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Mickelson Trail Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Mickelson Trail.
 
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EBikes
 - 
Richard S. from Denver on 10/13/2019 09:37 AM
Are EBikes (Electric bikes) permitted on the trail? THANKS

 
Ray [webmaster] on 10/24/2019 08:33 PM
According to the SD Parks Dept website "Electric wheelchairs, electric scooters and select e-bikes are allowed on the trail." My understanding is if your bike is electric - not motorized (i.e. gas-burning) - then you are OK.


Mickelson to Cowboy
 - 
Kevin Meier from Huntsville, AL on 10/15/2019 12:43 PM
My wife are planning a trip that will start at the top of the Mickelson Trail and end at the eastern terminus of the Cowboy Trail. But we are unfamiliar with the dirt roads of South Dakota. (Which Google has us on from Edgemont to Oelrichs.) Are they traversable via bicycle or should we only stick to paved roads? Thanks!


Walking
 - 
Happy on 10/08/2019 06:21 AM
How is walking this trail? Is it steep or relaxing? Thanks


Trail conditions
 - 
Anonymous on 08/25/2019 08:51 PM
My wife and I will be riding the trail in September and we were wondering what the condition of the trail is in with all the rain the "Hills" have been getting. Last year we rode it with bikes that had 32mm tires, and while struggling in some soft spots got through OK. We also have some older mountain bikes with 1.95" tires (26"). Any recommendations? We loved this trail and certainly want to do it again.

 
Flytyer from Hot Springs Village, AR on 08/26/2019 06:08 AM
I rode it week before last Aug 14-17. Thought the trail was in remarkably good condition considering the large rains. There are isolated spots of minor trail erosion and small amounts of sand. I cycled with 38mm and they were fine. Watch wind speed and direction! Great trail.

 
Anonymous on 08/26/2019 08:01 PM
Thanks a bunch!


Riding from Keystone to a trailhead
 - 
Jackie from Minneapolis on 07/08/2019 12:40 PM
Is there any reasonable way to (road) bike from the Keystone area to a trailhead?

 
Anonymous on 08/25/2019 09:02 PM
I'm not from there but I do know it is about 12 miles on 16west to Hills City. I've always wondered about whether they allowed bikes on the train....but I've never seen any. If you are not tied into Keystone as a starting spot, Custer, Hills City, and Deadwood are much easier access.


Easy scenic ten mile segment
 - 
Cyclenorfork from Arkansas on 08/25/2019 08:36 AM
Any recommendations for short scenic easy pedal


Is the trail open to biking during the lean horse ultra
 - 
Wade on 08/11/2019 05:26 PM
Is the trail open to biking during lean horse ultra


Tunnels - lights needed?
 - 
Colorado Joe from Longmont, Colorado on 07/02/2019 09:39 PM
I understand that there are 4 tunnels along the trail. Are lights required to safely navigate the tunnels, or are they short enough that bike lights / headlamps are not required?

 
Anonymous on 07/05/2019 10:33 PM
The tunnels are short. Take off your sunglasses and slow down. I never use a light in them.


parking at minnekahta
 - 
jane on 06/25/2019 02:58 PM
Can you park a car at Minnekahta trailhead?


Trail Condition
 - 
Anonymous on 06/15/2019 09:19 AM
Does anyone know if the trail from Hill City to Crazy Horse is in good condition or is it still soft?

 
SD vacationer on 06/22/2019 08:00 AM
Rode from Hill City to Crazy Horse 6/20/19 & 6/21/19. Rained every day this past week. Would say the trail was wet, not soft.


 - 
Peterplosy from Gliwice on 06/14/2019 10:37 PM




Bicycle Fees/Permit REquirements
 - 
Dan E from Evanston IL on 06/03/2019 05:52 PM
Can someone tell me if fees and a permit are required to ride my bicycle on the Mickelson Trail? If so, how do I go about paying the fees and getting the permit. I will be riding for two days on the Trail later this month. Thank you. Dan

 
Bearhoops from RC on 06/06/2019 10:22 AM
Pay at trailhead. $4/day or $15/year.


DeadWheels Bike Rentals in Deadwood
 - 
Tin Fish from Somerville on 05/18/2019 10:16 AM
looking to do the Mickelson trail, on bike, over a 4 or 5 day period. looking for rental and shuttle to and from way-points on the trail. starting on Aug 15th or 16th, maybe taking a day or two off between trail segments


Any problems getting campsites or places to stay?
 - 
Chris T. from Kansas City on 04/20/2019 01:40 PM
We are planning to ride the trail one way in June with camping gear. Do we need to make campsite (or other accomadations) reservations ahead of time or are we likely to be able to get campsites? It is nice to leave it open unless we are likely to have trouble finding a place to stay.

Thanks

 
Brad J from Denver on 04/30/2019 08:52 PM
I'm in exactly the same position and was wondering the same thing. The trail runs through National Forest and per the NF Website, disperse camping is allowed, so long as the area isn't developed. I'm kind of wondering if I run into an issue getting a campsite if it's reasonable to assume I could disperse camp off the trail a ways. If you find out anything, please post, as I'm looking for this info too.

 
I love the Mickelson from Sturgis, SD on 05/15/2019 09:13 PM
Assuming you are starting in Deadwood and riding to Edgemont. Most peopoe who do the trail in two days ride to Hill CIty the first day. There are private campgrounds literally right along the trail, with tent camping. And dispersed camping is allowed away from the trail on forest land. In JUne you should be ok even in the campgrounds to get a tent spot.
You are in for a treat - this trail is the best!!


Dumont
 - 
John from Wood dale il on 10/17/2018 10:00 PM
I just wanted to mention that my wife and I rode from DuPont to hill city today and trail is soggy in many parts. Had to go over snow and ice many times. Probably should wait until Saturday or Sunday before riding.


Elevation
 - 
Carl MacKay from Choctaw, OK on 08/12/2018 06:06 PM
What is the elevation gain for the ride? Is it extremely hilly?

 
Bcov on 08/12/2018 08:17 PM
Total elevation north to south is about 4,500 feet. I would assume that the south to north route would be about 5,500 feet. Not hilly, as much as long 3-6 mile uphill sections followed by equally long down hill sections.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 08/13/2018 08:37 AM
Here is a web page with an elevation chart: https://www.mapmyride.com/us/hot-springs-sd/mickelson-trail-route-43717916

 
Jeff from Fort Worth on 09/19/2018 05:20 PM
The grade on the Mickelson is very reasonable, never over 5%. The climbs can be long and monotonous on a hot day, but a cyclist in only fair shape can handle them. I saw people very out of shape on all parts of the trail, every day, with little issue.

 
Ray (webmaster) on 09/22/2018 10:28 AM
Here's an elevation chart of the Mickelson Trail that I put together: elevation.aspx

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. :-)

Happy trails!


How late is too late?
 - 
K Wombat from Northern Colorado on 08/19/2018 01:35 PM
We are considering riding the trail in mid-October and would welcome any comments about typical weather, trail conditions, color, and water availability at that time. Thanks!

 
baconboy from Bismarck, ND on 09/10/2018 07:19 PM
We have the exact same questions! A few families with many small children (2-9 yrs old) are planning to come down from ND mid-late Oct for a couple days of kid friendly (downhill) rides. Are we crazy for planning so late in the season?

We were planning to self shuttle a couple North sections unless the time of year warrants a different approach.


Tire size
 - 
Ovsa on 06/04/2018 06:47 AM
Plan on cycling the trail with the 38mm Trigger Sport tires that came with my hybrid.
Will these be suitable for the trail or should I look at getting something wider? Thanks

 
Rod Woten from Stuart,IA on 06/08/2018 11:31 AM
Those should be perfect! I run the Schwalbe G-One 4omm's which are very similar.

 
Anonymous on 06/10/2018 09:27 PM
Ok thanks


Sharing a shuttle
 - 
Ovsa on 06/04/2018 06:51 AM
Looking for someone to share a shuttle with from Edgemont to Hill City on Thursday, June 14 in the AM.


Lodging
 - 
SueB from Potland, OR on 05/09/2018 02:35 PM
4 or 5 of us are looking for lodging and ideally food, between Deadwood and Hill City as we were going to carry our gear and didn't want to do a 48 mile first day. Our literature said that Rockford would be an option, but in fact the only lodging I can find for Rockford is Carsten Cabins which I believe is at Lead. Is there any other lodging at Rockford? Anyone got a porch we could sleep on?

 
BCov from Salt Lake City on 05/10/2018 04:54 PM
From the research I have done, the Carstens Cottages are near Dumont which is about 15 miles out of Deadwood and about 31 miles from Hill City. My plan is to just do the 15 miles on the first day, because it is mostly uphill (1,700 elevation increase) and I am riding the trail with my family (wife and 3 kids). The second day will be the 31 miles into Hill City.

All of this information is just from my research, as we leave for the trip in a few weeks. I hope I'm not wrong!

 
BCov from Sandy on 06/01/2018 11:48 AM
Carstens Cottages worked out perfectly for us. The first day out of Deadwood is a long uphill ride and Carstens Cottages is about 2 miles south of the Dumont Trailhead. The cottages are well appointed with everything you could need but food. We had brought dinner with us and warmed it in the microwave. My kids really enjoyed playing frisbee in the open field and watching some of the animals that are around (horses, llamas, donkeys and a peacock).

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