Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure

  • 6 Days
  • 18 People Max

    14 people max

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

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  • Trip Start: Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Trip End: Rapid City, South Dakota
south dakota tour 2

Discover South Dakota’s beauty as you bike the entire Mickelson Trail, visit Mount Rushmore and more on our 6-day Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure

There’s no better way to truly experience the Great Plains and pine-clad mountains of South Dakota than on the 110-mile-long Mickelson Trail. Let your guides take care of every last detail and sink into ultimate adventure on our Black Hills & Mount Rushmore adventure. 

Starting in Rapid City, you’ll immediately get a sense for the majesty of the Black Hills as you hike Bear Butte State Park and learn why it's considered one of the most sacred lands by the Plains Indians. From here, your journey through the wild, wild west continues. Gear up for four days of biking the Mickelson Trail. Follow the route of the 1890 Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, bike under towering pinnacles and keep watch for the abundant wildlife. On the way, visit Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave National Park and Crazy Horse Memorial. 

With our perfected blend of luxury, adventure and world-class guides, you’ll explore the best of South Dakota by foot and two wheels and enjoy local cuisine and relaxing accommodations by night. All that’s left to do is pack your bag for our Black Hills & Mount Rushmore adventure. 

Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Rapid City, South Dakota Trip End: Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Day 1Explore Bear Butte State Park, bike Spearfish Canyon

  • Day 2Bike Mickelson Trail, explore Deadwood

  • Day 3Bike Mickelson Trail, explore Mount Rushmore

  • Day 4Bike Mickelson Trail, explore Wind Cave National Park

  • Day 5Bike final section of Mickelson Trail, visit Edgemont

  • Day 6Visit Crazy Horse Memorial, transfer to Rapid City

  • Day 1

    Explore Bear Butte State Park, bike Spearfish Canyon

    Your trip begins in Rapid City, known as the gateway to Mt. Rushmore. Please plan on arriving at least one day prior to your trip departure as your guides will pick you up bright and early. The first stop takes us to Bear Butte State Park where you’ll summit the mountain trail  yielding sweeping panoramic views for as far as the eye can see. Experience the Old West and learn why Bear Butte is considered one of the most sacred lands by the Plains Indians. 

    After a short tour of the visitor’s center, we head over to the famous biker town of Sturgis for lunch at a local spot. Load up in the van to travel a short distance away to the town of Spearfish for a bike ride through Spearfish Canyon. This evening, we arrive at Deadwood, our home for the next two nights. We’ll walk the same sidewalks as the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Wyatt Earp, and Buffalo Bill, to name just a few. Enjoy dinner in downtown Deadwood tonight, a short walk from our hotel. 
    Four Points by Sheraton Deadwood (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) 

    Bear Butte hiking distance: 7 kilometres (4.4 miles), elevation gain 304 metres (1000 feet) 
    Spearfish Canyon biking distance: 22.5 kilometres (14 miles), elevation gain 518 metres (1700 feet) 

  • Day 2

    Bike Mickelson Trail, explore Deadwood

    Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel this morning before heading up to the old gold town of Rochford to begin our first leg biking the Mickelson Trail. The trail follows the historic Deadwood to Edgemont Burlington Northern rail line, which serviced gold country for nearly a century. We ride the trail “backward” as we make our way back towards Deadwood. Enjoy lunch and some downtime before spending your afternoon exploring Deadwood on your own. This National Historic Landmark was originally settled illegally by gold rushers and still embodies the lawless west. Dinner is on your own tonight. 
    Four Points by Sheraton Deadwood (Breakfast, lunch) 

    Michelson Trail, Rochford to Deadwood biking distance: 42 kilometres (26 miles) 

  • Day 3

    Bike Mickelson Trail, explore Mount Rushmore

    We have another big and exciting day ahead of us! We’ll first transfer by van to Rochford where our continuing ride up and down the Mickelson Trail begins. Pass by the Mystic Trailhead as you make your way to Hill City, the second oldest town in the Black Hills. Near here, we’ll stop for lunch and enjoy a bit of swimming if the mood beckons. We’ll check into our accommodation for the next three nights, Sylvan Lake Lodge before we depart for a scenic tour of the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road. Explore Mount Rushmore, America’s Shrine of Democracy then have dinner at a local restaurant. 
    Sylvan Lake Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) 

    Mickelson Trail to Hill City biking distance: 36 kilometres (22.5 miles) 

  • Day 4

    Bike Mickelson Trail, explore Wind Cave National Park

    Another amazing day of biking and exploring awaits you. We’ll resume our Mickelson Trail bike ride, pedaling a 47 kilometre (29 mile) stretch with rewarding views of Crazy Horse before we pedal back down to the town of Custer where picnic lunch awaits. After a nice break, we’ll begin our ride where we left off to pedal to the tiny town of Pringle. This afternoon we will take in natural beauty as we transfer to Wind Cave to tour one of the most complex and longest caves in the world. Enjoy tonight’s dinner at our accommodation’s restaurant. 
    Sylvan Lake Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) 

    Hill City to Custer biking distance: 24 kilometres (15 miles) 
    Custer to Pringle biking distance: 19 kilometres (12 miles) 

  • Day 5

    Bike final section of Mickelson Trail, visit Edgemont

    Today we complete the final section of our 177 kilometre (110 miles) Mickelson Trail journey. Take your time and savour this easygoing section of trail as you pass through rolling foothills, expansive private ranches, and “as-far-as-the-eye-can-see” prairies. Lunch is at the City Park in Edgemont, the official end of the trail, where we will celebrate our last day of biking. After lunch, enjoy a bit of free time before shuttling to the State Game Lodge for a final dinner together. Tonight, toast to a great week spent exploring the Black Hills. 
    Sylvan Lake Lodge (Breakfast, lunch, dinner) 

    Mickelson Trail to Edgemont biking distance: 51 kilometres (32 miles), mostly downhill 

  • Day 6

    Visit Crazy Horse Memorial, transfer to Rapid City

    This morning we head over to the world’s largest mountain carving, Crazy Horse. Still in progress, the Memorial is destined to be 10 times the size of Mt Rushmore. This is more than just carvings in stone; it is a compound that will eventually pay tribute to the American Indians and the great Indian Chief, Crazy Horse, housing the Indian Museum of North America, Indian University of North America, and a host of other properties. After your tour, we will say goodbye to the Black Hills and head back to Rapid City for our final farewells. 

Tour Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $3499/pp (+tax)

Our New Zealand trip fares are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST 15%)

4 Jun 2023
4 Jun9 Jun
Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure 6/4/2023-6/9/2023
Departure Open Open
3 Sep 2023
3 Sep8 Sep
Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure 9/3/2023-9/8/2023
Departure Open Open
10 Sep 2023
10 Sep15 Sep
Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure 9/10/2023-9/15/2023
Departure Open Open
17 Sep 2023
17 Sep22 Sep
Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure 9/17/2023-9/22/2023
Departure Open Open

Interactive Trip Map

Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.


Useful Info

What's the maximum group size on this trip?

This trip has a maximum of 22 guests, plus 2-3 experienced guides. We tend to average between 12-18 guests on this trip.

Where does this trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Alex Johnson Hotel at 8am or the Hampton Inn at 8:20am. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Rapid City for your pre-night, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does this trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Rapid City Airport at 11:30am in time for flights below or at a hotel of your choice in Rapid City around 12pm.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Rapid City at least the day before your trip starts. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Rapid City after 1pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

Will I have contact with my guides before the trip starts?

Your guides will call your cell phone the night before your trip begins to touch base on the first day’s plan. If they don’t get through to you, they will leave a voicemail on your cell phone with all the details you need to plan for your first morning.

What should I bring with me on the first day?

When you speak with your guides the night before your trip, they will give you a detailed description of what to bring with you on Day 1. Typically, this includes a day pack with your rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, camera, etc. Anything you want easy access to during the day should go in your day pack as the rest of your luggage will go in the locked cargo trailer pulled behind the van. Your guides will provide you with a water bottle on the first morning of your trip and will always have water available for refills. There will be snacks available at all times in the van. Your guides will also have bug spray and sunscreen accessible for you to use.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size). We recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

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Mount Rushmore & Black Hills Adventure