George S Mickelson - Trail, Hill City/Custer/Rapid City, Dakota

George S Mickelson - Trail, Hill City/Custer/Rapid City, Dakota

DESCRIPTION

Converted railroad, mainly gravel well packed. About 100 miles long from the southern Black Hills up to Bear Butte (I think). Mainly a touristy site seeing kind of trail filled with all the beauty of the Black Hills.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 14  
[Feb 15, 2016]
Ross Fenner
Cross Country Rider

My wife and I are in our late 50's - I'll be 60 this year and will be doing another ride on the magnificent George S Mickelson trail in the early Autumn of 2016.
This trip will be our 6th complete trip from Deadwood to Edgemont.
Our first ride on this beauty was in July of 2011 - we rode Deadwood to Custer day one - completed the ride into Edgemont the next day.
The following year we rode Deadwood to Hill City and back same day - about 105 miles on a tandem,
Next in 2013 we signed up for and rode The Big Mick which - that year - was from Deadwood to Hot Springs 106 miles, We completed the ride in 6 hrs 35 minutes which had us waiting for around 2 hours for the next group of cyclists to arrive. The following day we rode back to Hill City we then jumped of the trail and onto the Hwy to Sheridan Lake - about 78 miles from Hot Springs.
In 2014 my wife and I rode Deadwood to Edgemont on day one and back to Deadwood the next day - completing our first "up & back" on the Mickelson.
We have cycled all over the US on these R to T routes including a recent ride from Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC on The Great Alhegany Passage & The C & O Tow Path and have riden some VERY beautiful routes but I'd have to say that The Mick is still in the top three regarding scenery and the beautifully smooth trail conditions consistently found on this wonderful gem in The Black Hills.

Customer Service

For beginners that want to ride the entire route - I'd recommend splitting it up ion two - three days - Deadwood to Mtystic (day 1) - Mystic to Custer (day 2) and completing in Edgemont on Day 3.
The two day approach would put you in Hill City day 1 and completing the ride in Edgemont day 2.

Similar Products Used:

Hwy 16A from Hill City up through the pigtail bridges and on to The Needles Hwy to Sylvan Lake

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jun 14, 2015]
Kathy
Weekend Warrior

The trail is beautiful. We arrived on a Wednesday in between rain showers. We rode from the Dumont Trailhead to Hillcity, approximately 35 miles. The ride from Dumont to Mystic was absolutely amazing. I do question the 3-4% grade though from Mystic to the peak around Red Fern. I ended up having to walk quite a bit of this section either due to elevation or grade. I do ride a lot, but it is in Arizona, so relatively flat. Non-the-less, it was a fantastic experience. The second day was to go from Custer towards Edgemont, but strained my knee the first day so that was out.

Customer Service

I would recommend going south from the Dumont Trailhead towards Hill City, be prepared after Mystic for a long about 8 miles uphill climb. Well worth the work.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jul 19, 2010]
Tom Hammerquist
Cross Country Rider

My wife, another couple, and I rode the 110 mile Mickelson Trail riding uphill from Edgemont to Deadwood over a two day period in early July 2010. Logistically, we drove to Deadwood and parked our vehicles at our destination, The Lodge at Deadwood. We hired a shuttle (Dakota Taxis of Deadwood) for around $170 cash to transport us and our 4 bikes to Edgemont, 100 highway miles to the south. We then rode from Edgemont to Hill City the first day (60 miles). It was a bit hot and rather tiring, being mostly uphill. The 9 mile downhill into Hill City, however, was a great finish to the day. Stayed at the Lantern Inn ($99 / night) in Hill City and ate a great evening meal and drank a few really cold beers at the Bumpin Buffalo in downtown Hill City. Two of us had panniers and carried enough gear for an overnight, raincoats, snacks, etc.

Rode the remaining 50 miles on Day Two and found it to be much more pleasurable due to cooler temps and more splendid beauty. Had to dodge a 20 minute hail storm with just 17 miles to go. Rain gear is a must! The helmets served a useful purpose as well! My wife Barb took a nickle sized hailstone to the nose. Might want to wear her visor next time I suppose...

The final 15 to 16 miles into Deadwood was pretty much downhill, another great way to end the day's ride! Had to ride a fairly steep stretch of highway (1 mile) to The Lodge at Deadwood, but knew there would be cold beer waiting, so not such a bad thing.

I highly recommend this trail. It is top notch with lots of water stops (most trailheads have water). Kind of got 'lost' at the trailhead in Edgemont, however. The trailhead is well-marked but the actual trail beginning is several blocks away. Ask a local for directions and you won't have any problem.

The trail passes through 4 friendly towns (Pringle, Custer, Hill City, Rochford) that have restaurants/bars for meals and liquid refreshments. A cold Corona in Pringle was hard to pass up. Therefore, it wasn't (passed up).

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Aug 30, 2007]
mad cow
Cross Country Rider

This is a great trail. Be prepared to take your time to enjoy the great scenery. There's a couple of great videos, photos, and trail descriptions at the following link:

http://web.mac.com/mpfogarty

Customer Service

We rode the route from Deadwood to Hill city, from Hill City to Deadwood, and again from Hill City to Edgemont. All were enjoyable days with ride times around 4-5 hours. This trail is such an enjoyable ride on a nice summer, fall, or autumn day.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Oct 03, 2006]
midnightagent
Cross Country Rider

Road parts of this trail on two different trips. In July road with family from The Mountain trailhead to Hill City. Downhill 10 miles. Great way to ride for a family. Passed the Crazy Horse Monument. Hill city has a shuttle service to drop you off.

2nd trip rode from Deadwood to the summit (about two miles North of Dumont) then back to Deadwood. This trip was more of a "barn burner". Climbed 1600 feet over 15 miles, then cruised back down the giant hill. Awesome scenery, great view of Lead area, old gold mines, wild life. Saw numerous deer, one brown snake, and a large rock that had just fallen. Would love to do this one again!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
[Jun 16, 2005]
mad cow
Cross Country Rider

This is a great trail. Ridden leisurly, the scenery is awesome. Ridden fast, it's quite a challenge, but is not technical. CX bikes are the bike of choice for this trail. Mtn bikes, and 'comfort' bikes are fine as well. There are reports that people have ridden this trail on on recumbants as well. With a little fatter tire (27-30mm wide cx or touring), a road bike will also work just fine. I rated the trail a 3 for aerobic difficulty for those who live at lower alitiudes and drive to the Black Hills to ride the trail. The uphills consist of grades around 4%. Although not steep, the uphills can go for as long as 18 miles at a crack. Maintaining a comfortable pace, or taking an occasional break will ensure an enjoyable outing. For a video and pictoral review of the entire trail, go to http://web.ndak.net/~fogarty

Customer Service

The area between Deadwood and Custer is the nicest part of the trail. ..... although Sheep Canyon near the southern end is also very beautiful. Bring some extra water. The pumps at the various stations do not always work. Some need to be reprimed occasionally.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
0
[Jun 22, 2004]
CaptianCrash
Weekend Warrior

O.K. you have to do it every once in a while...Keep the family happy and introduce them to the world on a bike...we hit the Mick with a group of friends...and 5 kids all under the age of 6. 3 of us (the guys) have a lot of MTB experience but the rest are neighborhood bikers...we even had one Huffy in the pack. We took off from Hill City and took the trail North. The whole trail never really climbs that tough so it was very nice to all who were along. We had 3 kid trailers and a trailer bike and 8 adults in the party overall and the trail never seemed to small. We rode for about 4 or 5 miles out and came back on a very fun for all downhill. If you are not wanting to haul in your kid carrier there is a shop right in Hill City with some German girl running the counter...great accent...only $15 for a good Burly. Some great things about this trail...the trail head in Hill City is family friendly, there is a playground right there and then you tire out the family so much that day that the single-trackers can take off the next day for all the trails that the Black Hills have to offer.

Customer Service

Hill City then North..there is some great tunnels if you can get the party that far...and the downhill at the end makes them want to come back.

Similar Products Used:

Anywhere on the Centennial...you can ride all day and maybe see some other people...

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jun 18, 2004]
ronjones
Weekend Warrior

The State has a pretty good website about the trail. Check out the trail map for an elevation profile. http://www.sdgfp.info/parks/regions/westriver/mickelsontrail/Index.htm

Customer Service

If you're only going to ride one section of the trail, I like the Mystic to Dumont area.

Similar Products Used:

If the wide, flat crushed rock trail and the people on it start to bore you, try turning off on Trail 40. It's a couple miles south of Mystic and goes both east and west. West will take you to the Deerfield Lake Loop. East is a great route and will take you down Slate and Rapid Creeks to Silver City and eventually to the Centennial Trail.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
[Jan 15, 2004]
Nodak-rider
Cross Country Rider

This is an up-date, in a way, of a review I did last year. This year we rode the entire trail in 2 days during the first weekend in October. We stayed in Hill City. On the first day we rode the southern 1/2. On Sunday we rode the north half. We had a great time. The weather was awesome, and the scenery was even better! I have a 20 minute online video of the ride from Hill City to Edgemont (soutnern 1/2), and an 18 minute video of our ride from Hill City to Deadwood (northern 1/2). In addition, I've got some great pics to boot! You can see them all at www.web.ndak.net/~fogarty NOTE: You'll need Quicktime (www.apple.com/quicktime/download) and high speed internet access to view the videos. I rated the trial a 3 for aerobic difficulty because of the long gradual climbs. I gave it an overall rating of 5 because of the scenery. There's no better way to see ALL of the Black Hills. The trail is NOT technical at all. See the online video for all the trail 'beta' you need! (NOTE: the pump at Mystic oftentimes doesn't work.)

Customer Service

Stay in Hill City, ride from there either direction!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
3
[Nov 24, 2003]
dakota3600
Cross Country Rider

I ride the Mickelson Trek ride each Sept. This is one the best 3 day rides you will ever do in your life. If you want to do a one day ride of the complete trail, you can do the Big Mick in June. I did this ride last summer. You start in Deadwood and go to the end at Edgemont. The beauty of the Northern Black hills is beyond words. The ride from Deadwood to Hill City is the most beautiful. You will see lush wild fern filled canyouns with fast flowing mountain streams. Abountant wild flowers and lush green mountain meadows. The Big Mick is not a race so you can complete it at your own pace. I am 60 years old and it took me 9.5 hours of ridding time not counting breaks.

Customer Service

For the Big Mick ride do Deadwood to Edgemont. For a one day ride I would do from Dumont to Hill City. This has all the longest bridges and tunnels. this is the most beautiful part of the trail. You can arange private transportaion of you and your bike if needed.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
2
Showing 1-10 of 14  

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