I have never really explored much of the Piedmont area in the Black Hills. It's always just been a passing by on I-90 going to and from Rapid City from Spearfish. The view from the interstate never really enticed me to take the time to give it my attention, I'll be honest. However, a few weeks ago, my mom told me about this trail her and friends went on and said it was an unexpected surprise. That was enough convincing for me to finally make the effort to check it out and see what beauty lied behind those rolling hills I always took for granted.
Botany Canyon is the name of this stunning central hills trail. I looked it up on my favorite hiking app, All Trails, which stated that it was a cool 5 mile round trip hike with an 807 ft elevation gain. So I called up one of my favorite hiking buddies and off we went to explore this new territory.
The beginning of the trail was a bit vague as there wasn't much of a trail head marker or an area to park. It literally begins in a more rural neighborhood and you park pretty much on the roadside amongst a few homes. The first mile or so has a few forks in that don't really clearly guide you to the canyon. So if you decide to hike this trail, I recommend downloading that All Trails app on your phone so you don't take a wrong turn because we did a couple times. Oops!
Once we found the trail that lead us down into the canyon, the views grew more grand.
They say this hike is one of the most beautiful in the hills during the peek of Spring bloom. The plant life down here is lush and vast so you can bet I will be coming back down here in a few weeks after more growth has occurred. Once we reached the canyon floor, moss and algae covered the rocks and lined the shallow pools of water. It was so pretty and my mom was right, an unexpected surprise indeed.
The trail ended in the craziest area that was completely covered in thick vibrant moss! The Black Hills is full of surprises. I've lived in this area almost my entire life and to this day I still continue to find numerous amounts of new places to explore.
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