The Black Hills Expedition is a bikepacking race route in the Black Hills of South Dakota. This route takes you to the front steps of Mount Rushmore and within a quarter mile of Crazy Horse Memorial. The route contains over 200 miles of singletrack along with many campgrounds and resupply points along the way.
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What to Know
The start of the route takes place at the Crow Peak Brewery, in Spearfish, South Dakota. Spearfish sits at the North Dakota / Wyoming Border at 3,648ft. Spearfish is a beautiful town, with a bike shop, brewery and some great food.
The Trail:A grand tour of the Black Hills, this route was not designed to be easy. The route travels in a clockwise loop heading east and eventually through the historic town of Deadwood and the famous Sturgis, South Dakota. It then takes on the Centennial Trail for 75 miles through the eastern edge of the Black Hills National Forest. Later you will pass the famous Mt. Rushmore and through Custer State Park before reaching the southern most portion of the ride. The route follows dirt roads, singletrack and pavement up to the Crazy Horse Memorial. It then goes into Hill City, Silver City and eventually on the Deerfield Trail to Deerfield Lake. The last bit of the route is very remote and meanders through the northwest portion of the Black Hills National Forest before finally returning to Spearfish.
There are many campgrounds on and just off the route. Most of the route is on Forest Service or State Park land. Dispersed camping is allowed over most of the route, but not allowed near developed reservoirs and campgrounds.
Rain can make some sections very hard to pass through. Be sure to scout the weather before hand and be prepared for storms to pop up without much warning. This area also sees lots of snow in the winter, be sure the route is snow free before you head out.
While there are plenty of resupply portions along the beginning of the route, it gets logistically difficult the last 1/3 of the route. Making sure you have what you need before you leave a resupply location is important. A few notable resupply towns are Deadwood, Sturgis, Nemo, Merritt (off), Rockerville, Keystone, Mount Rushmore and Hill City,