Friday, July 30, 2010

George S. Mickelson Trail, SD


We finally got to ride our bikes on the Mickelson Trail, a 109 mile converted former Burlington Northern rail bed that runs from Deadwood south to Edgemont. We started just north of Custer and rode 12 miles north to Hill City.

After a couple miles we passed by the Crazy Horse Memorial, which was started in 1948. So far only the head has been completed, which is 87 feet tall. The president’s heads on Mt. Rushmore are 60 feet, so if this thing ever gets finished, it will be massive.


The trail consists of crushed limestone and gravel, and was in excellent condition. There is a tunnel just past Crazy Horse, and from there we had about 8 miles of downhill. It was fun but we knew it wouldn’t be quite as much fun on the way back. We had lunch in Hill City and the return ride actually wasn’t too bad, just a lot slower. The scenery was pretty, as the trail runs along a stream most of the way. Unfortunately, it also parallels Hwy 385, so there was lots of traffic noise.


Yesterday we finished up the list of things we wanted to do to the rig, and today we were planning to go to Wind Cave National Park. Unfortunately, Jim thinks he cracked a tooth on those little crunchy things I put in our salad yesterday, so today he has a dentist appointment. Depending on what needs to be done, we may be staying in Custer longer than planned. He is not a very happy camper!


  1. Don't let Jim tell you he cracked his tooth on the stuff you put in the salad. I think he was secretly gnawing on the limestone during your hike :)

  2. Sadly, I previously submitted this post.

    It is now coming back to haunt me.


  3. Oooh, so sorry to hear about the tooth. Hope it is nothing too serious and a quick fix.
    Your bike ride was awesome...beautiful scenery!! Crazy Horse is one of our favorite places. We haven't been there in several years...hope to make it real soon.

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  4. Looking at your blog reminds me of my trip last year. But you guys go on longer and more strenuous hikes than I do. When I looked at the pictures of the burros at Custer State Park, I thought something looks familiar.

    Look at
    If that doesn't work, look at my blog - 2009, Sept, Black Hills. I have picture of a burro that looks like the same one! (I'm guessing a bunch look like that, but still I thought it was funny)

    Have fun!