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The three of us are planning on heading out to the Dakotas from NY the week after the 4th of July. We plan on taking two weeks for this ride. At this point, we have nothing planned other than the start/return date and possible destination.

We are looking for great roads, attractions and anything else that you guys/gals can come up with. Generally we do 600 to 700 miles a day. On this trip, we would like to hold it down to 400+ and take a look at our Great America. We are in no hurry, and willing to take detours, if the detour warrants the effort.

Riding the "Bad Lands" and Mt Rushmore, are definitely on the agenda.

Please email me with any info you might have. We know that there is a lot of expertise on this board, and a gazillion miles.

Thanks to all whom reply, in advance.

:flg: Bulldog, Meesh, Dr. Rob :flg: :chat:
 
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I've been there 9 times so far. Keystone is the place to stay Hwy 16 is the road to ride. The Needles Hwy is twisty and tight and just has the greatest scenery. Devils tower is about a thirty mile ride from the Black hills and worth seeing - if you time it right they have space ships landing there. The ride through the badlands, wall drug will be HOT and windy last time we went out was two years ago in late June and the wind always blew at 35- 40 mph from the SW and it was as warm as 112F. On the way back we got to lean to the right instead of the left. The temps in the hills is much cooler and down right comfortable. It's a great place once you get out there, just go see everything in the brochures you can't go wrong. Actually the least attractive site area is Sturgis, it's hot dry and out in the middle of nowhere just a big trailer park. There is not much to see but one must go I guess. Crazy Horse is a real interesting place and as with most of the sites in the Black Hills area it's full of history. None of us will ever see the monument finished but I have no doubt it will someday get done. All the gold mines are now closed but you can still find plenty of gold (wings) in them thare hills. :)
 

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Black Hills

I always enjoy riding around the Black Hills area except during Bike Week -- just too many people and too many bikes to really be able to enjoy it. Bike Week is a whole other experience. For the second year the High Country Cruisers scheduled a 4-day trip to the Black Hills. As last year, this was a great trip, but we had several different folks this year, which made it an entirely different trip. We stayed two nights in Hill City at a little Ma/Pa motel that worked out really great. Good place for hanging out, reasonably priced, and clean rooms. Some great riding, including Custer State Park, Wildlife Loop, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road, Mt. Rushmore, and some good eating spots -- all of these rides are just superb, with great roads, lots of scenery, and lots of wildlife. On the third day we took scenic rides on additional great roads -- Nemo Road, Vonacker Canyon, Deadwood (I lucked out and won $400 in 10 minutes at the Blackjack table), and Spearfish Canyon. We then rode up to Belle Fourche to head over to Devils Tower -- normally a great ride but this year they had about 10 miles of the road totally torn out, and luck being the way it is, it started raining on us. Lucky no one went down in the muck. After Devils Tower we rode over to Sundance, WY to spend the night before heading home on the 4th day. Just a great trip. Next year I think we will include a loop out through the Badlands of South Dakota. For several pics from the trip go to Dave's Cycle Trips 03.

 

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Sturgis, SD

"Sturgis is just one big trailer park?" I wonder if you actually went into Sturgis, or just passed by on the interstate. Sturgis is a tad "touristy" in that there's lots of shops and "Black-Hills-Gold" for sale. It's admittedly a mad-house during bike week, but the rest of the year it's actually a very nice little town, with a very nice motorcycle museum. I grew up in that area.

Everything recommended is correct and "yes" the Bad-Lands will be hot and windy in July (still worth a look, however). Definitely do the Black Hills, the Needles Highway, then hit Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore, Keystone when you've left Keystone and Lead and Deadwood into Sturgis, stay off Interstate 90 and instead follow Vanocker Canyon Road back to Rapid City - a nice ride - stop at Nemo for a cool drink - there'll be lots of local and not-so-local riders there - ask their advice!

Have fun!
 
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I'm sorry but yes I was actually in Sturgis several times and sad to say I was not all that impressed - this is just my opinion so please don't take it to heart and I certainly did not intend to offend. I have never been there during bike week and never will just because I am not a crowd person nothing more. I love the hills area though and would move there in a second - It's my favorite vacation spot - winter or summer.
 

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Storm; No offence taken, just don't know where you found the trailers you referred to. The comunnity of Sturgis is actually quite small, and dates to the very early 1900's. Lots of older homes and many old buildings in town-center. No worries-everyone see things differently.
 
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