Independent Tourist runs Self-Guided Cycling Vacations

 Mickelson Trail

Independent Tourist is excited to introduce a new departure for the summer of 2020!!  Nestled in the heart of the Black Hills of South Dakota, one of the nation’s most scenic, historic and memorable cycling adventures awaits, the 109 mile Mickelson Trail.  This converted “Rail to Trail” once provided the booming “Wild West” mining community of Deadwood with a means to transport ore, supplies and people along its rugged path. As you cycle this well maintained, but challenging trail, you will discover unrivaled natural beauty, geologic wonders and an abundance of wildlife in combination with historic ghost towns, train trestles, bridges and tunnels, reminders of a bygone era.   
For 2020, we will offer a short, 4 day end to end tour on the Mickelson Trail or a longer, 6 day tour which includes 2 days of road cycling. Both departures are considered solidly intermediate due to long continuous grades and higher elevations than most are used to. The 6 day tour requires fitness to handle the higher mileage and substantial elevation changes along with more advanced skills to safely navigate the many railroad crossings and the few cattle guards encountered on the final day. 
Mickelson Trail Short Tour

Mickelson Trail: Deadwood to Edgemont

4 Days –110 milesRating: Solid intermediate—due to regional elevations of 3500’ to as high as 6500’, extended climbs (though no steeper than 4% grade) and some longer days in the saddle.

$955per person/double occupancy

STARTS SUNDAYOR MONDAY – EACH WEEK (YOU PICK) 

Start Dates June1 through Mid July and Mid August to the end of September.

Note:  NO departures from Mid July to Mid August due to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally  

Whats Included:

  • 3 days of cycling
  • 1 shuttle dayfrom Edgemont to Deadwood at the end of day 4
  • 4 nights in Bed & Breakfast, hotel or small inn
  • Lodging near trail and evening restaurants
  • 4 mornings with breakfast
  • Parking at Deadwood hotel
  • Bring your bike or rent
  • Daily luggage transfers to the next inn
  • Maps and daily route directions
  • Emergency assistance**see below for non-emergency shuttle information
  • Our one of a kind, Independent Tourist t-shirt
  • 10% discount for returning customer

 

Day 1
Meeting Day: Explore the town of Deadwood – elevation 4,530’

Our tour begins and ends in the historic town of Deadwood, South Dakota.  Known for its rough and tumble past, this popular destination now offers, ghost tours, historic hotels, casinos, and gourmet dining along with beautiful hiking opportunities.  Easily accessed from I-90, Deadwood is an hour drive west of Rapid City Regional Airport or 45 mins from downtown Rapid City.  Overnight parking is available for our cyclists. Touring bike or E-bike rental is available in Deadwood.

 

Lodging: Historic hotel, modern chain hotel or fabulous B&B upon request (limited availability: 3 rooms with private baths – 2 rooms with shared bath), your choice.

 

 

Day 2
Cycling Day: 50 miles-Deadwood to Hill City – elevation 5,160’

Today is your first cycling day. Leave luggage with your host. We will transfer it for you to this evening’s destination and each day on your tour.

Ride from your hotel to the trailhead (MM 109) which is the northern end of the MickelsonTrail.  This is our most challenging day of the tour with a 50 mile ride to the village of Hill City. Though the 8’ wide, crushed limestone, Mickelson Trail never exceeds a 4% grade, the 1800’ elevation gain from Deadwood to Dumont is not the only climb of the day.  We are well rewarded for our efforts as this is arguably the most beautiful stretch of the Mickelson with its 4 famous tunnels, mountain like vistas and multiple bridges.

Lodging: Modern chain hotel or small historic hotel (limited availability) , your choice.

Day 3
Cycling Day: 16 miles-Hill City to Custer – elevation 5,315’

Today we enjoy a shorter day from Hill City to Custer. The first 13 miles consist of a gradual climb to Crazy Horse Monument.  Located right off the trail, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to take a closer look at this extraordinary mountain and its museum dedicated to Native American Culture.  The shorter day allows for time to explore both Hill City and Custer as well.


Lodging: Western log style hotel/cabins or modern chain hotel, your choice. 

Day 4
Cycling Day*: 44 miles-Custer to Edgemont – elevation 3,460’ *includes 2 hour shuttle back to Deadwood

The cycle to Edgemont from Custer rewards us with a predominately downhill ride!  The landscape changes dramatically from the previous days but is no less beautiful with its sandstone canyons and sweeping prairie views.  The ride ends at mile 0.0 in Edgemont where a shuttle will take us back to Deadwood 2 hours to the north.

 

Lodging: Historic hotel, modern chain hotel or fabulous B&B upon request (limited availability: 3 rooms with private baths – 2 rooms with shared bath), your choice.

**The trip price includes one shuttle at the end of the trail back to Deadwood.  Any non-emergency shuttling will be at the cyclist’s own expense.  We will provide phone numbers and contact names for several of the local shuttle companies.

 

OPTIONS  The Black Hills area has so much to offer that it is easy for us to customize the end of this tour….add a 5th day of cycling from Deadwood to Spearfish via Spearfish Canyon. Take a driving tour of the Needles Highway/Iron Mountain/Custer State Park loop. You can even stay an additional night in Hill City and take the 1880 train to Keystone for the day.  Ask us about the many “not to miss” attractions if you are interested in extending your vacation.

Mickelson Trail Long Tour

Mickelson Trail: Rapid City/Mickelson Trail Loop

6 Days –190 milesRating: Advanced—due to regional elevations of 3200’ to as high as 6500’, extended climbs (though no steeper than 4% grade) and some longer days in the saddle.

$1290  per person/double occupancy

STARTS SUNDAYOR MONDAY – EACH WEEK (YOU PICK) 

Start Dates June1 through Mid July and Mid August to the end of September.

Note:  NO departures from Mid July to Mid August due to Sturgis Motorcycle Rally

Whats Included:

  • 5 days of cycling
  • 1 shuttle dayfrom Edgemont to Hill City at the end of day 4
  • 6 nights in Bed & Breakfast, hotel or small inn
  • Lodging near trail and evening restaurants
  • 6 mornings with breakfast
  • Parking at Rapid City hotel or B&B
  • Bring your bike or rent
  • Daily luggage transfers to the next inn
  • Maps and daily route directions
  • Emergency assistance**see below for non-emergency shuttle information
  • Our one of a kind, Independent Tourist t-shirt
  • 10% discount for returning customer

Independent Tourist is excited to introduce a new departure for the summer of 2020!!  Nestled in the heart of the Black Hills of South Dakota, one of the nation’s most scenic, historic and memorable cycling adventures awaits, the 109 mile Mickelson Trail.  This converted “Rail to Trail” once provided the booming “Wild West” mining community of Deadwood with a means to transport ore, supplies and people along its rugged path. As you cycle this well maintained, but challenging trail, you will discover unrivaled natural beauty, geologic wonders and an abundance of wildlife in combination with historic ghost towns, train trestles, bridges and tunnels, reminders of a bygone era.

 

Day 1
Meeting Day: Explore Rapid City – elevation 3,200’

Our tour begins and ends in the hub of the Black Hills in Rapid City, South Dakota.  Known for its many art galleries, brew pubs, bronze presidents and much more, Rapid City is easily accessed from I-90 and a 20 min drive or shuttle from Rapid City Regional Airport.

Lodging:  We offer the choice to stay in the heart of the city or opt for a quieter night at a B&B on the outskirts.

 

Day 2
Cycling Day: 45 -51 miles (depending on your lodging choice in Rapid City) -Rapid City to Deadwood – elevation 4530’

Today is your first cycling day.  Leave luggage with your host. We will transfer it for you to this evenings destination and each day on your tour.

We take to the road for our most challenging day of the tour from Rapid City to the village of Deadwood. A bike path leads away from the bustle of the city to a mostly quiet country road that climbs steadily into the heart of the Black Hills. Enjoy a nice break in the town of Nemo then continue through sweeping valleys up to a high point of 5250’ before descending for 3 miles into the historic town of Deadwood.

 

Lodging: Historic hotel, modern chain hotel or fabulous B&B upon request (limited availability: 3 rooms with private baths – 2 rooms with shared bath), your choice.

 

 

Day 3
Cycling Day: 50 miles-Deadwood to Hill City – elevation 5,160’

Ride from your hotel to the trailhead (MM 109) which is the northern end of the MickelsonTrail.  This is our most challenging day of the tour with a 50 mile ride to the village of Hill City. Though the 8’ wide, crushed limestone, Mickelson Trail never exceeds a 4% grade, the 1800’ elevation gain from Deadwood to Dumont is not the only climb of the day.  We are well rewarded for our efforts as this is arguably the most beautiful stretch of the Mickelson with its 4 famous tunnels, mountain like vistas and multiple bridges.

Lodging: Modern chain hotel or small historic hotel (limited availability) , your choice.

Day 4
Cycling Day: 16 miles-Hill City to Custer – elevation 5,315’

Today we enjoy a shorter day from Hill City to Custer.  The first 13 miles consist of a gradual climb to Crazy Horse Monument.  Located right off the trail, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to take a closer look at this extraordinary mountain and its museum dedicated to Native American Culture.  The shorter day allows for time to explore both Hill City and Custer as well.


Lodging: Western log style hotel/cabins or modern chain hotel, your choice. 

Day 5
Cycling Day*: 44 miles-Custer to Edgemont – elevation 3,460’ *includes a 1 hour shuttle back to Hill City

The cycle to Edgemont from Custer rewards us with a predominately downhill ride!  The landscape changes dramatically from the previous days but is no less beautiful with its sandstone canyons and sweeping prairie views.  The ride ends at mile 0.0 in Edgemont where a shuttle will take us back to Hill City 1 hour to the north.

 

Lodging: Modern chain hotel or small historic hotel (limited availability) , your choice.

Day 6
Cycling Day: 30 or 38 miles-Hill City to Rapid City – elevation 3,200

Old Hill City road leads us to the tourist destination of Keystone following the route of the historic 1880 Steam Train whose tracks cross the road 14 times. Take your time through this gorgeous valley filled with towering stones and beautiful ranches.  Stop and watch a glass blower or visit the many shops in Keystone on the way through. After a few more challenges, we find ourselves descending into Rapid City and catching the bike path back to where our adventure began.’

Lodging:  You will return to the hotel where you chose to stay on the first night of the tour

**The trip price includes one shuttle at the end of the Mickelson Trail back to Hill City.  Any additional non-emergency shuttling will be at the cyclist’s own expense. We will provide phone numbers and contact names for several of the local shuttle companies. 

OPTIONS  The Black Hills area has so much to offer that it is easy for us to customize the end of this tour….add a day of cycling from Deadwood to Spearfish via Spearfish Canyon. Take a driving tour of the Needles Highway/Iron Mountain/Custer State Park loop.  Ask us about the many “not to miss” attractions if you are interested in extending your vacation.

 

Please see our Refund Policy for concerns regarding refunds.

 

Contact

Betsy Silzer – Manager of Mickelson Trail Tours

betsy@independenttourist.com

866.269.9913