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CUSTER, SOUTH DAKOTA

Biking in the Black Hills of South Dakota

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Road Scholar
Program #4904RJ
6 Days | 5 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
Outlaw Ranch is at 5,320 ft. Biking up to 6,400 ft. Elevation changes 1,000 to 1,500 ft each day.

Equipment Requirements
Bikes and helmets provided or you may bring your own.

Itinerary for Aug 25 — Aug 30, 2013

Expand all
Type: Lodge

Description: Comfortable facilities at beautiful site in the forests of the Black Hills. Overlooking horse pastures and a nearby lake and hills. Delicious homemade meals.

Contact info:
12703 Outlaw Ranch Rd.
Custer, SD 57730 USA
phone: 605-673-4040
web: http://www.losd.org/outlaw/outlaw_ranch_accommodations.html

Room amenities: Linens, towels provided. Wireless Internet available.

Facility amenities: Comfortable lounge room, beautiful site to walk and enjoy the views. Gorgeous sunny skies and starry nights. View wildlife at the camp and on drives. Wireless internet.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Rooms in Lodge have a sink in each room; some rooms share toilet/shower room with one other room. Retreat center has shared bath facilities (with 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 sinks) on each floor, shared by three rooms (up to 6 people).

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day One: Sunday, August 25 - Welcome to Outlaw Ranch
Arrive To: Arrival time from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Move in, meet staff, select your bicycle and try it out.

Dinner: All meals at Outlaw Ranch are home-cooked and served buffet style in the Outlaw Ranch dining hall. Dinners include main dish, vegetable, salad, fresh bread, and dessert. Vegetarian, low salt, low fat, low sugar, and gluten free options are available. Please request special diets ahead of time.

Evening: The evening will include finishing checking out bicycles, getting acquainted, and orientation to the week.

Lodging: Outlaw Ranch

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Comfortable facilities at beautiful site in the forests of the Black Hills. Overlooking horse pastures and a nearby lake and hills. Delicious homemade meals.

Contact info:
12703 Outlaw Ranch Rd.
Custer, SD 57730 USA
phone: 605-673-4040
web: http://www.losd.org/outlaw/outlaw_ranch_accommodations.html

Room amenities: Linens, towels provided. Wireless Internet available.

Facility amenities: Comfortable lounge room, beautiful site to walk and enjoy the views. Gorgeous sunny skies and starry nights. View wildlife at the camp and on drives. Wireless internet.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Rooms in Lodge have a sink in each room; some rooms share toilet/shower room with one other room. Retreat center has shared bath facilities (with 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 sinks) on each floor, shared by three rooms (up to 6 people).

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, August 26 - First day of biking, afternoon free time to spend...
First day of biking, afternoon free time to spend at Outlaw Ranch or in nearby towns.

Note: Biking 16 miles

Breakfast: Breakfast entrees will vary each day, but can include eggs, bacon, pancakes, oatmeal, yogurt, fresh muffins or scones, fresh fruit, toast, coffee, and juice.

Morning: Biking on the Mickelson Trail this first day is approximately 16 miles to help you get adjusted to the trail and the elevation of the Black Hills. The group is dropped off at a trailhead each morning and picked up at another trailhead in the afternoon. There is also time for taking pictures and enjoying the beautiful scenery along the way. Throughout the week, we will bike on the George S. Mickelson Trail, named in honor of a favorite governor of South Dakota. The trail, most of which passes through Black Hills National Forest land, was completed in 1998 and follows the historic Deadwood to Edgemont Burlington Northern rail line. There are more than 100 converted railroad bridges and four hardrock tunnels along the trail, which is 112 miles long. You will have the opportunity to bike the entire trail if you would like. The trail surface is hard-packed crushed limestone. The trail consists of long, gradual slopes such as a railroad follows, so we bike for several miles of gradual uphill, then several miles of downhill. A van will meet us several times during the day, so you can choose to ride a portion of the trail in the van if you need a rest.

Lunch: You will pack your own lunch and snacks each day from a variety of choices. Lunch is eaten alongside the bike trail, often at a shelter house.

Afternoon: Monday afternoon will be back at Outlaw Ranch with a choice of horseback trail ride, canoeing, or hiking at Outlaw Ranch, or visiting shops in Custer or sightseeing on your own.

Dinner: Dinner is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall.

Evening: A trip to Mt. Rushmore National Memorial. Enjoy time to visit the Memorial and see the evening Ranger presentation and lighting of the monument. You will treasure this informative and moving presentation.

Lodging: Outlaw Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Comfortable facilities at beautiful site in the forests of the Black Hills. Overlooking horse pastures and a nearby lake and hills. Delicious homemade meals.

Contact info:
12703 Outlaw Ranch Rd.
Custer, SD 57730 USA
phone: 605-673-4040
web: http://www.losd.org/outlaw/outlaw_ranch_accommodations.html

Room amenities: Linens, towels provided. Wireless Internet available.

Facility amenities: Comfortable lounge room, beautiful site to walk and enjoy the views. Gorgeous sunny skies and starry nights. View wildlife at the camp and on drives. Wireless internet.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Rooms in Lodge have a sink in each room; some rooms share toilet/shower room with one other room. Retreat center has shared bath facilities (with 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 sinks) on each floor, shared by three rooms (up to 6 people).

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, August 27 - Bike the northern section of the trail, visit and...
Bike the northern section of the trail, visit and have supper in Deadwood.

Note: Biking 26 miles including over the highest point on the Mickelson Trail at over 6,200 feet.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall.

Morning: This day will be spent biking on the northernmost section of the Mickelson Trail in the northern Black Hills. The mileage for the day is 26 miles.

Lunch: A packed lunch will be eaten at a shelter alongside the bike trail.

Afternoon: Continue biking to the northern end of the trail and end up in Deadwood, SD. There is time, usually about one to two hours, to visit the town of Deadwood before dinner. Places to see include a history museum, Boot Hill Cemetery, historic buildings, mining history, casinos, and gift shops.

Dinner: Supper will be eaten as a group in Deadwood at a prime rib buffet.

Lodging: Outlaw Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Comfortable facilities at beautiful site in the forests of the Black Hills. Overlooking horse pastures and a nearby lake and hills. Delicious homemade meals.

Contact info:
12703 Outlaw Ranch Rd.
Custer, SD 57730 USA
phone: 605-673-4040
web: http://www.losd.org/outlaw/outlaw_ranch_accommodations.html

Room amenities: Linens, towels provided. Wireless Internet available.

Facility amenities: Comfortable lounge room, beautiful site to walk and enjoy the views. Gorgeous sunny skies and starry nights. View wildlife at the camp and on drives. Wireless internet.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Rooms in Lodge have a sink in each room; some rooms share toilet/shower room with one other room. Retreat center has shared bath facilities (with 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 sinks) on each floor, shared by three rooms (up to 6 people).

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, August 28 - Bike the southern section of the trail and enjoy ...
Note: Biking 44 miles, with more downhill than up. End at an elevation of about 3,500 feet.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall.

Morning: Today we are biking on the southern part of the Mickelson Trail in the southern Black Hills. The mileage for the day is 44.5 miles. You have the option of riding part of the day's ride in the sag wagon if you do not want to bike the entire 44.5 miles.

Lunch: A packed lunch will be eaten at a shelter alongside the bike trail.

Afternoon: Complete the bike ride to the southern end of the trail in Edgemont, SD. We will return to Outlaw Ranch in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Dinner is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall.

Evening: The evening program will be a speaker on a Black Hills regional topic.

Lodging: Outlaw Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Lodge

Description: Comfortable facilities at beautiful site in the forests of the Black Hills. Overlooking horse pastures and a nearby lake and hills. Delicious homemade meals.

Contact info:
12703 Outlaw Ranch Rd.
Custer, SD 57730 USA
phone: 605-673-4040
web: http://www.losd.org/outlaw/outlaw_ranch_accommodations.html

Room amenities: Linens, towels provided. Wireless Internet available.

Facility amenities: Comfortable lounge room, beautiful site to walk and enjoy the views. Gorgeous sunny skies and starry nights. View wildlife at the camp and on drives. Wireless internet.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: Rooms in Lodge have a sink in each room; some rooms share toilet/shower room with one other room. Retreat center has shared bath facilities (with 2 toilets, 2 showers, 2 sinks) on each floor, shared by three rooms (up to 6 people).

Check in time: 4:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, August 29 - Bike through forests, past meandering streams, an...
Bike through forests, past meandering streams, and through hardrock tunnels. Choice of afternoon drive through the Needles Highway or a visit to Crazy Horse Memorial. Listen to an evening speaker.

Note: Biking 23 miles with one of the harder uphill sections, and a beautiful 8 mile downhill to complete the entire trail.

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall.

Morning: Today we will bike our final section of the Mickelson Trail. The ride will be in the central Black Hills next to a beautiful creek and through pine and spruce forests. Today's ride is 22.5 miles.

Lunch: A packed lunch will be eaten alongside the bike trail.

Afternoon: We will finish biking the final nine miles of the trail. To complete the afternoon, there will be a choice of a drive through the unique and beautiful rock formations of the Needles Highway in Custer State Park or a trip to Crazy Horse Memorial to see the mountain carving of Crazy Horse and the Indian Museum of North America.

Dinner: Dinner is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall.

Evening: The evening program will be a speaker on a Black Hills regional topic.

Lodging: Outlaw Ranch

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Six: Friday, August 30 - Saying goodbyes and departure.
Breakfast: Breakfast is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall at 8:00 a.m.

Morning: Farewells and departure after breakfast. Van shuttle to airport will leave at 9:00 a.m. and arrive at the airport approximately 10:10 a.m. Plan flights after 11:00 a.m.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Custer, South Dakota
General OverviewHorseback trail rides, canoeing, hiking offered at Outlaw Ranch on Monday afternoon. Can also visit Custer on own. Many art galleries, craft shops, quilt shops in the area.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
5 nights of accommodations
14 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners
2 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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