The Trail in a Day
The 109 mile length of the trail can be done in one day. Start with breakfast
in Deadwood. An early stop in Rochford at the Moonshine Gulch, and finish the morning
off with lunch in Hill City. Stop for view of Crazy Horse and a snack in Custer, before
heading to Pringle for a water break. The last stretch through Minnekahta and on to Edgemont
Conversely, starting in Edgemont with a mid-morning snack in Pringle and Lunch in Custer,
or Hill City. A mid-afternoon stop at the Moonshine Gulch, and a beer (root beer if need be)
On the third Saturday in June the Big Mick is an organized ride of the
trail in one day. For more information check out the Big Mick Website.
The Trail in a Two Days
Deadwood to Edgemont
This is probably the way most people ride the trail, and the most recommended by
the shop. Although Hill City is not the middle of the Mickelson Trail, it is a good
first days worth of riding. Our goal is not to sell Hill City over Custer as a place
to stay; it is however to give you a good two days worth of riding.
There are three good climbs riding from Deadwood, south to Hill City. The ride
starts with the climb out of Kirk to the top of Sugarloaf, via the main trail or the spur
(see the Kirk Loop page).
This is then followed by four mile climb from Englwood to Dumont. The Mickelson Trail then
meanders through a picturesque valley for 10 miles down a gentle grade which takes you
into Rochford. With the 'Small of America' and 'Moonshine Gulch' one can refuel on
some warm food in a comfortable atmosphere. Another 8 miles takes you into the ghost
town of Mystic, the last two miles are tougher as the grade changes slightly. Out of
Mystic starts a long 7 mile climb, with a false summit near mile 5. The rest area at
is the final stop before a fast 7 mile descent into Hill City.
The only thing the Mickelson Trail has to offer at Hill City is yet another climb. It
is 8 miles to the Mountain Trailhead, which is halfway to Custer, and a good long steady
grade. In all the three climbs into Hill City is enough for most people for one day's
worth of riding. An evening in Hill City is not so bad. Plenty of things to do, see and
places to eat.
Although, the second day will be a longer day, 60 miles as opposed to 50, they are
predominately downhill. Be sure to stop in at Custer to check out their restraunts and
Edgemont to Deadwood