Best Easy Day Hikes: Black Hills Country
A unique trail, one of beauty; a National Recreation Trail. The Sunday Gulch Trail is considered so extraordinary in the spectrum of plants, trees, mosses, and scenery that, in 1971, it was designated a National Recreation Trail. As you begin the descent, huge granite walls tower on each side of the trail, which parallels the creek as it drops into the ravine. Various rock layers and formations exist here. Tiny waterfalls and rock grottos surrounded by ponderosa pine, Black Hills spruce, paper birch, and aspen provide numerous photo opportunities.
Old man’s beard, a gray-green lichen, hangs from the trees, adding to the mysterious aura of the gulch. Many of the rocks are covered with mosses and lichen. Once this gulch was filled with a stream, but in the 1890s Theodor Reder dammed the mouth of the gulch and created Sylvan Lake. Today the stream spills over the dam, and at least one deep pool provides a home to brown trout. As the trail ascends from the gulch, beautiful panoramas of the Needles formations slide into view.