Home|Mellow Roads & Trails|Mickelson Trail Through the Black Hills

RIDING TYPE | ●︎ Introductory

TRIP DURATION | 5-Days

SEASON | July – August

The Black Hills rise several thousand feet above the prairie. Their deep blue lakes and rugged rock formations were sacred to the Western Sioux, as well as the Cheyenne, Kiowa, and Arapaho. It was Colonel Custer himself who discovered gold in the Black Hills in 1874 which quickly led to the Battle of the Little Big Horn. The best way to learn about this historic and fascinating place is to bike the Mickelson Trail, a converted rail trail that runs through the heart of the Black Hills. The surface of the trial is crushed stone and the route uses tunnels, trestles, and bridges to curve through mountain meadows and ponderosa pines on the way to visit both Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Memorial.

Itineraries are subject to change due to weather, road conditions, rider safety and other factors which may affect the logistics of the adventure.

Road Surface: Crushed limestone gravel, pavement.
Overall Rating: Introductory
Technical Difficulty: Easy
Physical Difficulty: Easy
Altitude: 3,500 - 6,000 feet

MEETING PLACE AND TIME

Rapid City, SD
This tour will begin at 8:00 AM MST at Acme Bicycles, 700 Jackson Blvd., Rapid City, South Dakota, 605-343-9534. We will load up the van and drive into the Black Hills to begin our ride. You will need to spend the night before in Rapid City

ENDING TIME

We will return to Acme Bicycles between 2:00-3:00 PM on the last day.

GETTING TO RAPID CITY, SD

Driving
Rapid City is located 400 miles (6-7 hours) from Denver, the closest international airport. There is parking available at the bike shop where the trip meets.

Flying into Rapid City
Airport Code: RAP

TAXI SERVICE

Airport Express Shuttle
605-399-9999 or 800-357-9998

Fast Lane Taxi
605-939-8837

LODGING BEFORE YOUR TRIP

It is a good idea to book your rooms in advance; here are a few recommendations:

Days Inn West
605-343-6040
This is the closest hotel to the bike shop, about 1/2 mile.

The Rushmore Hotel
605-348-8300

Super 8
605-348-8070, 800-800-8000

Hotel Alex Johnson
605-342-1210, 888-729-0708

Be sure to bring everything on this list. We have carefully developed this list to ensure your comfort on the tour regardless of the weather. If you are prepared for extreme weather, it is an adventure. If you are not prepared it can be a serious problem. We recommend the layering system, including a wicking or long underwear layer, an insulating layer and a weather barrier for wind and rain. This list reflects that philosophy. Weather in the mountains can be unpredictable so be sure to bring all the warm clothing and rain gear listed!

HOW TO PACK: When you arrive for your tour, you will be given a dry bag in which to pack your gear for the trip. Smaller bags may fit, but very large duffels will not.

To pack efficiently in a dry bag, we highly recommend you compartmentalize your clothing and gear into separate bags. Stuff sacks, reusable grocery bags,
etc. in different colors work great for this (example: cycling gear in blue stuff sack, camp clothes in red stuff sack, etc.).

Your dry bag will ride on the Western Spirit support vehicle and will not be accessible during the day.

For this trip, you will need a riding pack and optional day bag:

  • Your riding pack may be a hydration pack, but needs to carry 2-3 liters of water, rain gear, other warm clothing, and food for the day. You may be
    away from camp and the support vehicle all day and need to be self-sufficient.
  • A small day bag is optional and may be used to store things you’d rather not ride with, but would like to have access to during the day. This daypack will remain with the support vehicle and may not be accessible, depending on the day.

WHAT WE PROVIDE:
✓ meals, snacks, water, electrolyte drinks, non-alcoholic drinks
✓ camp mugs, all kitchen and dining ware
✓ 2 large cycling water bottles
✓ camp chairs
✓ dry bags to pack your gear
✓ solar showers
✓ sunscreen & bug spray
✓ bike stand and lube
✓ guides bring their own tools
✓ first aid kit with basic medications

BRINGING OR RENTING

o mountain bike (Our rentals come with flat pedals. You are welcome to bring your own if you prefer.)
o helmet (gratis w/rental bike)
o tent
o sleeping bag
o sleeping pad

CYCLING CLOTHING

o cycling shoes
o 3 - 5 pair cycling shorts
o 3 - 5 cycling shirts
o long sleeve cycling shirt
o long sleeve cotton shirt or solar sleeves
o cycling socks
o windbreaker
o tights or leg warmers
o 2 pair cycling gloves (1 pair full length for warmth)
o rain jacket (Gore-Tex or similar)
o rain pants (Gore-Tex or similar)
o warm layer (lightweight synthetic puffy jacket or long sleeve fleece shirt)
o sunglasses or other eye protection

CAMP CLOTHING

o camp shorts
o shirts
o warm socks
o long underwear, top and bottom (wicking layer, not cotton)
o 2 pair warm long pants
o long sleeve fleece or sweater
o pile or down jacket (insulating layer)
o warm gloves and hat
o brimmed hat or visor
o bathing suit (for solar showers on the trip and at the hotel before/after your trip)
o hiking shoes
o sandals
o cheap PVC rain gear (to wear in camp)

PERSONAL

o toiletries
o medication (daily and emergency)
o towel
o biodegradable soap
o wet-wipes
o flashlight or headlamp (with extra batteries)
o sunglasses
o optional day bag
o stuff sacks or reusable grocery bags (or separate compartments for your dry bag)
o cash for tipping guides: your guides work as a team and share all of their gratuities. A tip of 10-20% of the price of your trip given to either one of your guides when you return to civilization is a great way to say thanks for a job well done.

OPTIONAL

o camera, extra batteries
o binoculars
o alcoholic or any of your favorite beverages (your guides will pack these)
o books or maps
o we encourage you to turn your devices off, but if you cannot, please bring a way to charge them. We recommend a portable USB charger with 1-2 charges. Also, putting your phone on airplane mode to save power is recommended.

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Need more information about our bike trips? Check out what a bike trip is all about by visiting our camping and FAQ page or be the first to know about new trips, last minute trip openings and future discounts by .

Need even more details? Send us a message or call and talk to one of our trip specialists at (435) 259-8732 or (800) 845-2453.

Mickelson Trail Through the Black Hills

PRICE | $1,395 pp

Private Departures Available
Call  435-259-8732

2022 DEPARTURES

A Day With Western Spirit

Rise & Shine
How do you like to start your day? If you like waking up to hot coffee and unforgettable sunrises you’re in luck. Delicious cowboy coffee, fresh fruit salad, pancakes, bacon, granola, yogurt and more.

>>> Read More

Hit The Trail
Whether your trip includes: riding
the Rainbow Rim Trail; enjoying breathtaking views of the
Grand Canyon; leading your
friends on the White Rim Road in Canyonlands; or ripping down.

>>> Read More

Apres
We base our itineraries around the trails that we love to ride, but also around great camp locations. We love to find the perfect place next to rivers or lakes , or by vistas
and sunset spots.

>>> Read More

BIKE TRIP TESTIMONIALS

“Warmth, humor, seriously good people skills,professionalism, competence. They execute their very serious responsibilities with confidence-inspiring grace.”

~ David

“Normally I do self supported but having someone else make excellent food makes me want to do it again”

~ Christl

“I was tired at the end of each day and to have everything taken care of as far as dinner and cleanup, it was so nice to have that not be my issue. The guides were amazing, simply amazing….the food was always excellent, their personalities are different but blended with everyone perfectly!”

~ Pam

Your guides are your ambassadors, they are fun, energetic and very knowledgeable. I would not do anything different.

~ Paul

“It’s been a long time since I’ve been on any organized event and this one was simply amazing. My skill and fitness level were not up to those as others in the group but never once did I feel intimidated…”

~ Nick
“I was worried riding and camping with a group… could I keep up?… would I “fit in”? I was able to keep up and push myself and was challenged by the terrain, I loved it! The group was great I had nothing to worry about, everyone was friendly and supportive.”
~ Robin

Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!

~ Teri

“To begin with the landscape and scenery was majestic and awesome. The guides were all instrumental in enhancing the experience with their knowledge, skills, and out of the goodness of their character.”

~ Edward

“The trip was one of the most incredible experiences of my life… the scenery, the views, the guides, and the food! I loved how great the meals were!!! The guides were unbelievable cooks! After biking all day, to be able to sit down and eat a great meal & drink a beer …man, it was great!”

~ Gary

The guides made the trip totally beyond awesome. They were fun, the food was WAY better than I expected, the rides could be were tailored, guiding was superb, trails were a blast, our campsite was sweet. I have zero complaints.

~ Wendy

“Very accommodating of me being vegan, very cheerful and nice.”

~ Jason

The food was fantastic! I didn’t expect such meals. The guides were so friendly, helpful, and entertaining. They really worked well together. Also, they made sure that everyone in their various skill levels enjoyed the rides and that there was enough for everyone.

~ Nichole

“Food was WAY better than I expected. I like to eat healthy and was worried about “camping food.” The guides prepared amazing food. The trip was a blast in general with gorgeous scenery and good campsites. Guides were very friendly, patient and helpful”

~ Erika

“This was our 3rd trip with Western Spirit, so we knew what to expect from the guides and the support they’d provide. The trip itself was spectacular – the scenery was unbeatable and the weather was perfect.”

~ Jennifer

“Great salads at lunch, a lot of variety, they guides had food specially prepared for those of us with food issues. Plus, they set up our chairs in the best spots!”

~ Teri

“I had been to Canyonlands two years prior so knew scenery was outstanding but it takes on even more magnificence when seen from seat of bike. The guides were awesome and supportive. Food was better than in most restaurants and more than you could eat.”

~ Michael

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