Top 5 Scenic Routes Around SturgisPosted On: Jul 14, 2021
As motorcycle riders, we know it’s hardly ever about the destination, it’s about the ride. But what happens if the ride you want to enjoy is on the other side of the country, and you only have a limited amount of vacation time?
Now that we have covered the top 5 "must-dos" for the 81st Sturgis Rally, you'll need a list of some of the best views you’ll see outside the rally. There are countless wild rides to take around downtown Sturgis, SD but we have selected our top 5 favorite scenic routes in Sturgis. Whether it’s on your way into Sturgis, or a day ride adventure, here are the Top 5 must-see destinations during your Sturgis trip.
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Take a break from the crowd and experience an awe-inspiring ride through Mount Rushmore National Memorial (62 miles). This is one of the most beloved routes in America; featuring 60-foot faces of four American presidents who represent the birth and progression of the United States. This beautifully paved winding road travels through giant granite tunnels and covers majestic views of the valley.
If you want to keep exploring, we recommend hiking the Presidential Trail, the Evening Lighting Ceremony, Borglum View Terrace, or Carvers' Marketplace.
Prepare to be amazed by this 20-mile route of limestone cliffs and scenic waterfalls. Spearfish Canyon Road has views around every corner and almost feels like it was designed for bikers. This is high on our list for our nature lovers. Keep your eyes open for mountain goats, porcupines, wild turkeys, and bald eagles. You can expect an explosion of color; this route flows along canyons, Bridal Veil Falls, and Roughlock Falls Nature Area.
There are also plenty of beautiful hiking trails to stop and take in the views. At Roughlock Falls Nature Area, park your bike at the top of the falls to roam the trail and enjoy the scenery! If you are looking for something more challenging, we recommend The Rimrock Trail. Approximately 3.1 miles and 700 feet in elevation, this is a great daytime hike that will not disappoint. If you need a bite after all that exploring, treat yourself to some canyon nachos or rainbow trout at the Latchstring Inn (located inside Spearfish Canyon Lodge).
Badlands National Park
Next on our list is Badlands National Park (scenic route - 66 miles). Riders have previously described this experience as "otherworldly" or "like driving on the moon". Badlands is known for its incredible geographical formations; you will see massive buttes, auburn canyons, pinnacles, and spires.
While you’re riding through this moon-like landscape, keep an eye out for bison, prairie dogs, antelope, and big horn sheep. There are also plenty of stopping points to get off your bike and explore the colorful canyons up close. For the best experience, we recommend riding in the early morning or evening; traffic is light, and you can catch the sunrise or sunset!
Walk in the footsteps of Bill Hickok and Seth Bullock in Deadwood and experience a true taste of the old wild west. The historic town of Deadwood has something to offer for everyone. If you are looking for Art and Entertainment, Deadwood offers live theater performances including comedy, mysteries, and musicals. You can also find the world-famous Scott Jacob's Art Gallery, featuring vintage motorcycle art and unique souvenirs for you to bring home!
From fruity red wine to sour whisky, you will need to experience the taste of Deadwood. You can find the finest breweries and wineries around, with beautiful views of Black Hills. We recommend Jacobs Brewhouse & Grocer and Naughti Wines for the ultimate experience. Deadwood is also very known for its casinos. There is a variety of hotel resorts, saloons, and gaming resorts where you can play 24/7. You can also find eccentric boutiques, spas, and recreational areas; there truly is something for everyone.
Custer State Park
Continue your journey to Custer State Park (75 miles). This is the largest park in South Dakota and is known for its bewildering mountain scenery. Custer State Park is also a Wildlife reserve in the Black Hills; you can expect to see mountain lions and herds of bison. For the safety of the animals, this is a slower-paced ride. Expect a travel time of 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, with views of massive lakes, emerald forests, and roaming wildlife, this is not a route you will want to rush through.
Custer State Park offers great recreational opportunities if you want to hop off your bike and explore the park up close. You can find wildlife tours, multiple hiking trails, biking, fishing, and camping.
We hope this list provides insightful information to help you plan the most unforgettable Sturgis experience. Whether this is your first time attending Sturgis or attend this rally annually, make sure to incorporate these scenic drives into your itinerary for an ultimate journey!
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