Results 1 to 45 of 45
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944

    Another Black Hills Thread...

    I had posted something back in the winter about coming up to the Black Hills in May to ride, but can no longer find that thread...

    Well, we are headed up next weekend (the 18th-20th). Booked a group campsite at Sheridan Lake and looking to confirm the following:

    1. This is the best place to camp with 20 some males, looking to ride hard and drink beer by a campfire. Riding from our campground would be a plus, but not a necessity.

    2. Rides. We need three rides that are within reasonable driving distance of the campground. One kinda long ride on Friday, a really long ride for Saturday, and something short for Sunday (if we decide to ride at all). From what I gathered, the Saturday ride should be on the Centennial Trail from Lake Nemo to Alkalai Creek as an out and back (?) or shuttle (?)

    So that leaves two rides we still need to do...

    Any confirmation or additional suggestions are always appreciated.

    David

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    no dice?

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 11 Bravo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    964
    That is all kind of vague.

    How far is reasonable driving distance to you?

    What type of riding are you after? Super tech stuff, or flowing mellow stuff, rocks?

    What is long? What is really long?

    I will take a stab at some trails that I like.

    Storm Mountain is at Rockerville. Not very far as the crow flies, but I have never driven from Sheridan Lake to Rockerville. I bet it is not over 20 miles. Not super long. I have no idea of the miles, but it is long enough to be a fun ride and a decent workout. It is a loop, so you can ride it again if your a stud, or ride the trial on the other side of the dirt road (I don't know if it has a name or if it is part of Storm). Fun singletrack, not real technical.

    Spearfish is about 50 miles away, give or take. Some good riding there. Get on the Dakota 50 web page and download the maps for a 50 miler.

    Not technical at all, but the Mickelson trail starts in Deadwood and runs South to Edgemont, about 105 miles. It is a rail trail, super nice country, some long climbs that are not steep, but not freebies, 4 tunnels. Nothing challenging except the distance, but I really love riding it.

    You should be camped about 10 ish miles from Pactola reservoir. For some fun, easy singletrack, ride the section of the Centennial Trail (#89) from the North boat launch road (park way up from the lake, near Hwy 385) of Pactola reservoir and all the way north to the point where the trail crosses the Hiway, or further if you want. This is a superb out and back for a mellow recovery day.

    My advise for an easy wind down ride on the Centennial trail up near Sturgus is the same section you are talking about, but I would start at the Alkali Creek trail head (near the little chapel at the Black Hills National Cemetery). Ride South until you get to the really steep downhill section. This is probably about 5 miles give or take. Turn around and head back to the trail head. This section is often called the Bulldog. Not real long and not real hard riding, but really fun.
    Last edited by 11 Bravo; 05-09-2012 at 08:05 PM. Reason: spelling
    I'm not very smart, but I can lift heavy things

  4. #4
    Live to Ride-Ride to Live
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    144
    Sheridan Lake is a great spot to base out of.
    Give a little description on how long you want to ride each day and I am sure there will be many options presented.

    For you big ride you could leave from the camp site South on the Centennial and go to Big Pine TH, ride the Old Hill City Road into Hill City, head North on the Mick, turn East on Trail 40 until hit the Centennial again, and finish by going South back to Sheridan Lake. This loop is 60+ if I remember correctly. Bring your big boy pants though because there are some very challenging sections on this loop. This will take all-the-doo-da-day to complete!

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by Deadman View Post
    Sheridan Lake is a great spot to base out of.
    Give a little description on how long you want to ride each day and I am sure there will be many options presented.

    For you big ride you could leave from the camp site South on the Centennial and go to Big Pine TH, ride the Old Hill City Road into Hill City, head North on the Mick, turn East on Trail 40 until hit the Centennial again, and finish by going South back to Sheridan Lake. This loop is 60+ if I remember correctly. Bring your big boy pants though because there are some very challenging sections on this loop. This will take all-the-doo-da-day to complete!
    We are a very strong group of riders, its just a matter of how hung over we are on Saturday. This loop sounds great. Of the 60 miles, how much would you say is singletrack vs. gravel road?

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    How do the trails hold up in the event of rain?

  7. #7
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,516
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    How do the trails hold up in the event of rain?
    Rain? It rains in the Black Hills? Not that often, actually. Depends on how dry or saturated the ground was before the rain hits.

    Storm Mountain is a must and not far at all from Sheridan Lake. I'm guessing 15-20 minutes tops for a drive.

    M-Hill in Rapid City on your way out of town Sunday for a nice IMBA built/designed bike park with a little of something for everyone.

    Like I said last time in this thread - too bad you were not coming the following weekend to the Black Hills Fat Tire Festival. Talk about a fun party with gobs and gobs of riding....

    BB

  8. #8
    Out There
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    34
    Go to Black Hills Mountain Bike Association | BHMBA forums and post there. You'll likely get more locals.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Thanks. I signed up at the forum. At this point, I am most concerned about the rain the forecast next weekend. Looking like a 30% chance of showers and T-storms, which isn't too bad.

  10. #10
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,516
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    Thanks. I signed up at the forum. At this point, I am most concerned about the rain the forecast next weekend. Looking like a 30% chance of showers and T-storms, which isn't too bad.
    Having grown up in the Black Hills, I've come to the realization that they are "always" optimistic about their chances of rain.

    30% chance of rain could be anything from a sunny day to a droplet or two that might hit ground before it evaporates. But you never know. A little mountain thunderstorm could roll through late on Saturday, but it has been so dry that it shouldn't ruin your entire trip. You can always ride the Big Mick on a rainy day while you wait for the wind and sun to dry the singletrack out. Not sure I would trust a forecast that far out and the way it stands now - you'll be fine for a big ride on Friday, and a big ride on Saturday before isolated thunderstorms build up late on Saturday. And you mentioned, based on the amount of bevs consumed, riding on Sunday may be a no-go anyway.

    If the storms are isolated, there are plenty of trails in the Black Hills which runs pretty far north and south, and east and west to find dry trails to ride.

    BB

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceBrown View Post
    Having grown up in the Black Hills, I've come to the realization that they are "always" optimistic about their chances of rain.

    30% chance of rain could be anything from a sunny day to a droplet or two that might hit ground before it evaporates. But you never know. A little mountain thunderstorm could roll through late on Saturday, but it has been so dry that it shouldn't ruin your entire trip. You can always ride the Big Mick on a rainy day while you wait for the wind and sun to dry the singletrack out. Not sure I would trust a forecast that far out and the way it stands now - you'll be fine for a big ride on Friday, and a big ride on Saturday before isolated thunderstorms build up late on Saturday. And you mentioned, based on the amount of bevs consumed, riding on Sunday may be a no-go anyway.

    If the storms are isolated, there are plenty of trails in the Black Hills which runs pretty far north and south, and east and west to find dry trails to ride.

    BB
    Thanks, Bruce. I think the weather is pretty similar to what we have here in Colorado. So long as it isn't a total wash out, we'll be riding fine. At this point, I am thinking we are going to do Victoria Lake Friday when we get into camp (or Storm Mountain), and then on Saturday decide between the 60 mile loop from camp described above, the Centennial from Dalton to Alkali Creek or a larger loop in the Victoria Lake region and Sunday perhaps ride Centennial to Pilot Butte and back or bail and go to Mt. Rushmore and do other touristy things.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    136
    I would not worry about the rain. I lived in CO (Snowmass Village) for a while and the weather is very similar. 30% chance means sunny all day then 3-4 o'clock, pop up thunderstorms that last about 20 minutes. Also the trails, Storm, Victoria, and the centennial all hold up very well in the rain. Sheridan lake area can be ridden right after a heavy rain.

  13. #13
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    Thanks, Bruce. I think the weather is pretty similar to what we have here in Colorado. So long as it isn't a total wash out, we'll be riding fine. At this point, I am thinking we are going to do Victoria Lake Friday when we get into camp (or Storm Mountain), and then on Saturday decide between the 60 mile loop from camp described above, the Centennial from Dalton to Alkali Creek or a larger loop in the Victoria Lake region and Sunday perhaps ride Centennial to Pilot Butte and back or bail and go to Mt. Rushmore and do other touristy things.
    Instead of doing that 60 mile loop you could also consider combining Storm with Victoria's Secret and Loop 15. You could even ride north bound on the Centennial Trail from your campsite and get on Loop 15 a few different ways.

    The Black Hills Back 40 is an upcoming race that will be combining Storm, Loop 15 and Victoria's Secret. I don't know how well it's marked and you might need some local knowledge to stay on track where the trails meet up. In particular it might be tough to get off Loop 15 and ride through the Bighorn Sheep area to get to Storm.

    I'm not sure how many miles it would add to take Centennial from your campsite to somewhere on Loop 15. Again, I think you'd need more local knowledge than what I can give you in writing. Maybe somebody on BHMBA can give you more specific info.

    As far as rain, things are very dry here right now. I'd be very surprised if we got enough rain to affect the trails much.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    Instead of doing that 60 mile loop you could also consider combining Storm with Victoria's Secret and Loop 15. You could even ride north bound on the Centennial Trail from your campsite and get on Loop 15 a few different ways.

    The Black Hills Back 40 is an upcoming race that will be combining Storm, Loop 15 and Victoria's Secret. I don't know how well it's marked and you might need some local knowledge to stay on track where the trails meet up. In particular it might be tough to get off Loop 15 and ride through the Bighorn Sheep area to get to Storm.

    I'm not sure how many miles it would add to take Centennial from your campsite to somewhere on Loop 15. Again, I think you'd need more local knowledge than what I can give you in writing. Maybe somebody on BHMBA can give you more specific info.

    As far as rain, things are very dry here right now. I'd be very surprised if we got enough rain to affect the trails much.
    My membership has been approved yet. Was looking at the Black Hills 40 course map and that looks like an option. I presume you are recommending that over the 60 mile loop above because of more singletrack?

  15. #15
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    My membership has been approved yet. Was looking at the Black Hills 40 course map and that looks like an option. I presume you are recommending that over the 60 mile loop above because of more singletrack?
    Lol, I wouldn't know.

    Way more singletrack. I'd have to go back and look at what he/she recommended but I think part of the ride in the 60 mile loop was actually going to be on paved road and part on a rails-to-trail conversion (Mickelson).

    The 40 mile loop of all three trail systems would be almost entirely singletrack. The ATV climb on loop 15 is a rutted out road and you'd be on a FS road to connect Victoria to Storm.

    If I were you I'd look into that. Personally I'd skip the ride up Centennial (89) from your campsite. You'd be starting an already tough ride with a steady long climb. Over 1500 ft. I'd guess to hook up with Loop 15 plus the additiona miles.

    In defense of the 60 mile loop recommended, it would take you through a lot of different parts of the hills, you'd be able to stop for food and water and it will likely be easier to follow. I'll go take a look at what was written and post back later if I have anything to add.

    The route I'm recommending would be zero water unless you parked cars at a few key points on the route. But that seems like too much work and would cut into beer time.

    Is there any way you guys could do a shuttle ride from Nemo and down to your campsite on the Centennial?

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    Lol, I wouldn't know.

    Way more singletrack. I'd have to go back and look at what he/she recommended but I think part of the ride in the 60 mile loop was actually going to be on paved road and part on a rails-to-trail conversion (Mickelson).

    The 40 mile loop of all three trail systems would be almost entirely singletrack. The ATV climb on loop 15 is a rutted out road and you'd be on a FS road to connect Victoria to Storm.

    If I were you I'd look into that. Personally I'd skip the ride up Centennial (89) from your campsite. You'd be starting an already tough ride with a steady long climb. Over 1500 ft. I'd guess to hook up with Loop 15 plus the additiona miles.

    In defense of the 60 mile loop recommended, it would take you through a lot of different parts of the hills, you'd be able to stop for food and water and it will likely be easier to follow. I'll go take a look at what was written and post back later if I have anything to add.

    The route I'm recommending would be zero water unless you parked cars at a few key points on the route. But that seems like too much work and would cut into beer time.

    Is there any way you guys could do a shuttle ride from Nemo and down to your campsite on the Centennial?
    Shuttling is definitely an option. We had heard that Dalton to Alkali would be the preferred shuttle.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    136
    That's the hard part about riding out here. I can think of about 10 different 40 mile rides around the hills, all would be epic. Many of them are not marked and some include roads and atv trails. Coming from out of town I would stick to the marked trails otherwise you might spend your trip looking for that trail. If your looking for a 60 miler I would just drive up to alkali creek trailhead on the centennial and ride back to your campsite. 90% single track and an awesome ride. The trail is well marked. This route was the fat tire festival's epic 2 day ride the last couple of years. The Mick route would be fun but a lot of road and rail to trail riding. Not sure on locals guiding too much, many of us are spending the weekend getting the trails ready for the festival the following weekend. Don't stress too much about what to ride, just ride your bike, have a few beers, and live it up. Storm Friday, 60 mile cent. ride sat, (plan most of the day for this) and ride anywhere Sunday and you will have ridden some great rides in the hills. Have fun!

    Ross

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    Have to agree with Ross on the Centenial. I have not ridden the complete section all at once, but have been on most of it in smaller bites, and it is a great ride. The section from Pactola basin to Dakota Point trailhead is a great ride and just as you hit Sheridan Lake road, you can cut to the right off the trail and go right to the group camping area. This would be a great ride, and as Ross said it is all marked. We rode the last section just a couple weeks ago and it's in great shape.
    The weather for Saturday may have a thunderstorm in it, as is always a good possibility here, so pack a thin jacket. Most of our storms here are fast moving and you can take a break under some trees to get out of the worst of it.
    Another great trail that is about a 30 minute drive from Sheridan Lake is the Deerfield Lake loop trail. It is also well marked. It is right at 12 miles, and a reasonable pace it can be done in about 2 1/2 hours. If you need directions or guidance check with Rabbit Bicycles in Hill City, Eddie can help you out, or I'll be there 9 - 1 Fri and Sat. Rabbit bikes is just across the street from the 1880's train station. (can't miss the train)
    Who knows, I may be bored and stop by your campsite for a beer Fri night and answer any questions you may have. I live off Sheridan Lake Rd.
    Have Fun.

    Bob

  19. #19
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    The more I think about it the more I think your big ride should be a shuttle down Centennial. I'm glad Bob chimed in about how to get to your campground. There are a few spurs off of 89 around Sheridan Lake and I don't know the one that goes through the campground at all.

    I think riding the Victoria area Friday night before the trail work starts this weekend is a good idea. There are two areas where Loop 15 and Sport Loop hook up and split which can be a bit confusing but I think they're well marked right now. I've been out there recently but just haven't paid attention. I suggest riding counter-clockwise as it's easier to follow in that direction.

    Back to the 89 shuttle, I understand it's a bit hard to follow south of the Bald Hills (which is south-bound of the Brush Creek Trailhead). ATV riders can still get to that part of the trail and they seem to like to shoot up or move signs. A lot of trail markers were added a few years ago but I understand it's gone downhill since.

    It's mostly two track once you get past the Bald Hills but I really like that area of the Hills a lot. And it goes right down to your camground. Can't beat that.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    We are actually now staying on the South Sheridan Lake Campground (we opted for spots on the lake vs. group campground). Does that change any of the considerations for riding? I don't think so, but would be curious. Really excited to get out and ride the Black Hills. Weather looks nice and cool, which we will certainly not complain about.

    Really appreciate everyone's help and advice. If you all EVER decide to make the drive south and ride in Colorado, please feel free to hit me up and I would gladly provide the same level of support and advice.

    Thank you.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    The only difference is if you do the Centenial ride you come out on the opposite side of the lake from the South campground. You'd have to ride the road around to the south campground. This is actually several miles. You'd go south on Sheridan Lk road to hwy 385, then left on 385 to the campground entrance.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by BobR549 View Post
    The only difference is if you do the Centenial ride you come out on the opposite side of the lake from the South campground. You'd have to ride the road around to the south campground. This is actually several miles. You'd go south on Sheridan Lk road to hwy 385, then left on 385 to the campground entrance.
    Thanks. So the Centennial Trail doesn't circumnavigate the lake?

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    136
    I'm pretty sure it does. From Dakota point can't you ride across the dam and pop out at the flume/ centennial trailhead?

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by slickrockross View Post
    I'm pretty sure it does. From Dakota point can't you ride across the dam and pop out at the flume/ centennial trailhead?
    You may be able to, I've never done that so I can't say for sure.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    Just checked the map, you can continue on the trail past Dakota point, across the dam and it brings you to the south boat ramp/trail head which is right near the campground. Here is a link to the map.
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5194547.pdf

  26. #26
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by BobR549 View Post
    Just checked the map, you can continue on the trail past Dakota point, across the dam and it brings you to the south boat ramp/trail head which is right near the campground. Here is a link to the map.
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...rdb5194547.pdf
    I'll expand on this a bit. These directions are from when you cross Sheridan Lake Road when finishing your shuttle ride from the Northern Hills.

    About 2/3 of a mile after you cross Sheridan Lake Road you'll cross a gravel road and end up in a parking lot at the Dakota Pt. Trailhead. You'll go through a gate there and continue on a dirt road.

    In maybe another 1/3 of a mile you have a choice. If you continue on the dirt road (which is technically part of the Centennial Trail 89) you'll end up a wooden bridge over the Sheridan Lake spillway and you'll go down some steps to the earthen dam.

    Ride across the dam and continue to ride along the lake all the way to the the Calumet Trailhead near the south boat launch. From there it's a short paved ride to the south campgrounds.

    Your other choice when the trail splits is to veer to the left and continue on 89 singletrack. This will add a bit of distance and a bit of climbing to your total trip but nothing too difficult or far. You'll end up following this down to the Spring Creek spur of the Centennial Trail. Follow Spring Creek upstream and you'll end up at the far end of the dam (away from the stone steps). From here you'll ride along the lake to the Calumet trailhead. You do not need to cross the dam if if going this way as you'll already be on the far end.

    If you try to reverse these second directions to access trail 89 from your campsite it's easy to go right past where trail 89 forks at Spring Creek. It would probably be easier to just ride across the dam to the stairs and head up the dirt road to the Dakota Point Trailhead. When coming from the opposite direction you won't have any problem.

    But from the sounds of it you won't be doing this and like I mentioned previously I don't really recommend it. You'll see all of it on your shuttle ride.

  27. #27
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Thank you. As for starting points on the shuttle, where do you recommend?

  28. #28
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    Thank you. As for starting points on the shuttle, where do you recommend?
    Depends how good of a time you have Friday night. Pilot Knob is a good stating point and about a 20 -25 minute drive from Sheridan Lake. The ride back would be about 24 miles I believe. If you start at S. Box Elder Creek trail head you are a little over 30 miles. The Pilot Knob option would probably be close to a four hour ride at a decent pace. After the ride when you go back to pick up vehicles you could stop at the Sugar Shack on Hwy 385 for one of the best burgers in the Black Hills. The Sugar Shack is right at the intersection of Hwy 385 and Merrit Estis Rd where you turn to go to the Pilot Knob Trail head. You would also take Merrit Estis Rd to Nemo Rd to S. Box Elder Creek, that would probably be a good 40 minute drive from Sheridan Lk.
    What time do you think you'll be getting to Sheridan Lk on Friday? I'll be driving by there about 1:30 Fri aafternoon.

  29. #29
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    Thank you. As for starting points on the shuttle, where do you recommend?
    It depends on how far you want to ride.

    I haven't been north of Pilot's Knob in over four years I think. I'd look at the map posted earlier. Blow it up and add up the miles between the trailheads and make a guess as to what you want to do.

    I do think Pilot's Knob is a good choice.

  30. #30
    Live to Ride-Ride to Live
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    144
    If you are willing to drive I would really consider the Dalton Lake to Sturgis/Alkali Creek part of Centennial. The Tatanka 100 and Sturgis BAM trail crew put over 150 hours into this section recently with 36 of those hours just yesterday. That section is in great shape! Paha Sapa Trails has an excellent map available.
    There is no water available on the route though so plan to carry what you need.

  31. #31
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    Ride across the dam and continue to ride along the lake all the way to the the Calumet Trailhead near the south boat launch. From there it's a short paved ride to the south campgrounds.
    I hiked from Samelius to Sheridan Lake today and wanted to point out an error.

    The trail head I'm called Calumet is now called Flume, apparently. It's labeled as Flume on the map Bob linked to but still called Calumet on the map Ross linked to. It's a spur to the Flume trail but is also part of 89. You are allowed to ride on this spur.

    Either way you cross a short bridge near the Bluewing recreation area and ride along the lake. Or in your case you'll be riding back.

    I noticed a Trail 89 post pointing southwest by the Bluewing recreation area. This takes you towards Samelius. You don't need to go that way. Just follow the paved road to your campground.

    Just wanted to mention this in case you decide to access 89 from your campground. If you do I would prefer to head north bound towards Brush Creek rather than south bound towards Samelius. But if you only get short rides between showers you could always try both.

  32. #32
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    I hiked from Samelius to Sheridan Lake today and wanted to point out an error.

    The trail head I'm called Calumet is now called Flume, apparently. It's labeled as Flume on the map Bob linked to but still called Calumet on the map Ross linked to. It's a spur to the Flume trail but is also part of 89. You are allowed to ride on this spur.

    Either way you cross a short bridge near the Bluewing recreation area and ride along the lake. Or in your case you'll be riding back.

    I noticed a Trail 89 post pointing southwest by the Bluewing recreation area. This takes you towards Samelius. You don't need to go that way. Just follow the paved road to your campground.

    Just wanted to mention this in case you decide to access 89 from your campground. If you do I would prefer to head north bound towards Brush Creek rather than south bound towards Samelius. But if you only get short rides between showers you could always try both.
    We ended up getting pretty lost on Friday looking for this... and ended up on this spur to and past the dam up to the spring creek trailhead at which point, we turned around and rode home.

    On Saturday we rode North to Pactola and back. Really nice single track in and around Brush Creek to the reservoir and we would have liked to go to Pilot Knob, but got pretty lost a couple of times around the Bald Hills and the powerlines. I think a guide and local knowledge would be really helpful.

    However, we really enjoyed the riding and will be back soon.

  33. #33
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    Glad you had a good time. The Bald Hills area can be difficult to keep signs posted. Idiots keep running them over and shooting them.
    That's kind of the rough part about a lot of our trails here, if we mark them real well the few ATV/Dirt bikers who don't follow the off road travel rules can tear them up in short order. It only takes a couple a$$ holes to do this, most of the people do follow the rules.
    A local to guide you through these areas is the way to go. Maybe next time somebody can hook you up. I'm not the best one for this cause I'm real slow on the climbs and would probably hold your group up.

  34. #34
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    We ended up getting pretty lost on Friday looking for this... and ended up on this spur to and past the dam up to the spring creek trailhead at which point, we turned around and rode home.

    On Saturday we rode North to Pactola and back. Really nice single track in and around Brush Creek to the reservoir and we would have liked to go to Pilot Knob, but got pretty lost a couple of times around the Bald Hills and the powerlines. I think a guide and local knowledge would be really helpful.

    However, we really enjoyed the riding and will be back soon.
    I'm sorry to hear that. I was worried about you guys heading south past Brush Creek, although it sounds like you had your trouble while heading north? This has always been one area of Trail 89 that has given people fits. I think even us locals have trouble with it. Believe it or not the Bald Hills used to be marked much worse. But like Bob said, this area is still really accessible to ATV riders and I think a lot of them are removing, moving or damaging signs in protest to our recent motorized vehicle restrictions.

    Did you do any other other riding besides 89?

  35. #35
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    944
    Quote Originally Posted by CJH View Post
    I'm sorry to hear that. I was worried about you guys heading south past Brush Creek, although it sounds like you had your trouble while heading north? This has always been one area of Trail 89 that has given people fits. I think even us locals have trouble with it. Believe it or not the Bald Hills used to be marked much worse. But like Bob said, this area is still really accessible to ATV riders and I think a lot of them are removing, moving or damaging signs in protest to our recent motorized vehicle restrictions.

    Did you do any other other riding besides 89?
    Heh. Nope. We were going to ride Storm Mountain yesterday, but got too drunk Saturday night and had a nice breakfast in Hill City, went over to Rushmore, then high tailed it back to Denver.

  36. #36
    Always Learning
    Reputation: BruceBrown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    9,516
    Quote Originally Posted by Rontele View Post
    Heh. Nope. We were going to ride Storm Mountain yesterday, but got too drunk Saturday night and had a nice breakfast in Hill City, went over to Rushmore, then high tailed it back to Denver.
    You missed Storm Mountain?

  37. #37
    Pale Rider
    Reputation: jwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    251
    This thread is a gem for me. The Centennial Trail map and the pahasapa site have given me a lot of resources to look at rides. This will be my first visit MTB'ing this area, and will be riding Thursday and Friday this week. Will have my son and a buddy along, and maybe the wife for a couple of rides.

    One question...

    We are staying in Rapid City. My wife is a beginner/intermediate rider so relatively smooth trail is preferred for her. Hills are not a problem, but nothing chunky, or all baby heads, is preferred. What would be your recommended route, within 30-45min drive of Rapid City, for a 10-15 mile route for her and me?

  38. #38
    CJH
    CJH is offline
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    282
    Quote Originally Posted by jwilliams View Post

    We are staying in Rapid City. My wife is a beginner/intermediate rider so relatively smooth trail is preferred for her. Hills are not a problem, but nothing chunky, or all baby heads, is preferred. What would be your recommended route, within 30-45min drive of Rapid City, for a 10-15 mile route for her and me?
    I look forward to hearing others opinions on this. I'm sort of stumped as we don't have a ton of super smooth trails around here. At least not ones that go on for miles. Maybe Old Baldy up near Spearfish but it's been years since I've been there. My wife doesn't remember either.

    I suspect an out and back ride on Centennial is going to be your best bet. Maybe Rapid Creek north to where Centennial crosses 385 and turn around. I think this might be a Pedalheads ride. You can check their website at Blackhillsbicycling.com and see if they have that ride listed. I think they also make some loops around Rapid Creek TH by hooking up with two-track or FS roads.

    Hansen-Larsen in Rapid should be fine but I'm ashamed to say I haven't been there. I tend to want to get away from it all a bit more. A friend of mine says the trails there are smooth and well designed.

  39. #39
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    46
    Quote Originally Posted by jwilliams View Post
    This thread is a gem for me. The Centennial Trail map and the pahasapa site have given me a lot of resources to look at rides. This will be my first visit MTB'ing this area, and will be riding Thursday and Friday this week. Will have my son and a buddy along, and maybe the wife for a couple of rides.

    One question...

    We are staying in Rapid City. My wife is a beginner/intermediate rider so relatively smooth trail is preferred for her. Hills are not a problem, but nothing chunky, or all baby heads, is preferred. What would be your recommended route, within 30-45min drive of Rapid City, for a 10-15 mile route for her and me?
    If staying in Rapid You must ride the Hanson/Larson trails in town (AKA M Hill). These trails are fantastic. I have rode all of them and you can go as easy as you want, and there are a few more challenging sections. These trails were designed and built by an IMBA trail builder. They are smooth, yet challenging enough so an advanced rider will not get bored. This system will give you a good ten mile ride with some great views of the city. You can access it by turning north at the executive golf course on Omaha Dr, or any bike shop can give you directions. Another slightly more challenging ride that will give you more of the "Black Hills" experience is the Storm Mountain trail system near Rockerville, which is about a 15 minute drive out of Rapid. This area is more challenging than M Hill, yet a beginner/intermediate will still enjoy it. To access this area take Hwy 16 west out of Rapid (starts as Mt Rushmore Rd) to Rockerville, just a very short distance past Rockervile go right on Silver Mountain Rd, you will see a dirt parking area with a sign on the right side. The trail starts at the west side of the parking area. A map and description of trails can be accessed here. ACME Bicycles - Rapid City, SD I would take you on a ride myself, but I'm starting a new job this week and don't know how late I'll be working each night. Enjoy.

  40. #40
    Pale Rider
    Reputation: jwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    251
    Dang this thread just keeps getting better and better. The M Hill map is awesome and looks like the perfect place for her - she should be able to handle all but the advanced trails. Can take her for a ride in the morning then the guys for bigger rides in the hills.

  41. #41
    Pale Rider
    Reputation: jwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    251
    If you see this come say hi...

  42. #42
    Pale Rider
    Reputation: jwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    251
    So M Hill was cool. Wife was not intermediate enough to love it.We climbed around the west side a little and she had had enough so we went down and did a nice path ride up the creek and back. Then I went to find the boys and do a solo ride and climbed up to the M and back. I think they hit most of the trails on their SS's. So all in all a good day after being up 36 hours on the drive out.

    Got a chance to meet the guy that built the trails. He had ridden up on his Beta dualsport so we talked about dualsporting and trails for about 20 minutes. Cool guy.

    Off to hit some more stuff today...

  43. #43
    Pale Rider
    Reputation: jwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    251
    Nice ride today...

  44. #44
    Pale Rider
    Reputation: jwilliams's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    251
    Rode part of 89 today. Started at Dalton Lake, and immediately went the wrong way (someone please remove the 89 sign that points straight down the gravel road toward the old route). We followed that arrow down the gravel road and found a nice pile of big rocks blocking the entrance to some beautiful singletrack. We went straight there down a small canyon and ended up riding down some awesome trail to the end of the gravel road. Talked to a nice lady tending her garden, she in turn called hubby who is a MTB'er, and we talked for 10 minutes on the phone. So we turned around and went back to Dalton Lake.

    When we figured out the correct entrance we recognized good singletrack immediately and farther up the trail started picking up 89 signs (there was not one I saw at the immediate trailhead where the cattle guard is in the fence). Anyway, all that aside, we had had a nice warm-up and was now on some awesome new singletrack.

    The climb to the top of the ridge out of Dalton Lake was awesome, long, brutal, rewarding, and just fun - just what we came for. The trail along the ridge flattened and was very scenic with large bluffs to the side and nice rocky but very rideable singletrack. We rode the length of that section to the Elk Creek trailhead. Somehow the trail builders figured out how to make that section uphill the whole way. A big thanks to the volunteers that worked that section recently - it was great singletrack the entire way except for a short two-track about two miles out of Dalton Lake.

    We bailed at Elk Creek TH and called the wife. She met us at I90 where Bethlehem Rd dead-ends into Sturgis Rd. Awesome day of riding - think we clocked about 27 miles.

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: sommerfliesby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    63
    This thread makes me love mtbr. I'm rolling west on Friday in my diesel pickemup truck with my wife, a pop-up camper and three bikes. First stop is the Badlands, followed by Black Hills (and I will surely hit up SOMETHING mentioned here)...then rolling for Yellowstone and Grand Targhee. Can't wait.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •