The course starts out with a roll though town on the bike path and then up to Tinton Trail for 22 miles of singletrack to the Rod & Gun Campground. Ride some gravel to Savoy and then climb Annie Creek to Terry Peak Ski Lodge. Pass though the gate at Wharf Gold Mine and down to the historic town of Deadwood. Leave town on the Mickelson Trail and work your way over to the historic mining camp of Galena. Hard climb up Bear Den Mountain then down to Sturgis and on to Bear Butte Lake.
Ride the Centennial Trail for the next 75 miles passing Dalton, Pactola and Sheridan Lakes. Ride the Storm Mountain bike trails and the Foster Gulch trail to the town of Keystone. Roll right by Mount Rushmore National Memorial on blacktop and then continue on the Pigtails Highway.
Turn on the newly re-done Iron Creek Trail (#15) and enter Custer State Park. Watch out for buffalo while in the park, because they like bikepackers! Enjoy 26 creek crossings laced with poison ivy while in the park. Roll by Sylvan Lake and Sylvan Lake Lodge then climb some gravel for super-close views of Crazy Horse Memorial. Roll into Hill City on the Mickelson Trail and down China Gulch to Silver City (no services). Ride the Deerfield Trail up to Deerfield Lake, crossing Slate Creek 34 times. Keep your feet dry by using the log beam crossings. (Two of them washed out in 2015).
Leave Deerfield Lake and climb to the Crooks Tower area, the high point of the course, and down to the Eagle Cliff Cross Country Ski Trails. Ride a section of Little Spearfish Trail before climbing to Cement Ridge in Wyoming! Ride the Old Baldy Trail into Iron Creek Lake and follow the famous Dakota Five-O bike route back down to Spearfish.
Load the GPX track into your GPS unit for the recommended way to follow this course. Plan on pushing your bike now and then on this 430-mile route with 50,000 feet of climbing. Enjoy.
Note: This is an updated GPX file as of September 8, 2016
This is just a guideline for water resupply points. Some creeks may be dry and some spigots may be turned off. Also, you may find other water sources on route but not on this list. (Updated August 8, 2016)
|23||Rod and Gun Campground||spigot / creek along road|
|26||Spearfish Canyon Lodge||bathroom sinks / snacks|
|34||Barefoot Lodge||outside spigot / small store|
|89||Bear Butte Lake Campground||spigot|
|100||Alkali Creek TH||spigot / creek|
|118||Elk Creek||normally dry / no water|
|123||Dalton Lake||spigot might be off (bad water in 2015) / lake and/or creek|
|130||Nemo||spigot by Guest Ranch. Two stores / restaurant?|
|147||Rapid Creek (below Pactola dam)||filter water from creek|
|160||Sheridan Lake||spigot in campground in season; filter lake water|
|181.5||Rockerville (off-course)||Gas Light Restaurant (Summer: 11am-9pm; Fall: M-Th 4pm-9pm, F-S 11am-9pm)|
|191||Battle Creek||filter water from creek|
|205||Mt. Rushmore||store / restaurant / bathrooms (pay to enter)|
|224||Center Lake Campground||spigots|
|230||State Game Lodge / campground||restaurant / spigots|
|245||Horse Camp||spigot by bathrooms (no camping without horse)|
|253||creek (end of Custer State Park)||normally dry|
|273||Stockade Lake||spigots in campground|
|276||Legion Lake||spigot in campground|
|290||Sylvan Lake Campground||spigot in campground|
|291||Sylvan Lake Store||check hours|
|323||Silver City||spigot by Community Center (building with red roof - 1/4 mile off-route)|
|345||Mt. Meadows Resort||store / restaurant - check hours|
|346||Deerfield Lake||filter lake water|
|367||Timon Campground||spigot may be turned off|
|411||Iron Creek Lake campground||spigots have been on - if off, filter lake water|
|432||Crow Peak Brewing||The end!|