August 8, 2016

SD: Black Hills - Storm Mountain

I was about 36 hours removed from my Maah Daah Hey 100 experience and I felt surprisingly good. I was ready to ride. The Black Hills were on my list for the day, but where? There seemed to be a few solid options when doing my homework. Spearfish had some good trails, there was some stuff near Rapid City and the Centennial trail looked pretty nice too. I really needed to keep the ride short after the long race day outing so I went with a smaller network of trails over on Storm Mountain. If I rode all the trails it was something like 10 miles. Perfect.

The trailhead was right off the main road and only one car was in the lot. I took off on a CCW loop and noticed right away how much more rocky the trails were compared to the Maah Daah Hey. This wasn't a bad thing. I was reminded of northern AZ singletrack through the forest, mostly smooth, but enough rocks that you better pay attention.
At the trailhead.
This is going to be good!!
There weren't many open views on this loop.
The one view to the north towards Rapid City.
Mostly fast, fun singletrack.
The main route was marked with big arrows on the trees.
Passed a few side trails as well.
Well contoured and good climbing grades.
Even a lush tech area next to a small stream.
I was about 8 miles in to the loop and only had one more spur loop to ride. I had a tack loaded on my GPS and also had the Trailforks app for reference. I was surprised to find the trail disappeared at my last turnoff after being so easy to follow to this point. I backtracked a couple of times, scanned the forest for any sign of a trail where the GPS was directing me, but nothing. Weird. I screwed around trying to find the last connector for a good 15 minutes before finally throwing in the towel and returning to the trailhead via the first mile I rode earlier. A bit of a bummer considering how good the rest of the trail was.
Heading back the way I rode up.
Back near the trailhead I saw where my missing trail rejoined the loop, but had no idea where I missed it. If I had more time I would've rode it backwards just to find out!! Stuff like that bugs me.

Either way the Storm Mountain trails were fun and I'd ride them again, but I'd also check out some of the other nearby singletrack.


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