Mickelson & The Badlands Daily Elevations

Mickelson & The Badlands Daily Elevations

This is an intermediate trip.


We highly recommend you follow the training schedule as you will have much more fun on the trip is you are prepared for the riding. The days are not very high mileage days, but there are some ups and downs. The longest day is day 2 at 44 mostly downhill miles.


Many people don’t think of high altitude when they think of South Dakota, but indeed, the Black Hills sit between 4000′ – 6900′.  High altitude is considered anywhere above 5000′. You will not encounter extreme altitudes on this trip.


Day 1: Biking through The Badlands of South Dakota. Today climbs 957′ and descends 1718′ over 29 miles. As you can see, there are some ups and downs during the day’s ride.

Elevation profile Day 1 Badlands, SD

Day 2: The Mickelson Trail from Edgemont to Custer. Today you will enjoy a mostly downhill ride over 44 miles. The highest elevation of the day is 5482′ and the lowest is 3428′

Day 2 Mickelson Trail Elevation Profile

Day 3: Custer to Mystic on the Mickelson Trail. Today we reach of high of 5860′ with some steady ascents and descents. Keep in mind that the maximum gradient on the Mickelson is 4%.

Day 3 Mickelson Trail Elevation Profile

Day 4: We return to Custer State Park for a fabulous day biking the Needles Highway and the Wildlife Loop. We are at the highest elevation on this trip at 6362′ where we begin descending for nearly 24 miles! There are a few short rises, but overall, it is one grand descent. The rest of the day includes some short, but steeper sections.

Day 4 Custer State Park Elevation Profile

Day 5: At the end of today, you will have ridden the entire 109 miles of the Mickelson Trail. The first 18 miles of this 32 mile day is a gradual incline, but doesn’t exceed 2%. It is slow, but steady. The steeper section of the day will be enjoyed as a descent into Deadwood!

Day 5 Mickelson Trail Profile


Day 6: All fun! You will return to the Dumont Trailhead for 18 miles of downhill fun before heading to Mount Rushmore and finishing the final day of your tour.  Day 6 Mickelson Trail Elevation Profile