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sullyjim

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Posts : 37
Join date : 2014-03-16
Age : 75
Location : Virginia

PostSubject: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:55 am

Just got back from Hill City, S.D. last weekend, where me and my wife had a great time. We have been out there many times, but this was the first time we were able to ride a UTV through the Hills. We were both amazed at the number of trails available to ride. Our map was an area of about 25 x 25 miles, and there were literally hundreds of trails on it. It really made me wish we had more then one day to ride. But it is what it is, so we took off on a self-guided trip in a rental Ranger.
    The first place we headed for was a trailhead, about 10 or 12 miles from our cabin. We headed out on a trail that came right into the campground where our cabin was located. (We were at Mountain Meadow Resort, approx. 15 miles west of Hill City.) The trails were well marked, and easy to follow. All of the 25 or so trails we rode would be classified as an easy Green. But the scenery was great! About half of the riding was through forest, with spruce and pine trees, and then patches of aspen trees. The other part of the ride was open meadows, with aspen trees and cattle. What was really nice were the ramps, or bridges, to cross the fences. We did not have to get off to often to open and close gates, with these humpbacked bridges to drive over. We got to the trailhead, and it was huge. There was a camping area, modern, clean vault toilets, and plenty of parking room. It was located along a creek, and there were a couple of campers there.
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Yampol

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Join date : 2010-02-22

PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:06 am

Nice report. Hope to go there sometime. Have not been to that area since I was a kid.

Yampol

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sullyjim

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Join date : 2014-03-16
Age : 75
Location : Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:11 am

From the trailhead, we got on a gravel road called Six Mile Road. After following it for about 5 miles, we turned on another, smaller gravel road, and went about 3-4 miles to the trail to the silica mine. The trail was only about a mile, and we were there. It was a neat place. There were no signs, saying keep out, no fences, or barricades. You could actually drive right into the mine itself. I drove in a little ways, but under repeated threats of divorce, or strangulation from my wife, had to back out. Then it was off to the ice cave.
This was all trail riding to the ice cave, approximately 5 miles from the mine. So on the way, we stopped high up on a mountain, in the shade, and ate our lunch, we had brought along. We then descended into some open meadows. down in the valleys. There were a lot of cattle, and fences, but the ramps were mostly there. I think I had to open one or two gates. We followed the trail up to the top of a mountain, where it dead ended. When I got out and looked around, we were on top of the cave. I walked over the edge, and it was right there. Standing in the opening, the temp was at least 20 degrees cooler. I went in a little ways, but didn't have a light, so couldn't go to far. When I stepped back out, my glasses fogged up. Again, there were no signs, or anything, telling you to keep out. But it was time to move on to our next destination, a place simply called "igloo."
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sullyjim

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Join date : 2014-03-16
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Location : Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:27 am

We didn't know what to expect at igloo, so just headed out on the trail. That is when things got a little interesting. After going for a ways, the trail markers started disappearing! They use a flat fiberglass post at the intersections only. But I don't know if the cattle had knocked them down, or what. We found one, laying in the weeds, and another, tied to a tree. After continuing on, and finding no more markers, we decided we better head back while we still remembered the last 4 or 5 unmarked turns. Also, my wife's oxygen bottle was about half gone. So we headed back towards our cabin, taking as many different trails as we could to get there.
All together, we spent 10 hours riding. the trails were very easy, with no real steep grades, or technical parts. In fact, we rode the Ranger in 1 wheel drive and only used low to ease over some rocky spots. There are a lot of places to rent ATV,s and UTV's out there, and an amazing amount of trails to ride. I hope to get back there again someday. Sully
p.s. Sorry about using attachments for pictures, but so far, it seems the best way I can send them right now. I did reduce the size this time, to make it easier.
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Tequila

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Join date : 2010-07-26

PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:32 am

Great ride report and pics!  Thanks for posting.
As Yampol (my hubby) said that area is on our list.  I've already started researching
lodging and trails.  Wink
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Ruger

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Join date : 2010-02-01
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PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:57 am

sullyjim wrote:
There were a lot of cattle, and fences, but the ramps were mostly there.

Those ramps are actually called cattle guards.  The cattle won't go over them.  Takes the lazy or forgetting to close the gate out of the equation.  There were quite a few when we rode out in Utah.

Great Report SullyJim, one day of riding is better than not riding.  
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Lee

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Join date : 2010-07-01
Location : New Bern, NC

PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Tue Sep 02, 2014 11:37 am

Ride on! cheers I still have another week of waiting to ride... Crying or Very sad
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Prairie Pounder

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PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:00 pm

Wi-Fee and I were there last month (highway version). As we are driving through the Black Hills, Badlands and other SD scenery, I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like being back in one of those canyons on my quad. I really enjoyed your report. Anyone that has been in that part of the country can relate to your decision to only make so many turns by memory alone. It would be very easy to get lost in an area without any signs of civilization to use as a reference(s). I can remember "being lost" with two guides and several GPS's on more than one occasion..... Laughing  Laughing  Laughing

Thanks for sharing! Cool
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sullyjim

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Join date : 2014-03-16
Age : 75
Location : Virginia

PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:09 am

Yeah, I know what you mean, pounder. My old Garmin requires you to buy a new SD card for each area of the country. I couldn't justify spending a $100 on a South Dakota one just for a one day ride. Besides, as Brian Keith says, "I ain't never been lost. I have been a fearsome confused for a month or so!" LOL!
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Ruger

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Join date : 2010-02-01
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PostSubject: Re: Black Hills Ride   Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:22 pm

Prairie Pounder wrote:
I can remember "being lost" with two guides and several GPS's on more than one occasion..... Laughing  Laughing  Laughing
Thanks for sharing! Cool

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