Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Keystone, SD
Bikes: Colonel Mustard, Quincy, Squirrel
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I am from the Black Hills Area. There is no easy 100 mile ride, short of the Mickelson Trail(which has a railroad grade). However, I've down this route (in two seperate portions, and as part of my commute to the city).
From rapid for a long ride like you suggest I would try taking Sheridan Lake Road from Rapid City to Hwy 385. Sheridan Lake Road does not have shoulders after you leave town, but I have never had any problems with cars; It is my commuting route back to Keystone. I'd take the 385 to Old Hill City Road outside of Hill City and then take that to Keystone. This road also is without shoulders, but beautiful and not too much traffic. From Keystone take Iron Mountain Road to The Needles Highway. These roads are very hilly but very scenic. Iron mountain road even splits into one lane roads that I've never experienced elsewhere. Iron Mountain Road has you go through a tunnel where you can see mount rushmore on the through it. Needles Highway is a bit tough going up--make sure you have plenty of water. The ride down is worth it. You will pass by Sylan Lake (has a general store) and down down down through several short tunnels. At the bottom you will meet up with highway 385. Take it for less than one mile to highway 244. 244 will take you back to Keystone by way of mount rushmore, it has a wide shoulder for the duration. After descending from mount rushmore into keystone, take a right at the only stoplight (the only hill out of town). This road will take you through old keystone. After you leave town you'll be on highway 44. After a few miles take a left on to Old Rockerville Road. This is a scenic two lane road. It has several hills, but you'll be used to them by now. After 10 miles take a right onto Neck Yolk Road. This will bring you to highway 16, but not before another amazing descent. Take a right onto highway 16, and its only a few miles back into town!