4904
South Dakota
Biking in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Speak with a local natural history expert, attend a lighting at Mount Rushmore and learn the frontier story of Deadwood as you join local experts to bike the historic Mickelson Trail.
Rating (4.86)
Program No. 4904RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
829
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Welcome to Outlaw Ranch
Custer, South Dakota
D
Outlaw Ranch

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 on the Road Scholar Participant Information Form.

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

DAY
2
First day of biking, afternoon free choice activities.
Custer, South Dakota
B,L,D
Outlaw Ranch

Activity note: Biking 16 miles, with a long uphill, then a nice long downhill. Afternoon free time to spend at Outlaw Ranch or in nearby towns.

Breakfast: Breakfast at Outlaw Ranch. 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 109 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: Lunch provided by Outlaw Ranch. 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.

DAY
3
Bike the northern section of the trail. Supper in Deadwood.
Custer, South Dakota
B,L,D
Outlaw Ranch

Activity note: Biking 26 miles including over the highest point on the Mickelson Trail at over 6,200 feet. Time for a little sightseeing and supper in Deadwood.

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. Enjoy a section of the trail with meandering streams, undergrowth, and majestic pines. The mileage for the day is 26 miles, with several long, sustained uphills and some long downhills.

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, a restored, historic town from the old gold mining and wild west days. There is time, 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.

DAY
4
Bike the southern trail section. Enjoy an evening speaker.
Custer, South Dakota
B,L,D
Outlaw Ranch

Activity note: Biking 44 miles, with a few sustained uphills, but with a day of 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. Ride through the section of the trail with open prairie, cattle ranches, a scenic canyon, and even some cactuses. 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.

DAY
5
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. Enjoy an exciting evening speaker on a regional topic.
Custer, South Dakota
B,L,D
Outlaw Ranch

Activity 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 trail in the central Black Hills follows a beautiful creek winding through pine and spruce forests, and also goes through several hardrock tunnels. 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.

DAY
6
Saying goodbyes and departure.
Custer, South Dakota
B

Breakfast: Breakfast is at the Outlaw Ranch dining hall at 8:00 AM.

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






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