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Black Hills Epic

Summary

Rushmore-sq-555x544

The Black Hills ... Custer State Park, Deadwood, Wind Cave, Devils Tower, Mt Rushmore - to name just a few of the famous landmarks in this region of the Great Plains. Ride over 70 miles per day (on average) through this incredible region without ever getting in the van if you like. Pedal through deep gorges and past eerily sharp spires. Visit the insanely enormous stone carvings of Mt Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial. Marvel at the wondrous terrain of Custer State Park. Ride to Devils Tower. From the historic pubs to Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, this tour of the West packs in both the miles and the memories!

Road bike
7 days
726 km / 451 mi
$ 3,698.-
  • Vanocker Canyon
  • Crazy Horse Memorial
  • Mt. Rushmore National Park
  • Spearfish Canyon
  • Devils Tower National Monument
  • Mickelson Trail
  • Custer State Park
  • Average daily distance 55 – 105 miles
  • Deposit for this tour is 25%

Gallery

Details

Type
Road bike
Duration
7 days
Level
Easy = untrained, normal physical condition
Moderate = regular cyclist, good condition
Challenging = experienced, well trained
Challenging
Support
Guided = with cycling guide(s) - support van
Self Guided = individual - directions+maps
Guided
Daily distance
120-140 km / 75-87 mi
Total distance
726 km / 451 mi
Lodging
Deluxe = 4-5 star hotel or excellent B&B
Basic = 1-2 star hotel/motel or B&B
Camping = tent, sports hall or campus
Deluxe, full board
Luggage transport
Daily luggage transfers
Bicycle
Included
Dates
19 Jun 2022 - 25 Jun 2022
04 Sep 2022 - 10 Sep 2022
Start
Rapid City
Finish
Rapid City
Airport at start
Rapid City Regional Airport
Airport at finish
Rapid City Regional Airport

Prices *Please note the prices are subject to change depending availability*

Price per person / please note the prices are subject to change depending availability
The tour price per person
$ 3,698.-
E-Bike
Electric bike (e-bike): zoom up the hills from $200 USD for the tour
We request at least 60 days advance notice for one of these below.
$ 200.-
Optional
Single supplement
If you travel alone a single supplement is charged. With some group tours you can avoid a single supplement by sharing a room with another rider.
$ 998.-

Itinerary

Included / Not Included – lodging


Day 1: Nemo road, Vanocker Canyon, Sturgis & Deadwood

Need to unleash your inner outlaw? Today is the day to do it! We ride right out of Rapid City on our way to the wild-and-wooly goldrush town of Deadwood. Begin on Nemo Road, known as one of the best-kept secrets in South Dakota, winding its way through lovely scenery with good shoulders and low traffic. Tie your bike to the hitching post outside the Guest Ranch Store in Nemo for an historic photo opportunity. Continue through Vanocker Canyon, shaded by ponderosa pines and aspens, to Sturgis before joining the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane in Deadwood. Stay at the Holiday Inn Express Gold Dust
Meals: L D Distance: 54 miles  Elevation +5052 ft / -3751 ft

Day 2: Marvel at Spearfish Canyon on your way to Wyoming.

Begin the day with a leisurely ride through Spearfish Canyon, named one of the country’s Top 50 Scenic Bike Routes by Bicycling Magazine. Older than the Grand Canyon, the spectacular 1000-foot walls and limestone palisades of this creek-carved gorge offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Black Hills. In the afternoon, visit the Vore Buffalo Jump and cross over into Wyoming on your way to tiny Hulett (pop. 396) – a charming and friendly town on the Belle Fourche River. Stay at the Best Western Devils Tower tonight.
Meals: B L D lodging Best Western Devils Tower Distance 84 miles elevation +4956 ft / -5739 ft

Day 3: Pedal to lead via otherworldly Devils Tower.

Visit Devils Tower National Monument – the iconic landmark held sacred by Native Americans and made famous by the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Ponder the various theories as to how it was formed before pedaling back across state lines toward the former gold rush town of Lead, South Dakota. A “lead” (pronounced “leed”) is an outcropping of ore. Lead was South Dakota’s largest city at the time of statehood in 1889. Today, surrounded by ponderosa pine forests, meandering trout streams and magnificent mountain meadows, Lead is (for good reason!) the self-proclaimed “outdoor recreation capital” of South Dakota. Stay at Blackstone Lodge
Meals: B, L, D Distance 105 miles elevation +7715 / -6092 ft

Day 4: Ride the Mickelson Trail to Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park

The George S. Mickelson Trail (aka “the Big Mick”) is one of the premier rail-trails in the West, rich with boom-and-bust gold mining history, American history, and the sublime scenery of the Black Hills. Ride almost half of this 109-mile of this landmark route which features over 100 converted railroad bridges as well as four tunnels. Pass through tiny Rochford (pop. 26), home to the Montezuma Mine, the Moonshine Gulch Saloon and the ‘Small of America’ on your way to Hill City, a picturesque former mining town that is the oldest in Pennington County. The trail surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel. Spend the next three nights at Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Sylvan Lake Lodge – the ‘Crown Jewel’ of Custer State Park.
Meals: B, L, D Lodging: Sylvan Lake Lodge
Distance: 55 miles, Elevation: + 3708 ft / - 2894 ft

Day 5: Sylvan Lake layover. Black Elk Peak and Crazy Horse

No need to pack your bags today, but you have choices to make. In the morning, most folks join us for a hike to Black Elk Peak. At 7,200′ of elevation, it’s the highest point east of the Rockies, and the views are astounding. In the afternoon, you might saddle up for a ride to Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest sculpture-in-progress. This fascinating memorial has been under construction since 1948 and receives no government funding. It’s so large that if Mt. Rushmore could be moved, it would fit inside Crazy Horse’s shoulder! Or just relax at the lake. It’s so pretty one could easily stare at it all day long. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
Meals: B, L, D Sylvan Lake Lodge
Distance Hike: 7.5 miles, Elevation +1383 ft/-1380, Crazy Horse Loop 24 miles Elevation +1879 ft / -1881 ft

Day 6: Ride fabled Iron Mountain Road and the Needles Highway via Mt Rushmore

Today’s amazing roads were marked out in 1922 on foot and horseback by South Dakota’s governor, Peter Norbeck. Ride among rugged peaks and needle-like granite formations around historic curves through meadows surrounded by birch, aspen, pine and spruce. The route is famous for its eleven tunnels. Ride through all of them today and right up to the jaw-dropping face of Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. While governor Norbeck recommended walking these roads as the best way to take in the sights, we think a bike is a pretty good alternative. Enjoy one last night at Sylvan Lake Lodge.
Meals: B L D Lodging Sylvan Lake Lodge Distance 66 miles Elevation +6744 ft / -6738 ft

Day 7: A wildlife loop, a Wind Cave, Hot Springs, and woolly mammoths

Begin today on the Wildlife Loop Road in the southern section of Custer State Park. These ponderosa pine-studded hills are home to some 1,300 bison, plus pronghorn antelope, mountain goat, deer, elk, wild turkey, and a band of friendly burros. Head through Wind Cave National Park, encompassing one of the longest, most complex caves in the world. To the Lakota (Sioux), the cave is the sacred location where their ancestors first emerged from the underworld. Finish at the Mammoth Hot Springs Site, where you’ll find the world’s largest concentration of mammoth remains (60-plus!). The shuttle back to Rapid City only takes about an hour.
Meals: B L Distance 63 miles Elevation +3901 ft / -6740 ft

* This is a general itinerary. Tour itineraries are subject to change based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances such as the weather, local conditions, government intervention, that may affect the quality of the trip and/or safety of the participants. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Included:

All meals included, except 1 dinner.
Hotels on this tour.
Luggage transfer.
Road / hybrid bike

Not included:

Night before and after the tour
Flights to and from the tour
Gratuities guides

Lodging

Holiday Inn Express Gold Dust
Best Western Devils Tower
Blackstone Lodge
Sylvan Lake Lodge,
The hotels, Inns, and B&Bs we use are always among the finest the area has to offer. Our smaller group sizes(max. 13) allow us to stay at some award-winning places that can’t handle groups of 25 or more. We work closely with the innkeepers to make sure they understand your needs and ours, whether that is having a place to store your bike, an early morning breakfast or a convenient place to park the van, they are as committed to your vacation experience as we are.
Lodging is based upon two people to a room with a private bath. If you’re traveling solo on any of our trips, we’ll assign you a roommate of the same gender and often of the same age bracket. There is no extra charge if we can’t find you a roommate, even if you sign up the day before the trip starts. You can guarantee yourself a private room and bath if you pay the Single Room Fee. Occasionally a room with two beds consists of one bed plus a rollaway bed or sofa bed

Vaccine or test: A negative Covid test will be required within 72 hours of departure for all non-fully vaccinated guests. or Proof of a completed Covid vaccination course can be used in lieu of a Covid test. A "completed Covid vaccination course" means that the guest has had 1 or 2 shots (depending on vaccine brand) and has completed the 2-week waiting period post final shot.
All of our guides are fully vaccinated.

Map & Routes

Map
Satellite

Bicycle

road-bike-344x268 A road or Hybrid bike is included in the price, 
E-bikes
 are available for an extra fee.

Giant Defy ADV 3

Choose the longer route. Climb higher mountains. This all-new endurance road bike is purpose-built to help you tackle long-distance road rides in all types of conditions. It’s smooth, it’s efficient, and it’s fast.
Ride farther and faster with an all-new composite frameset that’s engineered with endurance geometry and built-in compliance. Handcrafted with Advanced-grade composite material, it’s engineered with tube shapes that are optimized to absorb road shocks and vibrations. And the frame is still stiff in all the ways that matter—for pedaling efficiency as well as steering and cornering precision. It’s made with a specific carbon layup to give it just the right feel. And for added control, it features integrated disc brakes with flat mounts and 12mm thru-axles. The D-Fuse Seatpost and handlebar system also help reduce road vibrations, adding to its smooth, compliant feel on the road.
Components: Giant Conduct disc brakes, Shimano Tiagra groupset, 50/34 cranks, 11 x 34 cassette, Giant S-R2 tubeless wheelset 700x28c

Fastroad SL 1

So smooth, so efficient, it feels like flying. This lightweight flyer combines the sporty feel of a road bike with the added confidence and control of a flat handlebar.
The perfect balance of road bike speed and city bike versatility. Built on a lightweight ALUXX SL aluminum frameset, this new flat-bar road bike puts the rider in a comfortable position that’s smooth and efficient. The fast-rolling 700c wheels and vibration-absorbing composite D-Fuse Seatpost help smooth out rough roads. The fast-rolling 700c wheels can accommodate large tires up to 32c, perfect for tackling rough roads with confidence and control, while integrated ergo bar ends keep your hands comfortable on longer adventures. Powerful disc brakes give you added control in all types of weather, and easy-to-use rack mounts make FastRoad SL a smart choice for commuting, fitness riding, and weekend adventures.
Components: Advanced-Grade composite fork, TRP Flat mount disc brakes, Shimano Tiagra 2×10 with 11×34 cassette, Giant S-R2 tubeless, wheelset 700x28c
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