MTB Project Logo

Mickelson Trail



113.3 mile 182.3 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 4,038' 1,231 m
Descent: -5,176' -1,578 m
High: 6,209' 1,892 m
Low: 3,425' 1,044 m


Avg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 13% (8°)


Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Leslie Kehmeier

An easy and scenic long-distance route through the heart of the Black Hills.

Leslie Kehmeier

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

There are 15 trailheads, all of which offer parking, self-sale trail pass stations, vault toilets, and tables. Fees: $4/day or $15/annual.


The George S. Mickelson Trail is 109 miles long. It's an easy route made of crushed gravel and limestone. It features more than 100 converted railroad bridges and four rock tunnels.

The Mickelson Trail is an easy-going route with mellow grades throughout. The longest and steepest climb is between Deadwood and Dumont, the highest point. The Black Hills surround the trail with beautiful spruce and pine forests.

There are 15 trailheads (listed below from north to south) along the route, allowing for a ride of any distance.

Deadwood was named for the burned trees the miners found in this area when they came in search of gold. The town was a prosperous placer camp in 1876.

Kirk Power Plant was built in the 1920s to help power the Homestake Gold Mine. Coal came in by rail from Wyoming and a plume of water came from Englewood.

Lead, home of the Homestake Mining Company, was originally called "Washington." The Homestake Mine produced gold starting in 1876, operating both an open cut and an underground mine 8,000+ feet below the surface.

Old railroad ties are still in place under the gravel between Sugarloaf Trailhead and Deadwood. This trailhead is not on the main line, but is part of the fantail loop.

Englewood was established as Ten-Mile Ranch, a stagecoach stop in the late 1870s. The name was changed when Englewood became a railroad center with the construction of the Spearfish branch leading from there in 1893. A roundhouse, depot, water tower and small yard made Englewood a bustling depot for many years.

Dumont was named for an early French settler named Charles Dumont. The town was founded in 1890 as a lumber town and a shipping point for cattle. A spur of the railroad line went northwest to Hanna.

In 1878, Rochford was home to 100 log cabins, three saloons, six stores, two hotels, a drugstore, a butcher shop and a barber shop. Later, a post office was built along with a school house where Annie Tallent once taught. By 1881, there were only three people living in Rochford - the miners had moved to other locations to find their gold.

The town of Mystic, first named "Sitting Bull", has two claims to fame. The first involves gold mining along Castle Creek. An experimental plant was built in 1904 by the Electro-Chemical Reduction Company to extract gold by electro-cynide or electro-chlorination processes.

Burlington Northern Hill City:
Hill City, the second oldest town in the Black Hills, was founded in 1876. Through the years it has been known for its mining, logging, and ranching. Tourism is today's most common draw to the community.

The Mountain:
View the Crazy Horse Monument from this site. Korczak Ziol


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


May 25, 2020
Michael Crannell
Trail was dry, rode on 25mm roadbike gatorskin tires, slipped a little on loose gravel but able to complete 33 miles with no issues. 33mi — 2h 22m
Apr 30, 2020
Ricky Lynne
W/ Anne Voigt 113.9mi — 17h 58m
Sep 7, 2019
Steve Scherck
Jun 29, 2019
Matt Rettmer
Deadwood to Edgemont. Was absolutely an incredible ride. The grade of climb is VERY doable but does require some fitness to make it enjoyable. Ride… 113mi — 10h 45m
May 31, 2019
Abe Lee
Aug 15, 2018
Jerry Smith
Awesome trail. Need to do the whole ride. Start at Deadwood. 40mi
Jul 27, 2018
Darci G
Jul 24, 2018
Darci G

Trail Ratings

  4.2 from 6 votes


in Deadwood


  4.2 from 6 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Deadwood


in South Dakota


213 Views Last Month
2,926 Since Aug 24, 2016



Crazy Horse National Monument
Dec 11, 2017 near Custer, SD
Crazy Horse
Dec 11, 2017 near Custer, SD


MTB Project is supported by

Support Your Local IMBA Chapter