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The Black Hills of South Dakota may be one of the best kept adventure travel secrets as there is anywhere in the USA. The Black Hills are famous for Mount Rushmore and the “Old West” gambling town of Deadwood, both which draw many visitors. However, the Hills offer caves, climbing spots, altitude (7000ft asl), winter sports, mountain biking, boating, fishing, SUP, and more. Gold was discovered here and around 1874, a mini gold rush brought out fortune seekers and the many interesting characters attached to that. Trains and mining camps were built which left behind what is now the Mickelson Trail, a Rails to Trails project widely considered one of the most scenic routes in the west. [Read Full Details].
This trip is custom made to fit participants’ preferences for lodging and support. The Mickelson Trail can be comfortably ridden by experienced cyclists in 3 days but more riding is offered here, and extra days in this beautifully scenic region are highly recommended.
The itinerary starts and ends in Rapid City (RAP) where commercial air services are available. Lodging before/after in Rapid City recommended.
Included Standard Hotels:
About: Hotels selected are subject to availability, which will determine final price for you trip. Option of ending tour in Rapid City or Badlands National Park with extra nights possible.
Local Experts: from our remote offices and our local support team in the Black Hills, we have you covered. Along the way, you will not meet more friendly people anywhere, always willing to help.
Need to Know:
We recommend arriving the day before and over-nighting in Rapid City. Today, we will meet you at a downtown hotel (we can book for you) at 10:00 am for a transfer to the bike shop, where we will get you set up and ready to begin your ride. The drive to Edgemont is 90 minutes and then you start the first stage of the Mickelson Trail; 45 miles to Custer, approximately. This southern end of the hills is really on the edge of the prairie and grassland. Antelope, pronghorn sheep, and ranch cattle are abundant as you work you way into the southern pine forest of the Black Hills.
Meals: on own, supplemental support option
Distance: 45 miles, +2675ft
Overnight: Custer or nearby Custer State Park
Today’s ride between Custer and Hill City on the Mick is relatively short, but should be combined with some optional road riding in Custer State Park and a stop at Crazy Horse Memorial. The Mick really starts to take you into the heart of the hills today as you cross streams on wooden bridges while cliffs and steep hill sides surround your path. Upon arrival into Hill City, you can add some extra road miles or relax and explore ‘downtown.’
Meals: on own
Distance: 20+ miles, +800ft
Overnight: Hill City
Today you have a chance to see the most famous landmark in the Black Hills, the iconic Mount Rushmore. The ride starts out on a quiet, less frequented route, where you will probably cross the 1880 steam train route between Keystone and Hill City. Once in Keystone, you will be on busier tourist roads to the National Memorial, and crowds are common in peak summer months. The main roads into Mt Rushmore can be busy, but traffic is usually moving slowly. On the way back, you can pick up the Mick for the last miles into Hill City.
Meals: on own
Distance: 26+ miles, +2300ft
Overnight: Hill City
Today is a big day on the Mick, and definitely the most scenic! You will leave Hill City and move in and out of sight of civilization, passing through tunnels, beautiful meadows, and then making your way up to the gold mining town of Lead, next to Deadwood. You will likely see deer and wild turkeys, among other small wildlife. One of the most famous of the Wild West towns, Deadwood has preserved some of the authentic Wild West and today, is still a casino and gambling town!
Meals: on own
Distance: 47 miles, + 2400ft
Today the tour can be over, or it can be continued! We will arrange to have your bike returned and have you shuttled to Rapid City for departure. Allow 1.5 hours travel time to Rapid City and 2 hours to the airport.
If you wish to extend your trip and visit the Badlands National National Park, east of Rapid City, we can arrange the transport and riding. Overnight near the park is possible, or back in Rapid City. We are local experts on the area; just ask us for details.
Self Guided & Supported Tour Rates: (based on double occupancy)
Rates are quoted on a case by case basis for:
Bike Rentals: Ebikes at $60/day and hybrid or XC hard tail mountain bikes at $40/day. Kids bikes and trailers available.
All bikes work on the fine gravel of the Mick, but when wet the wide tires are the best choice
Make it Custom: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!