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Home » Adventure Travel » Adventure Travel Trips » Michelson Bicycle Trail, South Dakota

Easy Hikes in the Dolomites

Michelson Bicycle Trail, South Dakota

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June 3 - 6, 2016

CMC Members: $450
Non-Members: $465

Trip Information 

Trip Itinerary 

Email Leader

Trip Overview

We will ride the famed Michelson Trail in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This trail was converted from existing railroad tracks serving the mining areas of the Black Hills to a multi use human and horse powered trail in 1998. The distance we will ride from start to finish is 109 miles. Travel will cover forests, mountains, river valleys, open meadows and a couple of small historic communities. This is a self guided trip (no outfitter) and is NOT sag supported. We will carry our belongings on our bikes or in a small day pack. There is need for just a few items of clothing change, shoes, toiletries. We will be staying in motels along our route. There won't be any towns that we will cross except for our overnight locations so we will have to carry snacks along the way.

The riding is not difficult, although our first day is long, 50 miles. The grade of the elevation change is never more than 3% except on a couple of steeper switchbacks on Day 1. Remember this was a railroad so we won't have ups and downs and big climbs or descents. The area covered by the Michelson trail is quite remote and we won't see very many people. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trail. There are occasional rest areas with bathrooms and water. Because of the locations of the towns, our daily mileage is set. 50-15-44.

All our overnight motels are located in small towns that can be completely explored on foot. Good restaurants and pubs are available in each town. Also each town has museums and galleries to explore. This trip is a relatively short drive from Denver, about five and a half hours on good highway. The elevation of the trail ranges from about 3500 ft. to 6000 feet. The surface is crushed gravel and ash. Mountain bikes or hybrid bikes with fatter tires recommended.

There is space for one female rider, sign up today!

Activities / Difficulty

Bicycling relatively easy trail with very little road riding except in our host towns. Moderate bicycling fitness required. Our days will be as follows: Day 1- 50 miles with an 18 mile climb at the beginning (3% grade only but a few steeper switch back sections). Day 2- 14 miles. Day 4- 44 miles to our waiting cars.

Skills and Training Requirements

Must be comfortable riding up to 50 miles in one day without sag support or towns along the trail. The distance may seem long but it is very easy and ranges from 3500 ft to 6000 ft in elevation. Ability to perform basic bike maintenance(, ie. fix a flat tire) Since cyclists ride at very different paces, we will not all ride together as a group. But we will try to depart as a group. Cell phone service is intermittent due to remote, mountainous location.


Trip Leader: Janet Martel

Janet has been a CMC Denver group trip leader since 1992 and an Adventure Travel Trip leader since 2009.