Black Hills Bike Tour - Lizard Head Cycling Guides
107 Aurum St, Box 855, Ophir, CO 81426 970.728.5891

Black Hills Bike Tour

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New for 2019, the local experts at Lizard Head Cycling Guides have a created a challenging new 6-day road tour in Badlands National Park, the Black Hills of South Dakota, Devils Tower in Wyoming, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.

Black Hills Bike Tour: Highlights

Badlands National Park

Devils Tower

Crazy Horse Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Black Hills Bike Tour: Dates

Potential tour dates are listed below and not all tour dates will run. Lock in your preferred tour date early as unopened tour dates will be closed. Please see the Spring/Autumn Tour Calendar and the Summer Tour Calendar for confirmed departures. Any unopened date can be a Custom Week (9 riders required). Please contact us via email or call 970.728.5891

2019 Autumn Tour Dates:

  • September 29 to October 4, 2019 (Book Now!)

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Black Hills Bike Tour: Overview

Reptile Rewards

Arrival Town/Airport: Rapid City, South Dakota (Rapid City Regional Airport – RAP)

Departing Town/Airport: Rapid City, South Dakota (Rapid City Regional Airport – RAP)

Tour Length: 6-Days Cycling/5-Nights Lodging

Total Miles: 275 to 350 miles (additional mileage options available)

Mileage Range: 34 to 76 miles

Ability Level: Upper Intermediate (3) to Advanced (3/4)

Tour Cost: $2,700 per person shared occupancy / $3,250 per person single occupancy.
Group discount of 5% for groups of 4 or more. Please see our Tour Discounts Policy.

Non-Riding Spouses & Partners on Tour: If a non-riding spouse or partner would like to join you on tour and they have their own transportation, they can stay in your room for the cost of the tour's single room supplement. Non-Riding spouses and partners can join a tour's meal plan of three meals a day for $85 per day.

2020 Early Bird Discount: Take $300 off any 6-day or longer road bike tour and $50 off bike rental for 2020 tours booked by September 30, 2019 (NOTE: Western US tours only; this discount is not stackable with other discounts.)

Tour Includes: 6-days of guide service, 6-nights lodging, all meals, forest service fees, energy food, liquid refreshments, shuttles and mechanical support. Alcoholic beverages, bike rental and massage are additional.

Lodging for 6 Nights: (subject to change)

NOTE: Meeting Hotel and Ending Hotel reservations and costs are NOT included unless specified otherwise. Guests are on-their-own to make reservations at the Meeting Hotel or Ending Hotel, or other nearby hotels.

Bike Rental

Road Bike Rental: Lizard Head Cycling Guides is proud to rent Scott CR-1 Pro and Scott Solace carbon road bikes with full Shimano Ultegra components for only $250/week, or $150 for 3 or 4 day tours. Both the CR-1 and Solace models are sub- 17 lb comfortable, high performance bicycles geared for climbing hills. In addition we also have electric bikes available for rental at $375/week. And finally we have a selection of straight bar road bikes and kids bikes in our rental fleet. Just let us know what you need and we can probably find it.

Please also see this blog post for more information on bike rentals.

Electric Bike Rental: We now have a limited selection of SCOTT electric bikes that can be reserved for our tours. These are road bikes with straight bars that make the slowest rider the fastest rider in the group. Rental Price is $375/week.

Couples Bike Rental Discount: Sign up as a couple and receive one free bike high performance rental per couple ($250 value. Ebikes excluded, pedal bikes only).

Tandems and Recumbents: Lizard Head Cycling Guides happily accommodates both tandem and recumbent bikes on its tours.

Read more on our Road Bike Rental FAQs page.

Meals On Tour

Lunches: Lizard Head Cycling Guides prepares healthy lunches to keep you going. We will serve you fresh organic fruits and veggies, salads, hummus, sandwich fixings, nuts, gourmet cheeses and of course plenty of salty/sweet snacks such as chips and cookies. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to specific dietary requests, so rest assured that you will be able to get the nutrition that works for you during the week. Gluten Free, Dairy Free or a someone who loves it all – we will keep you well fed during the tour!

Dinners: Lizard Head Cycling sources our favorite restaurants in each town that we visit. Our guides focus on establishments that offer fresh and local ingredients. Guests choose whatever they desire to eat off the menu: including appetizer, salad, entree and of course dessert... yum! :) Also, while on tour if a guest wants to dine early before the group and go to bed, this is fine. We understand that on some days sleep is the most important post-ride element.

Overall Route Map

Black Hills Bike Tour: Itinerary*

*Tour itineraries are subject to change and modification based on the group, available accommodations and other unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildfires, flooding, hurricanes, landslides and/or other acts of nature. Please view this itinerary as an outline as to what to expect on this tour.

Day 0: Arrival in Rapid City

Guests fly into Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP) arriving no later than early afternoon where a 3:00 p.m. shuttle will take guests from the airport to Wall, South Dakota. We check into our accomodations in Wall, do bike fits, and then head to dinner at the world famous Wall Drug. It’s then early back to our lodging for a good nights rest as tomorrow is a very early sunrise start… although you may want to stay up to check out the amazing night sky!

Day 1: Badlands National Park
34 miles with up to 1,540 feet of climbing

Our first day of riding is through the incredible Badlands National Park and we will start just before dawn so we can catch the beautiful and soft early morning light on the various formations within the park. Guides will prepare a pre-dawn feast of a breakfast to get you awakened and energized for the day ahead.

Heading due south from Wall we soon enter Badlands National Park and make a stop at Pinnacles Overlook to enjoy the increasing sunlight. We then contiue further into the park with quick stops at Yellow Mounds Overlook, Conata Basin Overlook, and several additional overlooks as we progress through the park. This is a leisurely ride and we encourage you to take your time to enjoy the magnificent scenery. Eventually we end at the Big Badlands Overlook where you can hike along the trails taking in the scenery while guides prepare a hearty lunch.

After lunch we shuttle to Deadwood, South Dakota with time to explore this historic town steeped in Western lore. NOTE: On the shuttle to Deadwood there is an option to pedal a few more miles in the Eastern Black Hills to Deadwood for additional distances of 20-35 miles.

Badlands National Park

Deadwood, South Dakota

Elevation Profile: 34 mi +1540 ft / -1770 ft

Day 2: Spearfish Canyon & Devils Tower
Morning: 30 miles with up to 1,975 feet of climbing
Afternoon: 46 miles with up to 2,780 feet of climbing

Today offers a two-segment ride: a morning ride down Spearfish Canyon National Scenic Byway and then an afternoon ride ending at Devils Tower. The morning ride starts from Deadwood gradually climbing to Deer Mountain for about 9-miles and then from here it is a 21-mile descent through Icebox Gulch, then into Spearfish Canyon, and finally ending in the town of Spearfish. Atfer lunch in Spearfish we shuttle a short distance west to start the afternoon ride from the Northeast Wyoming Welcome Center.

From the welcome center the roads undulate across the wide prarie with a few short climbs before reaching our destination of Devils Tower, also known as Bear Lodge Butte by it’s Native American name, the first United States National Monument, established on September 24, 1906, by President Theodore Roosevelt. Devils Tower is an iconic and imposing laccolithic butte composed of igneous rock believed by some scientists to be the volcanic plug of a long dead volcano, although it’s true orgin still remains a mystery. Devils Tower was made famous in the 1977 movie ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ and since then has become an extremely popular destination. We will hile around Devils Tower and then after travel a short distance to our lodging for the evening. What a day!

Bridal Veil Falls in Spearfish Canyon

Devils Tower (aka: Bear Lodge Butte)

Morning Elevation Profile: 30 mi +1975 ft / -2770 ft

Afternoon Elevation Profile: 46 mi +2780 ft / -2600 ft

Day 3: Devils Tower to Spearfish Canyon Lodge
64 miles with up to 4,540 feet of climbing

Starting from Devils Tower and having one last view of this amazing monument, we depart in the morning and continue our journey east across the rolling prarie towards the town of Sundance, Wyoming – named so after the Sun Dance ceremony practiced by several American Indian tribes. After climbing over Rupe Hill we ride through Sundance and then turn southeast towards Rattlesnake Canyon and up into the northwestern edge of the Black Hills. This section include approximately 21 miles of gravel road as it crosses from Wyoming back into South Dakota. The day ends at Spearfish Canyon Lodge for tonights lodging and a well earned dinner.

Near Sundance, Wyoming

Spearfish Canyon Lodge

Elevation Profile: 64 mi +4540 ft / -3750 ft

Day 4: Spearfish Canyon Lodge to Sylvan Lake
55 miles with up to 5,080 feet of climbing

The route today is somewhat deceptive in that within its 55 miles there is over 5,000 feet of climbing, so we will pace ourselves accordingly. Starting from Spearfish Canyon Lodge we re-trace some of the route we rode two days prior as we climb from Spearfish Canyon up into Icebox Gulch. We then turn south and continue into the Black Hills along quiet roads through deep pine forests following close to the Mickelson Trail, one of the first rails-to-trails built in the US and named after George S. Mickelson, the South Dakota governor who helped spearhead the project.

After reaching the tiny unicorporated community of Rochford the road turns to gravel as we ride through Moonshine Gulch and meander along Rapid Creek and Castle Creek. (NOTE: Since this a narrow gravel section of road with limited sight distance, we will offer a shuttle through this section back to pavement.) Back onto pavement after about 15 miles of gravel, we continue south reaching the town of Hill City from which we embark on our last 9-miles of riding to end at Sylvan Lake and our accommodations at the Sylvan Lake Lodge. The lake and surrounding rocky terrain are otherworldly and the 2007 movie ‘National Treasure: Book of Secrets’ was filmed here. A refreshing post-ride swim in the cool mountain lake and then a sunset hike around the rock formations are a must!

Moonshine Gulch Saloon in Rochford, SD

Sylvan Lake

Elevation Profile: 55 mi +5080 ft / -3800 ft

Day 5: Wildlife Loop Road & Wind Cave National Park
72 miles with up to 5,430 feet of climbing

The first half of the ride today is through Custer State Park, South Dakota’s largest and first state park, named after Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. After breakfast we ride from Sylvan Lake down the twisty Needles Highway and soon make our way through the impossibly narrow Needles Eye Tunnel – you simply won’t believe this road!

Our next segment is along Wildlife Loop Road that travels through 18-miles of open grasslands and pine-speckled hills where you might see bison, pronghorn, whitetail and mule deer, elk, coyotes, burros, prairie dogs, eagles, hawks, and a variety of other birds. From here we proceed south to Wind Cave National Park where guides will prepare a gourmet lunch while guests take a tour of the Wind Caves. Following lunch and back on the road heading north we complete the last 20-miles over the Twin Sisters Range and end in the town of Custer, South Dakota, considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Bison along Wildlife Loop Road

Wind Cave National Park

Elevation Profile: 72 mi +5430 ft / -6375 ft

Day 6: Crazy Horse Memorial & Mount Rushmore
40 miles with up to 3,690 feet of climbing

On this last day we start early from Custer and proceed north 6-miles to the Crazy Horse Memorial which is being carved out of Thunderhead Mountain on land considered sacred by some Oglala Lakota. We will take a morning tour of the memorial and then afterwards back on the bikes continue in a clockwise fashion towards Mount Rushmore National Memorial. After a late morning tour at Mount Rushmore guides will have prepared one final feast of a lunch for this final day of our tour.

Departing Mount Rushmore we ride our last 18-miles on another amazing ribbon of road – Iron Mountain Road – with multiple loops, twisties, tunnels, and bridges. The ride ends at the east entrance to Custer State Park at the Bison Viewing Area. From here we load bikes and take a short shuttle back to Rapid City to end the tour. What a great week!

Crazy Horse Memorial

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Elevation Profile: 40 mi +3690 ft / -5185 ft

Black Hills Bike Tour: Logistics & FAQs

General Tour & Cancellation Policies

Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with all of our tour and cancellation policies, which can be found by clicking here.

Travel Insurance

Lizard Head Cycling Guides highly recommends clients purchase Travel Insurance through MH Ross Travel Insurance. A policy can be purchased individually through the sales link below or Lizard Head Cycling Guides can also set-up a policy for its clients.

The estimated cost for a 50-year old buying insurance for a $2,500 tour ranges from $100 (standard plan) to about $200 (cancel for any reason plan).

Lizard Head Cycling Guides Custom Sales Portal Link is:

  • The best options for our clients are either the Asset or Bridge plans.
  • The Asset-Plus & Complete plans both include a Cancel-For-Any-Reason option.
    • As a result these plans cost more.
    • The Cancel-for-Any-Reason option is only available when insurance is purchased within two weeks of initial deposit.

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