motorcycle destinations

Routes at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2022

Routes at Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2022-I

If you are a motorcycle enthusiast, you do not want to miss your chance to attend the biggest motorcycle culture celebration in the United States: the 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Lasting from August 5th to 14th, you will have the opportunity to meet other riders from different backgrounds and states. You will also have the chance to adventure onto popular motorcycle  roads  close to the Sturgis Rally fairground.

Whether through the cities or out on the open freeway, you will be able to make lasting memories with other riders and your motorcycle. This guide will provide you with a list of the motorcycle routes that take you to colorful scenery, famous  destinations , and lengthy  tours .

1. Spearfish Canyon - Boulder Canyon - Vanocker Canyon

Distance: 92 miles
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

Passing through the three major canyons in South Dakota, this route will allow you to admire the state’s natural wonders as you pass them by or park on the side of the road. Upon encountering Boulder Canyon, you will come across tourist attractions that showcase aspects of life from the Old West such as Tatanka Story of Bison and Days of ‘76 Museum.

While passing by Vanocker Canyon, you will pass through a stretch of the Black Hills National Forest which takes you close to Rapid City and Deadwood. This section is the most exciting due to the frequent twists and turns in the road that you must navigate.

On the final stretch, you will pass by the most natural sites close to Spearfish Canyon. Many notable locations to look out for include Bridal Veil Falls, Spearfish Falls, the Devil’s Bathtub, etc.

2. Iron Mountain Road - Mount Rushmore & Crazy Horse Monument

Distance: 65 miles
Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Start: Hill City, SD
End: Hill City, SD

Heading out of Hill City, this wide loop will take you through the southeastern section of the Black Hills National Forest. As you travel along the Iron Mountain Road, you will eventually come across the Mount Rushmore National Memorial with the stone heads of famous U.S. presidents etched into the side of a mountain face.

Traveling along the bottom half of the loop, you will enter Custer State Park, a region famous for its bison herds, granite peaks, and rolling hills. You will reach the western end of Custer State Park when you catch a glimpse of the Crazy Horse Memorial, the world’s largest mountain carving that resembles the Oglala Lakota warrior of the same name.

3. Devils Tower

Distance: 162 miles
Time: 2 hours 57 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

This route is a roundabout loop that passes through both South Dakota and Wyoming. Embarking westward from Sturgis, you will travel along South Dakota Highway 34 before transitioning to Wyoming Highway 24 after you cross the South Dakota-Wyoming state border.

Make sure you are going in the right direction by looking out for the Aladdin Coal Tipple as you continue to ride west. Approaching the western end of the loop, you will encounter the largest igneous butte in Wyoming, Devils Tower.

As you turn back towards your starting point, you will travel along U.S. Route 14 in Wyoming, cross over between the states on Interstate 90, and finally arrive back in Sturgis after riding over U.S. Routes 85 and 14A.

4. The Badlands

Distance: 215 miles
Time: 3 hours 27 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

Traveling southeast on Interstate 90, you will travel on the outskirts outside of Black Hills National Forest and pass by the Black Hills National Cemetary. After you have passed through Rapid City, you will finally enter the loop taking you around the South Dakota Badlands.

The highlight of this route is Badlands National Park, which will have you traveling through and beside stone pillars and tall mountains. Despite being a desolate landscape, you will be able to admire the spires, buttes, and canyons that you pass by while looping around.

5. Bear Butte Loop

Distance: 72 miles
Time: 1 hour 22 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

Shortly after you leave Sturgis to head northward along South Dakota Highway 79, you will encounter Bear Butte State Park, the titular butte being a place of religious significance to many Native American tribes who lived around the Black Hills.

After you reached the intersection with Prarie Highway, you will turn west onto U.S. Highway 212 which will take you along the bottom edge of Belle Fourche National Wildlife Refuge. You can admire the scenery at the Belle Fourche Reservoir and see the wildlife kept at the Belle Fourche National Wildlife Refuge.

The rest of the trip back to Sturgis along South Dakota Highway 34 will be a relatively smooth ride as the landscape is full of sweeping hills and long stretches of asphalt road.

6. Black Hills Motorcycle Ride - The Minor Loop

Distance: 202 miles
Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

Intended for novice riders or motorcyclists who want to attend other events at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, this route takes you through the top half of the Black Hills National Forest.

Though this loop goes through both South Dakota and Wyoming, most of the notable sites along this route will be in South Dakota. As you embark southward, you will encounter the Mount Rushmore National Monument, Custer State Park, and Jewel Cave National Monument.

After crossing over into Wyoming, you will travel northward along U.S. Routes 16 and 85 and Wyoming State Highway 585, hugging close to the South Dakota-Wyoming state border. You will come back into South Dakota on Interstate 90, following this road the rest of the way back to Sturgis, SD.

7. Black Hills Motorcycle Ride - The Major Loop

Distance: 327 miles
Time: 6 hours 10 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

Intended for more experienced bikers or motorcyclists who wish to accomplish a long excursion, this route takes you around the entire length of the Black Hills National Forest. Though this route visits many of the locations mentioned in the Minor Loop, there are other places that riders will encounter along the way.

Going farther south of Custer State Park to the bottom tip of the Black Hills National Forest, you will encounter the World Fossil Finer Museum and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD while also passing by the Wind Cave National Park.

When you cross over into Wyoming, you will head deeper into the state which takes you within view of Bear Lodge Mountain and Devils Tower. Because this route covers such a wide area, it is possible to divert course so you can explore the locations closer to the heart of the Black Hills National Forest such as Custer, Crazy Horse, and Hill City.

8. Rapid City to Silver City

Distance: 24 miles
Time: 40 minutes
Start: Rapid City, SD
End: Silver City, SD

Rather than starting in Sturgis like in the previous routes, you head out from Rapid City towards the west along South Dakota Highway 44 into the relative center of the Black Hills National Forest.

As you wind around through the dense forests and rocky outcroppings, you can stop to explore the inside of the Black Hills Caverns. Just make sure to bring warm clothing so you are not freezing while underground.

Towards the end of the route, you will arrive in Silver City which is positioned right beside Pactola Lake. If you wish to explore the wilderness on foot, you can hike on the Osprey Hiking Trail or head on down to Pactola Point Swim Beach.

9. Sturgis to Galena Loop

Distance: 52 miles
Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Start: Sturgis, SD
End: Sturgis, SD

Before you set out from Sturgis, you may want to check out the exhibits at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame if you have an interest in the history of U.S. biker culture. This loop travels in and out of the Black Hills National Forest in the shape of a figure-eight.

If you have a love for nature and want to examine the surrounding greenery closer, you can take a break from the road to head up the Reservoir Lakes Trailhead. Eventually, you will arrive in Galena, a small town with a rich history related to the 1876 gold rush.

The return trip will take you straight north along Forest Road 180 until you reach the northern edges of the Black Hills National Forest where you will transition onto U.S. Route 14A and Interstate 90 as you draw closer to Sturgis.

10. Biker Belles Motorcycle Ride

Distance: 45 miles
Time: 1 hours 10 minutes
Start: Deadwood, SD
End: Crossroads, SD

Staring out in Deadwood, you head southeast within the Black Hills National Forest which will take you through several communities, including Brownsville, Greenwood, and Tomahawk. After you reach the intersection where Vanocker Canyon Road and Nemo Road meet, you will turn northward in the direction of Sturgis.

After you make it back to Sturgis, you can take some time to rest and get a quick bite to eat at the local restaurants such as Stinger Saloon or Sturgis Burger Chip. Afterward, you can head east to your final destination, alternating between South Dakota Highways 34 and 79. Before you arrive, you can check out the exhibits that are available at the Fort Meade Museum if you wish to know more about South Dakota’s history.

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Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2022 - A Comprehensive Guide-I
Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2022 - A Comprehensive Guide-I

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