“The guides have been all exceedingly friendly, helpful, and genuinely fun to be around, especially to my son, whose first question upon returning home is always, "Where are we going next year?" ”
Black Hills Family Trip
- Jun 16, 2014 - Jun 20, 2014
- Jun 23, 2014 - Jun 27, 2014
- Jun 30, 2014 - Jul 4, 2014
- Jul 7, 2014 - Jul 11, 2014
- Jul 14, 2014 - Jul 18, 2014
- Jul 21, 2014 - Jul 25, 2014
The Black Hills of South Dakota rise above the plains and create a cool summer environment, perfect for riding the twisty turny terrain found here.
Black Hills National Forest includes lots of fun singletrack trails and dirt roads rolling through spruce groves and grassy meadows. Goldenrod and Echineacea grow wild everywhere, along with all kinds of sunflowers.
The itinerary includes great sections of the Centennial Trail and the Deerfield Trail just outside of Silver City, South Dakota. Every camp is on a beautiful lake, making this singletrack and camping heaven. And to top it off, on day three we take a party barge out on the lake for swimming.
The Black Hills tour is a great trip at low altitude with fun singletrack and lots of swimming opportunities. Give us a call at 800-845-2453. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this great family tour.
Please provide a little information to see the full itinerary, travel logistics and other important details:
Black Hills Family Trip Itinerary
MEETING TIME AND PLACE
This trip meets at 8:00am MST at Acme Bicycles, 1727 W. Main Street, Rapid City, South Dakota, 605-343-9534 or 877-520-3731. We will load up and drive into the Black Hills to begin our ride. You will need to spend the night before in Rapid City.
ENDING TIME AND PLACE
We will return to the bike shop in Rapid City between 4:00-5:00 pm on the last day.
TRIP DAY 1
After meeting in Rapid City, we will begin our trip with a shuttle to Rochford, South Dakota in the heart of the Black Hills. The Black Hills has a rich mining history and our first evidence of that is the name of the drainage near the start of our ride: Poverty Gulch! But wealth was to be found, and removed via railroad. Many sections of the original rail system have been converted to trail. We'll start our ride today on the George Mickelson Rail Trail near the Rochford fire station. The pedaling is easy and allows us to take in the magnitude of the sheer granite valley walls. We'll have lunch in the town of Mystic where we can tour the abandoned buildings of the gold mining era. We'll pick up the Deerfield Trail for a little more technical riding in the afternoon. The doubletrack starts with a good climb winding up the Crooked Creek drainage. Short sections of singletrack along the way deliver us to Slate Prairie, a beautiful meadow where Mt. Harney looms as a backdrop. We will ride more singletrack rolling along the knolls of the meadow before descending into Kinney Canyon. We will camp tonight on a private bay inlet of Deerfield Lake. TOTAL MILEAGE - 24 miles, shorter mileage options are available
TRIP DAY 2
Today we head back east through the Deerfield drainage. The trail will seem familiar, since we climbed it yesterday, but the fun of descending makes it feel like a whole new ride. In the afternoon our ride takes us through a dense Ponderosa forest on a combination of old doubletrack and technical singletrack. Much of the trail is swooping and smooth, with intermittent pitches of steep rocky sections. The Black Hills were created by an uplift of metamorphic and igneous rock. Initially, these underlying rocks were covered by marine sediments, primarily limestone, some 65 million years ago. Since then, erosion has taken away the central part of the limestone forming an elliptical donut. This donut has granite, slate and schist of igneous origin in the center and marine limestone all around it. Evidence of this history is exposed in the sheer schist walls surrounding Slate Creek, where we'll camp for the night. Before dinner, you may opt for a quick splash in Slate Creek or a hike up through the metamorphic rock formation. TOTAL MILEAGE - 27 miles, shorter mileage options are available
TRIP DAY 3
We'll begin our ride this morning by climbing Skull Gulch on a beautiful dirt road, working our way up to the Tiffel Mine, an abandoned gold mine. Many of these trails and roads were created by energetic gold miners in the 1870's. We'll climb and roll through the Ponderosa forest and eventually join a rolling fire road down Nugget Gulch to arrive in historic Silver City. We continue riding to Pactola Reservoir where we will be met by a party barge for a cruise across the lake to our camp. TOTAL MILEAGE - 20 miles with optional 8 miles singletrack
TRIP DAY 4
Our party barge assists us once again and drops us and our bikes off at the east end of the reservoir where we will pick up the Centennial Trail heading south. This section is through a large open valley full of beautiful grassland leading to a series of short rolling hills. Today we will be arriving at our Sheridan Lake camp for lunch. We will have several choices for the afternoon. The riding option includes fun singletrack stream crossings to an isolated swimming hole above the dam. There are some wonderful slate ledges right above the water, perfect for a nap in the sun. Another option would be to head directly to the lake for an afternoon of swimming. TOTAL MILEAGE - 14 miles AM, 5 miles PM (optional)
TRIP DAY 5
From camp this morning, we'll ride up to the dam and pick up a sweet singletrack along the south shore of Sheridan Lake. The Flume Trail is fun and rolling and reminiscent of the trailbed created in the 1930's by the Civilian Conservation Corps. We'll meet the van at the far side of the lake and load up for a quick shuttle to Crazy Horse Monument. Boston-born sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski was invited by the Lakota Indians to carve Crazy Horse into the Black Hills in 1939. After voluntary service in WWII, the sculptor decided to accept the Indians' invitation and turn down a government commission to create war memorials in Europe. The dedication of the memorial was in 1998 and the work is still ongoing. We'll spend some time here, have lunch and shuttle up the road to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. After a short visit, we will continue on to Rapid City. TOTAL MILEAGE - 5 miles
Riding Surface: Singletrack, doubletrack and some pavement. Packed dirt and loose gravel.
Technical Difficulty: Moderate.
Physical Difficulty: Moderate.
Altitude: 4,000 - 6,500 ft
Please Note: This tour is designed as a family trip for kids with singletrack experience. This tour contains some riding on narrow technical trails. Singletrack experience is recommended. We will be without vehicle support during all of the singletrack sections of the ride. Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety, and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.
Rapid City is located 400 miles (6-7 hours) from Denver, the closest international airport.
There is parking available at the bike shop.
-Flying into Rapid City
Airport Code: RAP
Airport Express Shuttle 605-399-9999 or 800-357-9998
It is a good idea to book your rooms ahead and these are our recommendations.
Canyon Lake Resort
This is the closest hotel to the bike shop, about 1/2 mile.
Alex B. Johnson
Above rates are approximate.
Temps average from the mid 50's to the mid 80's in the summer months with an average of 1.5 inches of rainfall. And remember there's no such thing as bad weather only bad clothing, so please be sure to bring everything on your packing list!
If you have questions about the area we haven't answered above, please feel free to give us a call 800-845-2453 or email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to give you suggestions and help you with ideas for things to do before and after your bike trip.
PACKING FOR YOUR TRIP
You will receive a tour packing list with your tour confirmation package. Be sure to bring everything on this list. Weather can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed! Please pack all of your gear in a medium to large duffel bag. It will ride in the trailer. If you have any questions about anything on the list, please call us.
SHIPPING YOUR BIKE
You are welcome to ship your bike to us in advance of your trip. For a moderate fee we will unpack it, build it, and ship it back home to you afterwards. Bikes can be insured to $4,000. Domestic shipping only. If you decide you want to go this route, you must call us in advance of your trip so we can inform the shop that your bike is on its way.
To ship your bike UPS, send it to Acme Bicycles, 1727 W. Main Street, Rapid City, SD 57702; 605-343-9534. It is critical that you include your name, "Western Spirit Cycling" and tour date on the outside of the box. Check with your local UPS people for the number of days needed for it to arrive in time. It is imperative to have your bike finely tuned and cleaned before your tour so you know it is in top running condition.
If you have any other questions about trip logistics, please feel free to send us an email or, better yet, to call us at 800-845-2453. We will be happy to try to help you answer any other questions you might have about our bike trips.
THINGS TO DO
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH
Espresso Blends Deli and Juice Bar, 609 Mt. Rushmore Rd
Morningside Café, 710 LaCrosse Street
Carini's, 324 St. Joe Street - big time Italian
Firehouse Brewing Company, 610 Main Street - the first brew house in the Black Hills, serious burgers
Our two favorite books about the area are:
Deadwood: The Golden Years by Watson Parker
An interesting history of the town of Deadwood in the heart of the Black Hills
Pioneer Days in the Black Hills by John S. McClintock
Lots of good anecdotes
Your guides will have all the maps necessary for your trip. If you would like your own copy for a souvenir, here is all the info:
National Geographic Trails Illustrated map #751 Black Hills National Forest - Northeast Trail Map
This can be found at shop.nationalgeographic.com. Go to Maps and Atlases and then to Trail Maps and then to South Dakota.
CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL
Highway 16, about an hour out of Rapid City, just north of Custer If you have the time, the Crazy Horse Memorial is worth the trip. Like Mt Rushmore it is a sculpture of the famous chief, but much much bigger and not yet completed. The Museum and Cultural Center are incredible and very moving.
STURGIS HARLEY DAVIDSON RALLY
The event happens in August, but you are welcome at the Sturgis Harley Davidson Store any time, at 1040 Junction Avenue. Sturgis is about an hour from Rapid City. So if you need a new tattoo...