horses, exposure, and sharp turns and log diversions. Look out for rattlesnakes and mountain lions.