The Iron Mountain Road then Mt Rushmore and finally Crazy Horse
17 MILES 314 CURVES
If you want to change the google map below, here are the directions we used.
Google Map: 999 Main St, Sturgis, SD 57785 3 US-385, Deadwood, SD 57732 Keystone, South Dakota 57751 US-16 Scenic, Keystone, SD 57751 24600-24602 Iron Mountain Rd, Custer, SD 57730 US-16 Scenic, Custer, SD 57730 US-16 Scenic, Custer, SD 57730 Custer, South Dakota 57730 Hill City, South Dakota 57745 23821 US-385, Hill City, SD 57745
Starting in Rapid City, Head East on High 44 past the Regional Airport.
Go through Scenic and on to Interior and Cedar Pass.
You will pick up Hwy 240 called the Bandlands Loop and exit on I-90 (Exit 110 at Wall)
I90 Westbound riders are so eager to get to Sturgis or the Black Hills they don't take the time to see the Bandlands. This is a mistake. The whole loop takes only an hour and brings you right back to I-90.
1. The Roads are paved 2 lane highways with some gentle curves, nothing too challenging.
2. There aren't many trees and it can get hot in the summer. Bring along plenty of water.
3. Other than Interior there aren't any town in the National Park. Fill up with Gas at Rapid City, Interior, or Wall.
4. There is lodging in the park at Cedar Pass, Interior, or Wall.
5. There are 4 scenic overlooks and several scenic pull offs and some short walking trails near the visitors center.
Motorcyclists are a more curious lot though and I expect you'll stop and take more of the beauty than the typical car traveler.
Hwy 44 West, better known as Rimrock Highway is full of twists and elevation changes. You will see limestone canyon walls as you begin a two mile ascent bringing you from Rapid City's elevation of 3400 ft to nearly 4500 ft. 5 Miles into your time you will enter The Black Hills National Forest.
This is no place to take your eyes off of the road. There are plenty of turnouts where you can stop, lookaround, and get your bearings.
A few more miles up the road you will find Hisega. A quaint town named after Helen, Ida, Sadie, Ethel, Grace, and Ada. The wives of 6 men who built the first BnB in the county. Another 3 miles along Rimrock, you'll be at Johnson Siding.
The Norris Peak Road begins at Johnson Siding and runs north to Nemo Road. Stay on Nemo road until you reach Highway 385.
This is a beautiful road bordered by broad lush valleys and spurts of open road. The intersection 'T" on Hwy 385 is a great place to stretch your legs and gather your thoughts.
Turn left on Hwy 385. In just a couple of miles, you'll see Pactola Lake -- the second largest of many lakes in the Black Hills. Three Forks is just ahead.
You've only gone 27 miles. Now you get to see the geological changes as you enter the Central Hills, This is called Black Hills Crystalline Core. Hang right on Hwy 16 at Three Forks. This takes you to Hill City, the second oldest mining town in the Hills. As you ride into Hill City, you'll see an interesting side road to Deerfield Lake, Rochford, and Mystic.
The Black Hills are only 120 miles long. It's not very far to anyplace. As you leave Hill City take a left on Hwy 224 toward Mt Rushmore. The Cathedral Spires welcome you to the center of the Hills, Standing guard over the four presidents.
This road is busy and requires some concentration. But there are plenty of pull off spots to take a break and enjoy the views. Hwy 40 intersects Hwy 16 toward Rockerville and Rapid City. But a quick detour towards Keystone on 16A is worth the extra few minutes.
A great ride to just ride and enjoy all the Black Hills has to offer from top to bottom.
Sturgis → Spearfish → Belle Fourche → Aladdin → Hulett
Devils Tower → Sundance → Inyan Kara → Newcastle
Edgemont → Hot Springs → Wind Cave
Pringle → Custer → Crazy Horse → Custer State Park
Keystone → Mt Rushmore → Hill City → Deadwood
Google says 494.6 miles,and 9 hours, 30 minutes. If you can do it all in 9 1/2 hours, you're gonna miss some great stuff!
Google Map Route
SD-240, Philip, SD 57567
Scenic, South Dakota 57780
Rapid City, South Dakota
CrossRoads, 20622 Fort Meade Way, Sturgis, SD 57785
Belle Fourche, South Dakota 57717
Alzada, Montana 59311
Sundance, Wyoming 82729
Hot Springs, South Dakota 57747
Custer, South Dakota 57730
US-16 Scenic, Custer, SD 57730
Keystone, South Dakota 57751
Deadwood, South Dakota 57732
Sturgis, South Dakota 57785
5 paved miles to Silver City from Hwy 385, half uphill and half down.
You can find the Silver City Turnoff on Hwy 385 about 1.3 miles north of the Hwy 44/385 junction or 3 miles North of Pactola Lake.
The first 2 1/2 miles are uphill with one blind curve after another. There may be a little loose sand-sized gravel on some of the curves. Once you peak at Deer Creek, the next 1.5 miles are downhill.
Galena is a best kept secret in the Black Hills. It was an old mining town and is still home for several families.
Bear Butte Creek Guides you to this historical Place Starting in Deadwood on Main St. Follow Hwy 85 West to Hwy 385 between Deadwood and Lead. Turn left.
About 7 miles over Strawberry Mountain, you'll see Wild Bill's Campground on your left along with a sign saying 4 Miles to Galena.
This is a wide compacted gravel road, well-maintained, and very accommodating to the motorcycle rider. This road is curvy, but wide and easily ridden. It follows Bear Butte Creek from the campground into Galena.