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  1. #1
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    One day to ride near Spearfish or Rapid City--recommendations?

    Hey all,

    I'm heading to ND to do the Maah Daah Hey with a group, and we've got one day to stop and do some riding in the Spearfish or Rapid City area. What trails would you recommend for group of experienced mountain bikers who aren't afraid of climbing and enjoy technical riding? Ideally, we'd be looking for about a 20-25 mile route. A view or two would be great as well.

    Thanks!
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  2. #2
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    If you can manage a shuttle, the Centennial Trail or Little Elk Creek Trail + Centennial Trail from either Piedmont or Dalton Lake into Alkali Creek/Sturgis. If you happen to be passing through the weekend of the BAM Knifeblade race (July 13, 2013), take advantage of the low-cost event for the shuttle and aid. This option is all signed from Dalton Lake to Alkali Creek and easy to follow.

    PahaSapaTrails.com | Sturgis BAM Knifeblade Rock & Roll Mountain Bike Endurance Race/Ride

    If you can't manage a shuttle then try the big loop at Victoria (Victoria's Secret + Victoria 15). This one isn't well signed, so hooking up with a local could be beneficial -- but in lieu of that a person can definitely on-site it and find their way around.

    PahaSapaTrails.com | Victoria Lake Trail Network

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I'd seen the Victoria Lake trails online, but I wasn't sure how good they'd be. I didn't know anything about the Centennial Trail section you recommended, but that does look mighty tempting... with our group, I bet we could manage to shuttle it.
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

  4. #4
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    Dalton to Alkali is the best riding ~25 mile chunk of trail we have (my opinion).

    If you are interested PM me with the date/details of when you guys will be in town, I am in Sturgis and could potentially meet up and help with the shuttle and ride along.

  5. #5
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    Victoria Lake isn't all that technical (though it does have its moments), but it is a fun ride. There's also Storm Mountain out near the small town of Rockerville off of US Hwy 16 (Mt. Rushmore Road), just a bit south and west out of Rapid City. It has some technical sections, but it's only about 12 miles for the entire loop (you could always ride it twice through, though). A bunch of the Centinnial Trail segments have pretty technical portions. The entire series of trails is over 100 miles long, but I'll usually just ride out for a bit and then ride back. Most sections see very little foot or bike traffic, so I've never had an issue riding one direction vs. the other. I don't have a really good website or anything for the different trailheads, though. Here is a good resource for a few of the local trails, though:

    ACME Bicycles - Rapid City, SD

  6. #6
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    plug for Sam. checkout PahaSapaTrails.com for trail maps and descriptions
    bikeporn is protected speech

  7. #7
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    storm mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by IslandCrow View Post
    Victoria Lake isn't all that technical (though it does have its moments), but it is a fun ride. There's also Storm Mountain out near the small town of Rockerville off of US Hwy 16 (Mt. Rushmore Road), just a bit south and west out of Rapid City. It has some technical sections, but it's only about 12 miles for the entire loop (you could always ride it twice through, though). A bunch of the Centinnial Trail segments have pretty technical portions. The entire series of trails is over 100 miles long, but I'll usually just ride out for a bit and then ride back. Most sections see very little foot or bike traffic, so I've never had an issue riding one direction vs. the other. I don't have a really good website or anything for the different trailheads, though. Here is a good resource for a few of the local trails, though:

    ACME Bicycles - Rapid City, SD
    +1 for storm mountain. rode it last year and had a great time.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meesta Seeds View Post
    +1 for storm mountain. rode it last year and had a great time.
    OP was looking for 20-25 miles, Storm is only half that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by evilsjg View Post
    OP was looking for 20-25 miles, Storm is only half that.
    True. As someone else mentioned, could run it twice. But, you are absolutely correct.

  10. #10
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    Not sure if you've already left, but here's another site with a map of the Centennial Trail: PahaSapaTrails.com | Centennial Trail #89. It's one of the links on the PahaSapa Trails website someone else posted, so you may have already seen it. One of the segments I really like is Alkali Creek (PahaSapaTrails.com | Centennial Trail #89). Basically, you take I-90 to the exit for the Black Hills Cemetery. The cemetery is south of the highway, but you want to take the dirt road to the north and park in the parking lot just a little way down the road. Take a right back out onto the same dirt road from the parking lot, and the trail is just about 50 meters further on your left. Not too far down the trail, you'll start running along a fence line, and then the trail splits with one fork continuing outside the fence and the other taking a left through the fence. Take the left turn. The Alkali Creek trail will run into the Bear Butte Lake trailhead (the northernmost section on the Centennial trail map I linked). If you take the trail all the way out to Bear Butte Lake and back, that's probably around 20-25 miles. Some of the views of Bear Butte from the trail are really quite spectacular. I'm a big wuss, so I've never gone all the way out to the lake, but I can say the first half of the trail is pretty fun.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the advice, everyone. Unfortunately, I couldn't get my group to agree on plans for our Rapid City day, and we ended up only riding a small portion of the Centennial Trail near the Sheridan Lake campground.

    The area is absolutely beautiful, though. It killed me that we didn't have more time to ride, but it's definitely on my list of places to come back to!
    "Never trust a man in a blue trench coat. Never drive a car when you're dead." -- Tom Waits

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