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We are planning a summer trip to Sturgis and the badlands for July or August. from our home in the Thousand Islands of northern New York. Any recommendations, hints or suggestions? I am sure avoiding the Sturgis rally is smart. I have heard Rapid City is the place to stay. What else do I need to know??
 

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1. take LOTs of cash or a very large credit card, especially if you're going to be there during Sturgis week.
2. You must ride the Chief Joseph Highway
3. if you can make it over to Yellowstone, you won't be disappointed. The rides there are fantastic, esp north of the park.
4. have a good time
5. it will be very hot. take liquids in a camelback or equivalent so you can drink all during the ride. Don't wait until you get thirsty to get water. Avoid cokes, coffee, and tea.
 

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Took a trip to Sturgis area last summer and a group is going back this year for the Bike rally the first weekend! We stayed in Spearfish, SD which was a central area to get to some great riding.

Devils Tower via Hwy 85 then west was a great ride! Spearfish Canyon Rd is a must as is Nemo Road. Stop by Powersports Honda in Spearfish and ask for John-Co-Owner. He suggested some great sites and rides.

A top shelf dealer and very friendly too!
 

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Sturgis

Don't miss Sturgis rally. Go downtown and enjoy the crazyness. It's not what you see on TV, unless you want to go find that sort of thing. Been there twice, enjoyed both times, going back again. If you decide to stay for the rally. Looking into the lodging they provide out at Spearfish College. ( Black Hills ) Not too costly compared to the motels and homes. It's peaceful, and several places nearby provide breakfast for $ 5.00 or close to it.

Dog
 

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If you only have one trip to make to the Black Hills, I'd recommend skipping Bike Week (unless that is the experience for which you are looking). It is crazy during Surgis Bike Week, too many people and too much being charged for rooms (even if you can find one).

As for staying in Rapid City, that is a CITY. I'd recommend staying in Keystone (near Mt. Rushmore), Custer, or Deadwood. These towns are actually in the mountains (Rapid City is on the edge) and much more what you come here for. My favorite these days is Keystone.

You'll want to ride Custer State Park (wildlife loop), Iron Mountain Road, Needles Highway (not a highway), and Spearfish Canyon -- lots of great riding. Visit Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial (being built), Deadwood for sure, Sturgis just to see what it is like NOT during the rally -- be sure to go out to Devil's Tower also. Great rides out, both from Belle Fourche and also from Sundance.
 

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We went in June '05 and the Black Hills so far is the best area we've had the pleasure to ride. We went to Sturgis and got a shirt and lunch. There were quite a few store fronts closed waiting for the crowds. I'd never go during bike week.

Getting there through NE was no fun, as was leaving across SD.
 

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We stayed in Custer during the rally in '04. Nice town, great scenery...etc.

If I were to go back to the area I would do it before or after the rally this time.
 
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The last two years we have gone the week before the rally and had a great time. Stayed in Rapid City both times and it is a real city with everything you need and it puts you right in the middle of all of the places you will want to go. Sturgis up to the northwest and Custer/Mt. Rushmore to the southwest.
 
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And don't try to ride out of the bike traffic cuz it's nuts in Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Mt Rushmore.
Don't wait until afternoon to look for a place to stay when traveling through those places.
Was out in that mess in a cage one year with the family, and we had to drive across state line into Idaho from Jackson Hole at 3:00 p.m. to get a place to stay, never again.
 
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My resolution last time I went..

You might consider taking "reflective sun glasses", the kind that don't tip off the person you are looking at that you are checking them out. Lots of things ( :oops: ) to look at but it can get embarrassing if you look too long......... :D ! Practice side glances, etc before you leave so that you don't have to "learn on the job". My favorite last time (2004) was the gal that was getting a complete paint job (sans clothes) in a tent open to passers by, actually was looking pretty good too. Anyway, take my advice and you'll be happy you did.
 

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Spearfish Canyon Road, Needles Highway. Actually, I like to go there a couple weeks before or after. That way all the trailer in crowd is gone.
 

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Bring a good set of ear plugs for you and yours! :shock:

The loud sounds you hear are from a low & slow moving motorcycle up ahead, slow down and proceed with caution till your past this rolling road debri. :D
 

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sturgis

When someone says Sturgis, I assume they are talking about rally tiime. Beautiful scenery year round, but pretty desolate except during the rally. Last year we headed west after the rally and took in Wyoming and Yellowstone. Came back through Sturgis and it was deserted. Pretty depressing. We camped at KOA in Spearfish. All the amenities including WiFi. If you want to camp close in be aware most of the campgrounds start at R and move up to XXX. If you are looking for lodging, good luck. We spoke to some folks who were staying in Belle Fourche (due north of Spearfish) they reported more reasonable rates than anywhere around Sturgis/Rapid City. Still be prepared for high rates all over as 500,000 people migrate. For us a day or two at the rally itself was enough. We have gone many, many times in the past but this was the first time with my young son. He especially liked the scenery in town. When you get out there there will be all kinds of tourist maps. Go with the flow and don't stress if you miss a "must see" site. You'll be back this way again. Be advised a lot of the folks riding seem to have started that day, and/or had a six pack for breakfast. Be careful and have a good time.
 

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I went to sturgis in 2002. I was riding my Valk Interstate at the time. I camped for 4 nights at the buffalo chip campground. I had a blast. The chip is where the top bands play. For about 35 bucks you can camp and do the concert. There was no trouble and everyone I met were very nice and friendly. It is not for kids however. Camping is about the only way to do sturgis without a small fortune and prior preparation. I plan to go again in 07. I rode there on the bike by the way.
 

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Good central location for the whole area is Spearfish, nice rides in every direction :D We were there during bike week this year and only spent one day in Sturgis, the rest of our 6 days were spent riding all around the area. Lots of places to go :D
 

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In 2004, Buffalo Chip was $80 !!!! per person per night for dry camping; tent or no hookups.
 

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We camped just west of Custer (KOA) last year (not during bike week) and it was quiet and close to Crazy Horse and Mt Rushmore, also not much traffic. If it's hot go to one of the caves in the area Jewell Cave or Wind Cave and cool down 55 degrees, natural air conditioner.
 

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I was road captain for 16 bikers to Sturgis last year. We stayed at Wyatts Hideaway at Belle Fourche. It is a Christian camp ground with $4 biscuits,gravy and sausage every morning and a large new shower house. See the pics. Fabulous place to meet good folks without the noise and crud of some of the other places.
http://wyattshideaway.com

Call Marta she will take care of you.
 

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in the four year that i went to sturgis i never paid over $12 per nite for a campground, all 3 of the campgrounds i used advertised they were 3 miles from main street sturgis, the one i liked the best was the Iron Horse because it wasn't crowded and they had decent showers and cheap breakfast, the one i (won't name) stayed at the first year just didn't have enough showers for the number of people staying there

looks like the rates have gone up some but i would still recomend Iron Horse
http://www.sturgiscamping.com/ironhorse ... 0rates.htm
 
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