South Dakota: Black Hills, Badlands & Mickelson Trail - Bike Tour

South Dakota: Black Hills, Badlands & Mickelson Trail - Bike Tour

7 Day Inn South Dakota Bike Tour

Tour Information

Date: 05/16/25 - 05/22/25
Meet: Rapid City, SD
Time: 5:00pm
Tour Price: $3590
Single Upgrade: $900

Get a taste of wild and rugged South Dakota on one of our newest bike tours. We cycle through some of the most beautiful sections of the state, including Badlands National Park, Black Hills National Forest and Custer State Park. The area teems with wildlife. We'll cycle on the Mickelson Trail bike path and see such iconic sites as Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. We've had requests for this tour for years, so we're thrilled to be offering it now!

Call Us!

The tour is filled, but call us. We may be able to squeeze you in.

Leisurely

Leisurely

Moderate

Moderate

Flat and rolling terrain on a mix of paved roads and the crushed stone Mickelson Trail bike path. Moderate cycling level. Leisurely level with an electric-assist ebike.

6 nights lodging, 6 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners, snacks, entrance fees to Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park & the Mickelson Trail, digital cues and GPS directions, van support & trained guides.

$195 for Cannondale W Quick or Cannondale Topstone 2 adventure road bike. $350 for a Specialized or Gazelle step-thru e-bike. If you bring your own bike for the tour, it should have tires at least 28c wide to accommodate the unpaved sections of the route.

 

W Quick

Topstone

Vado

 

 Gazelle

Fly in and out of Rapid City, SD. Our starting hotel has a complimentary shuttle from the airport. Or drive and leave your car at our starting hotel for the week. At the end of the tour, WomanTours will shuttle you back to the airport by 12:00pm or the starting hotel by 12:30pm.

FAQ

How do I sign up?

You can Register / Sign-up for a Tour online. Or call our office at 585-424-2124 to do it over the phone, Monday - Friday, 9:00-5:00 Eastern Time. We’ll need a Visa, MasterCard or Discover number or a check for the deposit. If you sign up within 30 days of the start of the tour, we require payment in full. Then we’ll send you a tour confirmation packet with many more details about your trip, including travel arrangements, a packing list and an optional training schedule. Most of our tours fill completely and have waiting lists, so don’t wait too long before deciding to join us!

How do I know if I can do it?

If you can ride 5 miles on your bicycle today, then you can do our tours marked as leisurely. If you can ride 10 miles on rolling terrain, then you can do our moderate tours. If you can ride at least 20 miles on rolling terrain, then you can train to be able to tackle our advanced tours. Remember that our support vehicle is always available to pick you up if you get tired. That’s what we’re there for.

If you're still concerned about being able to do it, then consider renting an e-bike. These electric-assist bicycles flatten out the hills and increase your speed. They make more challenging tours available to more cyclists.

What do the numbers mean at the end of each day's itinerary?

If we describe a day as being 25 miles, ±1340', the full ride is 25 miles long and has 1340 feet of elevation gain. This ride also has 1340 feet of elevation loss, so you start and end at the same point of altitude. It could have one long hill up and down, or many shorter rolling hills. We try to describe the type of terrain in words too in the tour description. If you have any questions about any of the rides, please just ask us!

What about electric-assist bikes (e-bikes)?

Electric-assist bikes - or e-bikes - have quiet, battery-powered motors that add power to your pedalng. They increase your speed and assist you in cycling up hills. Most e-bikes have a range of assistance, so you can choose how much of a boost you'd like. E-bikes make it easier to do all the miles in all types of terrain. We allow electric-assist bicycles on our tours if you'd like to bring your own. We also have e-bikes available for rent on most of our trips -- look for the e-bike symbol. We do not make e-bike recommendations if you're considering purchasing your own. We suggest you rent one on a tour first so you can try it!

I am coming alone on this tour. Will I be the only one traveling alone?

Absolutely not. Many of our participants come by themselves. That is part of the reason for the existence of WomanTours--to provide women with riding partners as well as scenic vistas and interesting tours.

Can I bring my own bike?

About half of our guests bring their own bicycles. Cross-country cyclists must ride their own bikes. Upon signing up for a tour, you will receive information for packing, shipping and flying with your bike.

What if I have to cancel a tour within the USA?

We understand that personal circumstances sometimes force women to cancel their travel plans. Therefore, we have tried to be as generous as possible with the following domestic tour cancellation policy for our regular tours:

  • 75+ days before tour departure: forfeit $150 of your deposit.
  • 50 - 74 days before tour departure: forfeit 25% of the complete tour price.
  • 30 - 49 days before tour departure: forfeit 65% of the complete tour price
  • 15 - 29 days before tour departure: forfeit 85% of the complete tour price.
  • 0 - 14 days before tour departure: forfeit 100% of the complete tour price.
  • No refunds are possible after the tour begins.

In addition, you may transfer $350 to another trip up to 75 days before departure. On domestic US trips (excluding Alaska,) you may also transfer 50% of the trip price, less $50 up to 30 days before departure. WomanTours will hold any “transfer funds” on account through December 31 of the following year. Any money left on account beyond this deadline will be forfeited.

Please note that our cross-country and epic tours have their own cancellation policies, depending on the tour's payment schedule. The $300 registration fee for these tours is nonrefundable and nontransferable.

Where can I get travel insurance?

Consider purchasing a plan with Allianz Travel Insurance. Be sure to enter ACCAM code #F027213 to identify yourself as a WomanTours traveler when securing your insurance. The cost will depend on several factors, including your age, state of residence, and length and location of your tour.

For more information please visit the Allianz Travel Insurance website


How are dietary issues handled on your tours?

When you sign up for one of our tours, we ask you if you have any dietary allergies, needs, or preferences. We send that information to the tour guides so they'll take everyone's needs into account when planning the tour's picnic lunches. We also keep that information in mind when we plan the breakfasts and dinners at restaurants, where everyone usually orders off the menu. We make sure there are ample choices for everyone.

We cook most of the dinners on our cross-country and epic tours. Our traveling chef accommodates guests with specific allergies and provides a non-meat protein source for vegetarians, but she cannot always adhere to everyone's likes and dislikes. If you require a vegan or gluten-free diet, there is an additional fee of about $50/week on our epic, cross-country, and barge tours.

Please be advised that while we strive to accommodate special dietary restrictions on our international trips, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, or celiac diets, it may not always be possible due to factors beyond our control. Please note that food availability and options may vary depending on the destination and local cuisine.  We encourage individuals with dietary concerns to check with our office to discuss their specific needs further, allowing us to provide the best possible assistance. We appreciate your understanding and encourage proactive communication to ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience. 

 

Is there any camping?

No! We work hard to find the best economy lodging at our overnight locations, such as Comfort Inns, Hampton Inns, and Best Westerns. Sometimes, we treat ourselves to more upscale lodging, such as an oceanside condo or a historic B&B.

Will the trip fill up?

Our cross-country tours often fill up months in advance. The sooner you register, the sooner you are guaranteed a spot.

"Scenery was incredible, tour was well-organized, guides were friendly and helpful, and fellow riders were all great. It rocked!"

Chris B. Austin, TX

South Dakota Bike Tour Itinerary

Day 1: We meet in the heart of Rapid City, SD. Our rental bike fitting will be at 3:00pm, an orientation at 5:00pm and then dinner together at 6:30pm. If you get a chance, take a walk through the quaint, historic downtown. Every corner displays one of the American presidents, memorialized by a beautiful life-sized bronze statue.

Day 2: After breakfast, we’ll shuttle out of the city and into Badlands National Park. We’ll cycle down beautiful Badlands Loop Road through rock formations that are believed to have been the bottom of a sea 50 million years ago. We’ll ride past grasslands and prairie dogs and end at the park’s visitor center. There you can learn how the layers of sedimentary rock formed over millions of years and caused the spectacular striations of color that we just cycled through. We’ll overnight in the park. 22 miles +715'/-1552'.

Day 3: After a shuttle this morning, we will cycle through Black Hills National Forest to the town of Deadwood. The ponderosa pine forest rises out of the plains and is a haven for wildlife such as deer and turkeys. During the gold rush years, Deadwood was known for lawlessness, drinking, and gambling, giving it the reputation of being the wildest town in the West. We’ll have dinner above the spot where Wild Bill Hickok was shot in the back while playing poker. 26 miles +2027'/-1959'.

Day 4: We’ll start riding right after breakfast on the George S. Mickelson Trail. Named for the former state governor who helped create it, the rail trail cuts through the heart of the Black Hills with more than 100 bridges and four tunnels. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch along the way and then finish in Hill City, SD. This town is perhaps known best for once being described as, “the town with a church on each end and a mile of hell in between!” If you like trains, you can visit the local train museum before dinner on your own tonight. 49 miles +3011'/-2571'.

Day 5: We continue our ride on the Mickelson Trail today. Our first sight will be Crazy Horse, a massive carving in the side of a granite wall. Begun in 1948, the work in progress is slated to be 500’ high by 600’ wide. Crazy Horse is the Lakota Sioux warrior responsible for defeating George Custer’s army in 1876.

We’ll end the day in Custer State Park, surrounded by a wildlife preserve full of bison, bighorn sheep, and antelope. You’ll have time in the afternoon to enjoy a hike or rent a kayak at Sylvan Lake, as we stay overnight in the park. 18 miles +1181'/-860'.

Day 6: Our last ride of the week on this tour may be our most beautiful. We start down Needles Highway, named for the stunning rock formations and then continue onto the Wildlife Loop. The wild burros are so tame that they stick their noses into car windows looking for snacks. You’ll also pass by a prairie dog town, the habitat for the animal that resembles a squirrel more than a dog. We’ll have our last picnic lunch on the road today and celebrate our tour of South Dakota at our final dinner tonight. 40 miles +2876'/-4307'.

Day 7: We’ll end our bike tour with a shuttle back to Rapid City, but not without stopping at Mount Rushmore National Memorial along the way. The huge heads of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln carved into the granite are a sight to behold. We’ll arrive at the airport in Rapid City by 12:00 pm and back to our starting hotel by 12:30 pm. 0 miles.