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Share your comments, questions, opinions, and advice on the Mickelson Trail.
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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.

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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

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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.


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!!

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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.

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Tagged: Dumont

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.

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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

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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.

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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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Which Way?
KACH from Kansas City on 02/25/2018 07:18 PM
We are hoping to do the Mickelson trail this summer. Should we go Deadwood to Edgemont and catch a shuttle back to Deadwood? OR, should we go North from Edgemont to Deadwood and shuttle back south?

Thanks for any advice!

Stillriding from Pittsburgh, PA. on 03/01/2018 12:27 PM
If you are just going to do the trail in one direction I would recommend Deadwood to Edgemont then do the shuttle back. This would get the big hills and elevation done at the beginning of your trip. I would recommend taking a look at the elevation chart also. Have a great trip.

ovsa from CALGARY on 03/21/2018 09:42 AM
what shuttle is available from Edgemont back to Deadwood? Haven't been able to find anything

Mac McPherson from Mesquite on 03/21/2018 10:42 AM
Ovsa, Heres shuttle info
Mickelson Shuttle: Deadwheels. 605-484-6592 (Stacey)

Bill on 03/21/2018 12:10 PM

This link is the only one I could find that could get you from and to any part of the trail - all from Hill City. But the downside is it states that there is a 4-person minimum.
I'm still looking for a shuttle for just one person. Good luck.

Cindy from Longmont CO on 05/21/2018 04:57 PM
Same situation here - I'll be solo, and not sure how to shuttle back...perhaps as the season develops they'll add on to an existing reservation??

KACH on 05/28/2018 03:09 PM
Cindy - As far as a shuttle service, we plan to use http://blackhillsdiscoverytours.com/mickelson-trail-bike-shuttle.html

They do groups smaller than four and they claim to do pickup from any point on the trail.

BCov from Sandy on 06/01/2018 11:44 AM
We just finished the trail on Wednesday. We rode from Deadwood to Edgemont and used Deadwheels for the shuttle for 2 of us. Stacey was great, we were running a little late on the day of our reservation and I called her that morning and I was able to push it back an hour without any issues. We used the shuttle on the front end of the trip so when we got to Edgemont we just loaded our bikes up and were able to depart immediately rather than having to time the shuttle on the last day and have people wait at the park for a few hours while I went to get the vehicle from the starting point.
We had so much fun on the trip, even my kids ages 9 & 11 had a great time and want to do it again.

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ovsa on 04/26/2018 05:36 PM
any suggestions as to where a park a vehicle for a few days in Deadwood while cycling the trail?
Dont mind paying a bit as long as i know it is safe.

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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

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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.

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.

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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.

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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

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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?

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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.

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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.

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.


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

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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.

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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.

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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.


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.




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?

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Trail video
Stillriding from Pittsburgh on 06/22/2017 07:11 AM
Mickelson Trail Ride, I Can See Clearly Now

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,

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.

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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

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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

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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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Sam and Linda Brown from Hill City on 04/21/2017 06:38 PM
Greetings...To the administrators of Bike Mickelson.com, for your information, your Contact Us link isn't working. This is an inquiry as to what is the procedure for a local Hill City business which is along the Mickelson Trail (across East Main from the 1880 Train) to be listed on your site? We get many biking and hiking visitors who stop in for a refreshing drink from our espresso bar, and we would like users of the trail to be able to easily find us for reasonably-priced lodging as well. Thank you for your help, in advance. Best wishes, Sam and Linda Brown

Ray (webmaster) on 04/21/2017 07:37 PM
Hi Sam & Linda, I would love to list your business, and I apologize for the problem with the Contact Us page. It is now fixed. If you go to the Contact Us page now, you will see my email address and a list of all the details we need to get you listed.

Thank you for getting in touch and I look forward to hearing from you with all the details!

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Crazy Horse
Tommy G on 03/05/2017 09:18 AM
Which trailhead is closest to the Crazy Horse monument?

Psychlist on 03/11/2017 07:13 AM
Maybe a mile north of the "Mountain" trailhead, the trail crosses Avenue of The Chiefs. Follow this road for a mile or two, and you're there.

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Rabbit Bicycle for sale
Anonymous on 01/15/2017 12:22 PM
Rabbit Bikes in Hill City is up for sale. See the note from the owners halfway down their home page at http://www.rabbitbike.com/

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Bulldog from Wichita on 12/31/2016 09:03 AM
Does the altitude make a difference for cycling?

Ray (webmaster) on 12/31/2016 09:07 AM
Oh yeah. Elevations along the trail range from 3400 feet to over 6000. If you are not used to physical activity in a high-altitude environment, be prepared for breathing extra hard.

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Welcome to the Mickelson Forum
Ray (webmaster) on 12/11/2016 06:15 AM
The goal of this website is to provide all the tools you need to plan your Mickelson trip.

The Forum is a great place to ask and answer questions, share your experiences and ideas.

Happy trails!

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