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Topic: Planning to do a Black Hills trip in '17 from MN  (Read 4874 times)

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Epyon
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« on: November 16, 2016, 09:48:20 am »

Hello everyone!
Some friends and I are planning to do a trip from Minneapolis MN to the Black hills.  We are mostly interested in the roads and food, scenery is nice too.  A few questions I have here.

When is the best time to go?
What are some of the best roads?
Is it better to camp someplace or hotels, are they insanely priced?
How many days would you suggest we should stay for?
Are there any other resources I should be aware of, websites or what not that will help me out?
Any other suggests about anything that would be helpful

This would be our first longer trip.  We have both ridden to Chicago from Minneapolis before, so that is out longest day.  I would be on a 98 VFR800 he has a '08 Concours1400 we may have another person along with a FZ09.  We would likely do a mid distance trip (up to Duluth, across the state and back down the Minneapolis) to get our feet under us and see how everything works out.

Thanks for helping out a noob!
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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2016, 11:00:23 am »

Be good to know your timelines. How many days in the Black Hills?

I recall seeing one very nice, and centrally located campsite about 10 miles east of Custer. Legion Lake I believe. Very well positioned to all the best looking roads and easy distance to the monuments.

I also enjoyed a night in a small motorcycle friendly motel  in Deadwood called The Penny
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 11:06:27 am by bubba zanetti » Logged
Epyon
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2016, 12:50:39 pm »

Hmm is a weekend there enough time to do some good damage or would longer be necessary?  I'd think a day of traveling each way would be good.  It looks like it would be about a 600ish mile day.

This campsite, is it in a State Park area?  If it was I assume we would need some sort of a permit then as well.
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2016, 01:30:50 pm »

The FJowners forum held their 2015 Central rally in Hill City, SD. We stayed at the Rafter J Bar Ranch. Cabin rental is inexpensive, with a large quantity of cabins. The campground is a 9 mile ride to Mount Rushmore, You are about 1/4 of a mile from where Needles Highway starts. 3 Miles from Hill City and just north of Custer. Devil's Tower is just over 100 miles Northwest in Wyoming. We were there the first weekend of June. He did have some rain and thunderstorms but a little bit of wet did not dampen anybody's fun. Iron Mountain Road and the Pig Tail bridges are a must ride. Wild Life Loop around Custer State park is also a great scenic ride. We did breakfast in Hill City at one of the cafe's, a bit pricey. Recommend running down to Custer for eats.

There were 15 bikes and 20 people. Most stayed 3 days and we all had a blast.

Link to the campground http://www.rafterj.com/

On our way to Devil's Tower. (Western route out of Custer)
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zpshplu0m2j.jpg

At the campground
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zpsflz8dly6.jpg

Lunch in Deadwood
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zpsssdxfjnd.jpg

Horse Thief Lake on the way to Mount Rushmore
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zps7z4otkzm.jpg

Avenue of the Flags
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zpseg6oh8r3.jpg

Mount Rushmore
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/WP_20150606_009_zpseecucynr.jpg

Needles Highway in the rain
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/WP_20150606_019_zpsvkwfcljt.jpg

Iron Mountain Road and the Pig Tail Bridges. A must ride road.
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zpshud3doul.jpg

Single lane tunnel on Needles Highway
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/WP_20150606_044_zpsbe1dp6hn.jpg

Devil's Tower
http://i119.photobucket.com/albums/o145/aviationfred/temporary_zpsimu1mpyp.jpg

I hope this information helps and the photos give you ideas on where to ride.

Fred
« Last Edit: November 16, 2016, 01:44:28 pm by aviationfred » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2016, 01:41:01 pm »

Look at all the OG FJs!

After seeing those pics, I'm kicking myself for not doing a 4-day weekend blast down there earlier in fall.  
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2016, 02:03:19 pm »

I guess it also depends if you just want to blow through the Badlands, or see more of the area.

Additional sites/roads:
- Custer State Park
- Needles "highway"
- Rushmore
- Crazy Horse
- Deadwood/Lead
- Spearfish Canyon
-Devils Tower


We had a National Meet (well, two of them, actually) in Custer and the most recent was based in American Presidents Motel. It was a clean and well-run place back then (2007), but the gravel approach might be off-putting considering your choice of bikes.

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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2016, 02:09:03 pm »

Adding a couple of photos...


American Presidents Campground and Cabins


Deadwood


Approaching Devil's Tower


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« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2016, 04:27:51 pm »


Hmm is a weekend there enough time to do some good damage or would longer be necessary?  I'd think a day of traveling each way would be good.  It looks like it would be about a 600ish mile day.

A weekend filled with 600 mile days sounds like a few trips I took when I wuz a young whippersnapper  Bigsmile The bad part is having to turn around and do another 600 mile day to get back home.

Nowadays, I would need more days so that I could break it down into 300 mile days  Embarassment
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« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2016, 05:53:38 pm »

It's always good to have a down day in the plans in case it rains or whatnot.  Sure you can ride in all kinds of weather.  It's a long way to ride back disappointed.  An extra day makes a nice cushion no matter what happens.
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 08:44:51 pm »

Thanks much for all the great photos and info everyone!!!

Ok So 3 days on site and a day each way travel.

Does anyone have a link to a site that has help in planning such a trip?  As I get closer to it I will have to call hotels and what not to see about prices.  It would be nice to camp at least on night, save some bucks Wink.  

What about time of year to visit?  I don't mind fellow riders around but don't need to fall asleep waiting for a cruiser to crawl around the corners.  So I guess around the time of Sturgis isn't a very good idea HEH.
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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2016, 11:31:06 am »


Does anyone have a link to a site that has help in planning such a trip?  As I get closer to it I will have to call hotels and what not to see about prices.  It would be nice to camp at least on night, save some bucks Wink.  


I haven't used this site for US-based trips, but it works well enough in Europe (actually, I imagine it would work better in the US  Bigok )

It has a nice tray on the right where you can chose a multitude of things, including hotels, restaurants, parks, points of interest. I am disappointed that most of the information is sourced from Four-Square, as that does not seem to be a very popular outlet. I wish that they would hook up with TripAdvisor or something...  Embarassment

https://trips.furkot.com/
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« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2016, 11:34:10 am »

 Thinking of a similar trip but during Easter this April(14th-23).  Will there most likely be snow up on the pass roads.  Would it not be worth the risk of road closures?  Or should I wait until August?
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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2016, 12:05:37 pm »

Good info to know.  I would think I'll be going much later than this but good for the old info bank Wink
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« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2017, 12:17:19 pm »


Hello everyone!
Some friends and I are planning to do a trip from Minneapolis MN to the Black hills.  We are mostly interested in the roads and food, scenery is nice too.  A few questions I have here.

When is the best time to go?
What are some of the best roads?
Is it better to camp someplace or hotels, are they insanely priced?
How many days would you suggest we should stay for?
Are there any other resources I should be aware of, websites or what not that will help me out?
Any other suggests about anything that would be helpful



This would be our first longer trip.  We have both ridden to Chicago from Minneapolis before, so that is out longest day.  I would be on a 98 VFR800 he has a '08 Concours1400 we may have another person along with a FZ09.  We would likely do a mid distance trip (up to Duluth, across the state and back down the Minneapolis) to get our feet under us and see how everything works out.

Thanks for helping out a noob!


August is hot... After Sturgis is best. My great day ride is as follows. Breakfast, see Rushmore in the morning. (The monument is east facing). Around to Crazy Horse. Back to the Needles highway. Just as you enter Custer Park stop and have lunch, decent deli sandwiches there. Walk down along the lake to eat. Iron mountain road back around to Keystone. Take a break and go back to the Monument for the night program. That will fill an all day ride with the Kodak moments included. Many other rides in the area, Spearfish Canyon, Devils Tower, Custer, Loop south of Iron Mountain road. Every tourist stop has free maps to plan from.
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« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 08:51:04 am »

Fun area to explore and the other posts cover the high points. My $0.02 of suggestions; Big +1 on the more time to "stop and smell the roses" the better. 600 miles of slab is not a big deal per se, but I would suggest you and your friend(s) do some longer mile days to sort gear and get used to the pace long days dictate. The minor "issues" on day rides can get old very fast in day after day long hours in the saddle. Get a camelpak or similar too, staying hydrated is a cornerstone to doing well. I have found KOA to be the "McDonalds" of the camping world. Their Kabins are very inexpensive and have room for 2-3 people, you need your own sleeping bag/bed roll and towel, but they are everywhere and allow for clean showers, laundry etc. I usually tent camp, hotel only where necessary and they are a handy option.

Your biggest challenge will be turning back for home rather than figuring out how may sick and vacation days you can get away with while you ponder farther way places...

Cheers
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2017, 11:58:58 pm »

The roads suggested are great.. I really enjoyed the scenery in Badlands National Park,  just east of Black Hills. Also, great maps available at the info centre on the interstate at the Missouri River ..depends on where you are coming from in MN. Enjoy the riding.
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