- Cross country skiing
- Historical interest
- Horse Trail
- Horseback Riding
George S. Mickelson Trail
Imagine a path where the ghosts of Wild Bill Hickock and Calamity Jane still roam; where bicyclists, hikers and horseback riders can explore spruce and ponderosa pine forests; and the very young, the very old and people of all abilities can enjoy.
The George S. Mickelson Trail, in the heart of the beautiful Black Hills, was completed in September of 1998. Its gentle slopes and easy access allow people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the beauty of the Black Hills. Much of the trail passes through National Forest Land, but there are parts of the trail that pass through privately owned land, where the trail use is restricted to the trail only.
The trail is 109 miles long and contains more than 100 converted railroad bridges and 4 rock tunnels. The trail surface is primarily crushed limestone and gravel. There are 15 trailheads, all of which offer parking, self-sale trail pass stations, vault toilets, and tables.
A majority of the trail does not exceed a 4% grade, but parts of the trail are considered strenuous. Dumont is the highest point and the 19 mile stretch from Deadwood to Dumont is the longest incline.
Note: Poor to non-existent cell phone coverage on the trail.
Trolley on the Trail
Trolley rides allow those with physical limitations to experience the beautiful George S. Mickelson Trail.
The rides are held throughout the summer and are approximately four hours long. Reservations are required, and each person reserving a space on the trolley will be required to have a handicapped parking permit. One assistant is allowed to accompany this person, if needed. The trolley has space available for up to two people who use wheelchairs.
For more information, contact the Mickelson Trail office at 605.584.3896.
- Daily: $4 daily (required per person ages 12 and over)
- Annual: $15 (required per person ages 12 and over)
Open: Year-round, from dawn to dusk. Between Oct. 1 and April 30, showers, flush toilets and other water systems may be closed. Please contact the park directly for current status. Vault toilets usually remain open.
Park Size: Length of Trail: 109 miles with 15 trailheads, from Edgemont to Deadwood
11361 Nevada Gulch Road
Lead, SD 57754
- Drinking water
- Picnic Tables
- Snowshoe checkout
- Vault toilets
- Warming shelter
Day-use park; no camping
All wildlife can be dangerous. Stay on the trail for better safety.
The prairie rattlesnake is found on the southern end of the trail, but is rarely found above 5000 feet elevation. They can be found in a variety of habitats including rocky areas, grassland, and stream banks.
Be alert for wildlife at all times. If you encounter a lion up close, DO NOT RUN, maintain eye contact with the lion, talk and yell at it, gather children close to you, make yourself appear as large as possible, and become aggressive by throwing objects or waving sticks.
As you travel the trail, you may see cattle nearby. Their grazing helps maintain meadows that are needed for wild animal habitat. If you come to an area where cattle are on the trail, DO NOT spook them, speak in a calm voice and slowly work your way around them.
Identified by its three pointed leaves that are typically shiny, in the spring and summer the leaves are green, changing to yellow and red in the fall. The oil on the plant can cause a severe rash when it comes in contact with human skin.
Horses and Pets
If you are traveling from a state orther than South Dakota and intend to bring horses to ride on the trail or a pet to accompany you on the trail, please check with the South Dakota Animal Industry Board for important requirements, at or call 605-773-3321
If you are traveling to South Dakota from a country where Foot and Mouth Disease of livestock or other foreign animal disases are known to exist, you must avoid contact with livestock, wildlife, and the areas they inhabit for a minimum of five days after arrival.
The 23rd Annual Mickelson Trail Trek is September 18-20, 2020. Registration opens December 11, 2019, at 8 a.m. Mountain Time.
Questions call 605.584.3896 or email
Trail Policies and Etiquette