Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: Where to ride. What to do. Where to stay.

The 77th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is fast approaching! The small town of Sturgis, South Dakota, will see thousands of bikers, world-class entertainment, unique vendors, and plenty of excitement during the event which takes place August 4th-13th, 2017.  We’ve taken the hassle out of planning this year by putting together this amazing guide that covers the hottest rides, must-see sights, and the best motorcycle-friendly campgrounds in the Black Hills.

The Scenic Rides

These are arguably the most scenic rides you’re going to discover in the Black Hills. Yes, they’re popular, but the must-see sights, iconic attractions, and spectacular views are definitely worth the effort.

Northern Hills Ride

Length: 100 miles

About: The locals accurately refer to this picturesque ride as the “Canyon Ride.” This route travels through three canyons—Spearfish, Boulder, and Vanocker—and takes roughly 2 ½ hours. The Northern Hills Ride begins and ends in Sturgis.

spearfish_canyon

Noteworthy Places and Sights:

  • Spearfish Canyon: Don’t miss Spearfish Falls, Roughlock Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Devils Bathtub, Homestake Gold Mine, or Little Crow Peak.
  • Boulder Canyon: This is a short yet scenic ride that connects Sturgis to Deadwood.
  • Vanocker Canyon: Nice winding road that travels through a scenic canyon, similar to Spearfish Canyon. Don’t miss Sheridan Lake, Chapel in the Hills, and Box Elder Creek.

Check out the Northern Hills Map here.

Central Hills Ride

Length: 57 miles

About: This beautiful ride begins in the charming town of Keystone, takes you past the famous Mount Rushmore, and winds through must-see Custer State Park. If you are looking for amazing views, this is the ride you want to take. The route itself is full of awesome switchbacks, constant elevation changes, tunnels, bridges, and scenery so great you won’t mind the slower speeds.

custer state park

Noteworthy Places and Sights:

  • Mount Rushmore: Regardless of whether this is your first visit to this massive monument or your 50th, Mt. Rushmore never gets old.
  • Custer State Park: This 71,000-acre park may be home to the most breathtaking scenery you will see in South Dakota. From its enormous granite peaks to the “crown jewel,” Sylvan Lake, it’s worth it to spend some time hiking or at the very least, snapping a few photos. Oh, and there are approximately 1,300 buffalo roaming the park so there’s a good chance you’ll see a few.
  • Needles Highway: This National Scenic Byway boasts 14 miles of low tunnels, sharp turns, and breathtaking views of the enormous granite Cathedral Spires of Custer State Park.
  • Iron Mountain Road: Popular for its many switchbacks, pigtail bridges, and one lane tunnels, this 17-mile road that connects Custer State Park and Mt. Rushmore is definitely memorable.

Check out the Central Hills Map here.

Devils Tower Ride

Length: 110 miles

About: This ride takes you from Sturgis to the iconic Devils Tower near Hulett, Wyoming. The diverse scenery along this route is part of its appeal as well as the long sweeping curves. Enjoy the wide open spaces and spectacular views of the forests, meadows, and mountains. Established in 1906, Devils Tower was the first official national monument in the United States. After taking in all 1,267 feet of the monument, you can take a hike or check out the exhibits.

devils tower

Noteworthy Places and Sights:

  • Hulett Ham ‘N Jam: This popular event takes place on the Wednesday during Rally Week in the little town of Hulett.
  • Sundance: The place where The Sundance Kid earned his nickname before joining Butch Cassidy, don’t miss out on the Vore Buffalo Jump and a stroll around town.

Check out the Devils Tower Ride map here.

Best Black Hills Campgrounds

Here are our top picks for motorcycle-friendly campgrounds in and near Sturgis.

Days End Campground: Sturgis

days_end_campground

Conveniently located just off of Interstate I-90, Days End Campground is less than 5 minutes from Main Street. This park offers 100 full hook-up RV sites, 30 cozy Camping Cabins that can sleep up to 4 people, and shady tent sites. Campers have access to 23 hour laundry, restrooms, showers, Wifi, a loading ramp, and a store. And, for August only, guests can enjoy some adult refreshments at the Beer Garden.

The campground offers an on-site shuttle service during the Sturgis Rally so you can keep the good times going without the added worry.

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Wickiup Cabins: Lead

wickiup-cabins

Located in the heart of the Black Hills in beautiful Spearfish Canyon, this is the perfect place to relax after a long day. The campground is roughly 45 minutes from Sturgis and offers 20 unique cabins that can sleep anywhere between 2 and 6 people. Campers have access to restrooms, showers, and Wifi.

Around the campground you can fish, ride your ATV, go tubing on Spearfish Creek, hike, or just sit back and enjoy the awesome scenery.

During the Sturgis Rally Wickiup offers lots of parking for bikes and tow rigs, bike wash stations, never-ending campfires, and daily cookouts.

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Other great Black Hill campgrounds near Sturgis include:

Chris’ Campground: Spearfish (Call for availability)

Elk Creek Resort and Receptions: Piedmont (Call for availability) 

Hidden Valley Campground: Deadwood

Steel Wheel Campground & Trading Post: Deadwood

Three Forks Campground: Hill City

 

Featured image by Cumulus Clouds.

 

Jessica Goehring title: Administrator
Jessica is a freelance writer. She resides in Minnesota with her husband, dog, and 6 cats. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, and being President of the Introvert Club.