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Mickelson Trail Forum

Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Mickelson Trail.
 
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Road riding.
 - 
Ovsa from CALGARY on 04/02/2018 07:01 PM
Instead of worrying about a shuttle from Edgemont back to Deadwood, I was thinking taking the secondary roads back up through Hot Springs, Wind Cave and Mount Rushmore back to Hill City. Namely Hwys 18, 385, 87 and 16A.
Just wondering what those roads are like for cycling. Are the wide enough for cycling and is there lots of traffic that might not make it too enjoyable?

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 04/19/2018 02:46 PM
You should go onto the satellite view on Google Map to check it out. Some roads look wide enough but remember there will be a lot of motor homes driving on some of the roads and always people in a hurry. If it was not working out for you on the road you could always call a shuttle or get back on the trail. You always see things differently going the opposite direction.

 
Anonymous on 04/22/2018 09:31 PM
will do, thanks


Weather in Mid June.
 - 
ovsa from CALGARY on 03/30/2018 07:10 PM
Anybody give me an idea of what kind of weather to expect in Mid June along the trail. Plan on doing the whole thing and camping 3 or 4 nights. Hoping there is not too much rain.
Thanks

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh, PA. on 03/31/2018 10:56 AM
You will be looking at mid to high 70's with a day or two in the low 80's and mid 50'5 at night. Depending on which area and altitude you are riding at the time.I did the trail last June and only hit one rain shower. My video of the trail is further down the list of comments if you want to see how beautiful the trail looks. Hope this helps.


campng
 - 
ovsa from CALGARY on 03/21/2018 09:45 AM
doesn't seen to be a lot of camping options along the trail or close by.
is there more than are listed on this interactive map?

 
Anonymous on 03/21/2018 02:39 PM
If your schedule permits consider the Trail Trek in early September.


Trail condition
 - 
Billy Bob from Western Wyoming on 03/18/2018 01:17 PM
Hi. Heading to the Black Hills on March 31st and I'd like to ride some of the trail. Maybe just ride two, 20-30 mile round trip on portions of the trail over a two day period. Is the trail open? What might be the best sections to ride that aren't high gradient? Is there such a thing as typical early April weather? Any information would be helpful. Thanks


Family Ride - End of May
 - 
bcov from Salt Lake City, UT on 02/12/2018 11:06 AM
Looking to do the trail with my family in late May (ending around Memorial Day). Thoughts on conditions of the trail at that time?

 
Stillriding@comcast.net from Pittsburgh on 02/12/2018 03:32 PM
Hi, I did my trip starting June 7th last year and the trail was in great shape then. Only hit rain 1 day. Hope that helps.


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does the goat head thorn live in the Black Hills?
 - 
Allen from Ft. Collins on 01/20/2018 12:18 PM
These goat head or puncturevine has spoiled some trips on soft-surfaced trails on the Colorado front range for us. Does it grow in that part of South Dakota?


 - 
William from Columbus on 12/26/2017 08:55 AM
I do not see any information on the trail surface is it pavement?

 
Stillriding from Pgh. on 12/29/2017 03:00 PM
I would say 95% Crushed Stone. Well maintained.


 - 
MPH from St Louis on 08/13/2017 05:04 PM
Elevation chart for the trail? I have been trying to find one but have had no luck.

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 08/15/2017 04:46 PM
Hi MPH. Check out this web page and then put your arrow on any part of the map down below to see the elevation of that part of the trail. Just copy and paste.
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/350568

 
Karen from Kansas on 10/25/2017 10:32 PM
This is a great map, with elevation for the whole trail on the left side.

http://gfp.sd.gov/state-parks/directory/mickelson-trail/map.aspx


water is off
 - 
Ray (webmaster) on 10/12/2017 08:58 PM
The water at trailheads has been shut off for the winter.


Questions: Tires, Best Route
 - 
Tonya from Center of the U.S. on 08/08/2017 08:23 AM
We will be heading to SD the end of this week. We are planning to ride the Mickelson. We turned 50 this year and it is our goal to ride 50 miles of Mickelson. I have been reading people's comments, but haven't gotten a clear answer. Is the trail too soft for a hybrid bike? Do I need knobby tires for this ride? What is the easiest 50 mile trip? Deadwood to Hill City, or the other direction? I would appreciate any comments.

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 08/08/2017 09:33 AM
The trail is not too soft for a Hybrid and you can get by without Knobby tires. There are a few soft spots but not many and you can see the few spots before you get to them so you have time to ride along the edge. I did Deadwood to Hill City in both directions and they are both challenging with up grades and nice down grades. In my opinion Deadwood to Hill City is the way to go. Hope that helps and have a great trip. You will be stopping lots to take pictures. Last...Remember when starting in Deadwood you then going up the trail and at 3.6 miles you will come to the beginning of the loop. You can go right or left. Going to the right is longer but great views from the top of the hill. Go 4.7 miles and you will see a sign to continue on to Dumont or take the loop back to Deadwood.

 
WBM from Springfield, IL on 08/31/2017 05:03 PM
Is it possible to do the trail with a traditional road bike using 700x28mm tires. I've read that a road bike with thin tires is not recommended, but I've heard others dispute that. Thank you.

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 09/01/2017 10:29 AM
Hi. I did the trail in both directions with 700x38c tires but I don't know how much skinnier 28s are but for 98% of the trail I had no problem. That's the best answer I can give you. If I where you I would find a bike with my tire size so you can see the different side by side then make a decision.

 
WBM on 09/01/2017 08:53 PM
Thanks...I think I'm going to rent a bike for the trail instead of bringing my road bike...and leave the 28s on my road bike.


BEST? NORTH OR SOUTH?
 - 
WBM from SPRINGFIELD, IL on 08/31/2017 05:06 PM
If I only have time to do half the trail in late September starting and ending in Hill City, which is the most scenic half? North to Deadwood, or South to Edgemont. Thank you.

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 09/01/2017 02:23 PM
WOW! That is a tough one because there is a lot to see each way. The south is more open prairie and canyons if that is more to your liking. With less altitudes come a little warmer weather and easier grades and a chance of little higher wind. The north is more enclosed with hills but steeper grades. With higher altitudes come a little cooler weather with a change of short storms also with a higher altitude everything is a little harder if you are a low land person. The north also has 4 tunnels you can go through. You will miss a lot by only doing half and with that I think most people would choose north. But like the movie saying goes "Choose Wisely"

 
WBM on 09/01/2017 08:52 PM
Super reply...thanks so much. If I can figure out a way to do both north and south, that's what I'll do. I don't want to miss any of the things you have described. Thanks again.


Riding the trail in September
 - 
MPH from St Louis on 06/28/2017 08:25 AM
Love these informative websites, I have used your sites for the Katy Trail, GAP and C&O.

We are planning a trip on the Mickelson the week of Labor Day...we hope to do an out and back with six days of riding.

We are not sure of the weather that time of year, should we expect hot and/or cold,,, any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 07/06/2017 04:29 PM
Hi. I did my ride in June so I can't help you for Labor Day but I used these 3 sites to help me with the my planning. You my have to copy and paste. Hope this helps.

http://www.usclimatedata.com/climate/custer/south-dakota/united-states/ussd0079

https://www.timeanddate.com/astronomy/usa/south-dakota

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/350568

 
K Mark from Denver from Denver, CO on 08/31/2017 11:02 AM
Please come back here and report on your trip. We would like to do the ride around Labor Day in 2018. Will you be camping or staying in motels?


Trail video
 - 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 06/22/2017 07:11 AM
Mickelson Trail Ride, I Can See Clearly Now
https://youtu.be/k86tdY_sMR8

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 06/22/2017 11:30 AM
Ray, I love these websites! So glad you stated it for the Mickelson. There is so much valuable information on them. Keep up the great work!

 
Schosh on 06/22/2017 02:36 PM
Looks like the scenery is great! Did the elevation affect your riding stamina? Guessing you have ridden the GAP trail..how does the mickelson compare in overall trail condition ..crowds ect?

 
stillriding from Pittsburgh on 06/22/2017 03:43 PM
Hi Schosh, the scenery is spectacular. I have ridden the GAP several times and the C&O a few. The condition of the trail is as good as the GAP, as for people, all very nice and maybe 15 or less a day. All my riding days where during the week except for one Sunday which was more towards the South end of the trail. The elevation does effect you but it does not slow you down during your ride but you will take your breaks sooner then you normally do. Let me explain it this way. I normally will do 15 to 20 miles without a break on the GAP but here in might just be 8 to 10 miles. But if you are anything like I was, you will be stopping all the time to take pictures. With all that being said, this was the toughest trail I have complete and I did it in both directions. Hope that helps.

 
Bill on 06/26/2017 02:16 PM
Thanks for the great information. As an old flatlander fart on a trike I'm going to spend two days doing the "normal" tourist stuff to help get acclimated to the alttiude. When I do the trail I'm going to aim for 35 mile a day for three days.
I'm getting excited about already!
Thanks again,
Bill

 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 06/26/2017 02:56 PM
Thanks Bill. I think that is a great idea and there is a lot to see out that way.


The Mickelson Trail
 - 
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 06/22/2017 11:38 AM
I just finest riding this trail in both directions and by far this is the best trail I have ever completed. No pictures, videos or words can describe it all, you just have to experience it. At the beginning, middle and end of it, you will just say, WOW!

 
Anonymous on 06/23/2017 10:03 AM
thanks a lot! now I gotta come up with another excuse to the wife to get out there to ride. LOL


General Info
 - 
Schosh from Cooper-Young, Memphis,TN on 06/12/2017 02:03 PM
Greetings, I've been a big fan of the web sites hosted by this group. I've used them extensively to plan trips on the Katy Trail and the GAP trail. I've got a number of questions about this trail. First is the connector trail to Custer State park just the highway shoulder or a separate trail? Is Custer Park pretty safe for slow road cyclist? ( We are on recumbent trikes).Has any body on this forum ever ridden the Katy or GAP and if so how would you compare the road surface.. |I look forward to learning more about this trail


The water is on
 - 
Ray (webmaster) on 05/16/2017 09:44 AM
Water is back on at the trailheads for the season, according to SD Game Fish & Parks.

Happy trails!

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