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Surprisingly well maintained
Grapevine Gulch is a drainage that flows down the Black Hills' south side, originating south of the Mingus Springs Camp. The official trail starts at Grapevine Well, near the canyon's mouth, and continues to Trap Spring. An unofficial trail continues another 3 miles, with another mile in the canyon before climbing up to the camp.
This trail is part of the annual Man Against Horse race - the only event in North America where runners and equestrians complete the same course concurrently - and as such, it's surprisingly well-maintained for a trail that's basically out in the middle of nowhere.
Starting at Grapevine Well, an ATV track heads steeply up the canyon on creek left, before quickly dropping back down to the creek bed. From here, it crosses back and forth across the creek as it gradually heads north up the canyon.
After a mile-or-so-long northern leg, the canyon bends to the east, with the trail up above the creek bed on the north slope. When the canyon bends back north, the trail drops down to the shaded Trap Spring area, where the trail officially ends.
If you decide to continue further up the use-trail that continues, you'll reach some stands of Ponderosa Pine within about half a mile. Another half a mile after that, the use-trail sharply turns south and begins contouring up and out of the creek bed, in the downstream direction, where you can get a view down the canyon from above. The first mile and a half or so after leaving the canyon is mostly in chaparral.
The trail then passes through a gate and onto the 4-H camp property, where you find new stands of Ponderosa Pine, before dropping down to the road through camp. The tread on this descent is not always obvious, with sticks and logs pointing the direction in places.
There are no perennial water sources. The trail passes by Trap Spring and Cement Spring, which are seasonal at best.
Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.
Gate Policy: If a gate is closed upon arrival, leave it closed after you go through. If it is open, leave it open. Leaving a closed gate open may put cattle in danger. Closing an open gate may cut them off from water. Please be respectful, leave gates as found.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
When hiking several trails on a single "hike", log it with a generic name that describes the hike. Then link the trails traveled, check out the example.