Mickelson Trail Trek
The 23rd Annual Mickelson Trail Trek will be September 17-20, 2020.
Registration will open on December 11, 2019 at 8 a.m. MT.
- Registration before July 1 with merchandise- $200
- Registration before July 1 without merchandise - $170
- Registration after July 1- $200
- Preregistration is required and open until September 1 or until filled.
- There are no refunds after registration.
- Rochford and Deadwodd meal for non-riders - $25 Nonrefundable.
- Participants must be 14 years of age or older.
- Parental waivers must be signed by minor and parent or guardian.
- Registration packets and additional ride information will be distributed either Thursday night at Early Bird Check- In or on Friday morning at the Custer Chamber of Commerce.
South Dakota’s George S. Mickelson Trail is more than just a recreation Trail; it’s a trail of history. You have the opportunity to travel the same path as General George A. Custer, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Potato Creek Johnny.
Burlington Northern built this rail line over 100 years ago to accommodate the miners who had rushed to the area to pan for gold. In 1983, the rail line was abandoned and this incredible trail was envisioned. After years of planning, hard work, and determination the trail became a reality.
In celebration of this reality, the third weekend in September finds hundreds of riders joining together in the Mickelson Trail Trek. This year’s Trail Trek promises to be bigger and better than ever, offering something for everyone.
The Friday, Saturday and Sunday 3-day ride covers almost the entire trail. Registration fee includes- trail pass, shuttle service, refreshments, 6 snacks and 3 meals and a voucher for dinner in Hill City or Custer.
Riders can enjoy the beauty of the heart of the Black Hills as they travel through the scenic valleys, old railroad tunnels, and historic mining towns.
Early Bird Check-in at Custer Chamber 3-8 p.m
- Drivers shuttle vehicles to Edgemont
- Bus leaves Edgemont to Shuttle drivers only back to Custer
- Staggered times- last bus to Custer at 7 p.m.
Check-in at Custer Chamber of Commerce 6:30 a.m.
- Driver’s shuttle vehicles to Edgemont
- Bus leaves Edgemont to shuttle drivers only back to Custer at 8:15 a.m.
- 8-9 a.m. Start: Bicycle from Custer to Edgemont (44.5 miles)
- Riders and bikes return to Custer
- Breaks and lunch included
- Chamber Bucks provided for evening meal (see list in registration packet)
- 8-9 a.m. Start: Bicycle from Custer to Rochford (39.5 miles)
- Bicycles stored in secured area in Rochford
- Shuttle busses return riders to Custer -Breakfast and evening meal on your own
- Breaks and lunch included.
- Riders drive to Deadwood Trailhead
- Shuttle buses take riders to Rochford
- 7-9 a.m.Start: Bicycle from Rochford to Deadwood (24 miles)
- Ride ends in Deadwood where participant’s vehicles are parked
- Trolley will take you to the pavilion for lunch
- Breakfast on your own
- Breaks included
Lodging will be the riders’ responsibility. Lodging will not be provided for any ridersThe ride starts in Custer on Friday and Saturday and in Deadwood on Sunday, so plan your lodging accordingly. For information on area hotels and attractions, contact the following Chamber of Commerce offices:
- Spearfish 800-626-8013
- Lead 605-584-1100
- Deadwood 800-999-1876
- Custer 800-992-9818
- Hill City 800-888-1798
- Edgemont 605-662-5900
Another option is to contact Black Hills Central Reservations. They can book all of your travel needs including hotel accommodations, camp site reservations, rental cars, airline reservations. Attractions admissions, gaming coupons and more. For more information: 1-800-529-0105 or visit their website.
About the Trail
The Trail is a former railroad bed that has been resurfaced with crushed limestone. Due to moisture, some parts of the trail maybe softer than others, this can make pedaling more difficult in spots. A mountain bike is by far the bicycle of choice. A road bike with narrow tires will not work on much of the surface.
Weather and Clothing
Be sure to bring your helmets as they are mandatory.
Elevations along the trail vary from a low 3,400 feet at Edgemont to a height of nearly 6,350 feet near Dumont, so temperatures will vary widely due to changes in the elevation. Also, the temperatures will probably be very cool in the mornings and evenings (25-45 degrees) and warm during the day (55-80 degrees). It is possible to have mid-afternoon rain and/ or hailstorms or even snow.
Layered clothing is strongly suggested in order to accommodate the weather. Major swings in temperatures can take place in a few minutes.
Although you will have to carry all that you need, make certain you have what you need to be comfortable and safe. There is a risk of both hypothermia (low body temperature) and hyperthermia (high body temperature). There are several long upgrades and corresponding downgrades on the trail. You will sweat going up so have clothing to put on so you do not get chilled on the ride down.
It is critical to drink fluids on the ride to avoid dehydration. Bring full water containers and fill the up at every opportunity. For those riding long distances, padded bicycle shorts and gloves are recommended. Lycra tights are great for cool mornings and evenings.
- Obey all traffic signs- People on bicycles must yield to pedestrians and everyone must yield to horses. - Stay to the right of the trail except when passing.
- When stopping, announce before you stop saying “stopping” in a loud voice. Visually make sure those behind you hear you. – Once you stop, get yourself and your bicycle off to the right side of the trail. – There may be a long line of riders. Be aware of those around you.
- Use caution so you are not part of a “domino” crash.
- Stay on the trail and be considerate of other users.
- All pets must be on leashes.
- Do not disturb wildlife or farm animals along the trail.
- Avoid disturbing natural resources.
- Smoking is not allowed along the trail.
- Please respect the landowners along the trail. We are guests in their backyards.
- All trail users age 12 and older are required to have a trail pass.
Contact us at MickelsonTrail@state.sd.us or 605.584.3896.