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How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

texas
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How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

We are in the very early planning stages of a two week family trip to SD and Yellowstone in August of 2014. Before looking at the Sturgis dates, I was thinking/hoping to fly into Denver on Saturday August 9 and driving to Custer State Park and staying at a lodge in CSP for a few nights. It looks like Sturgis lasts until the 10th next year. We are a family of 4 with two girls (will be 8 years old at the time). My thought was to stay around the CSP area on the 10th and maybe drive to Badlands for the day on the 11th (returning to CSP).

My main concern is how crowded/noisy/chaotic will it be down in the CSP area the last day or two of Sturgis?

Thanks!

Rapid City, South...
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1. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

Usually the majority of the Rally crowds leave on Sunday, but Saturday could still be quite noisy and lodging hard to find.

texas
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2. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

The place I was looking at last week (in CSP) still had availability and the price was the same, but I am just not sure if the area will still be super crowded.

Thanks for the input!

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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3. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

We left on 7/30, right before the rally. By 7/29, we started seeing more bikers. A regular poster on here, Mt. Mama, was visiting there while we were, and she was there until 8/3. She commented to me that the area was expecting a larger number of bikers than normal this year, and she has several friends who live in the area. Personally, I would avoid the area during this time, regardless of cost, but that's just my opinion. I don't think CSP will be like the town of Sturgis, but it will be busy.

Chicago, Illinois
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4. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

We were there August 3 and 4. It was horrible. Bikers were everywhere. I will never go there that time of year again, and I would avoid the entire week or two around the rally since the bikers visit before and after the official days.

And we did not go to Sturgis. They were in the Badlands and Wall, Mt. Rushmore, and Custer SP.

However, they were not at Jewel Cave. :)

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

The Black Hills is a favorite destination for bikers throughout the summer but especially at rally time. We have been in the Hills on several occasions right before the rally starts and right as it is ending and, other than more traffic and larger crowds, never had a problem. This year was a different story. We were in the Hills 7/27 through 8/4. Bikers were coming in along with us and by Thursday they were everywhere. Many of them travel in very large groups; we counted over 50 traveling together and had to wait for quite some time to make a right turn. This happened more than once. We had stopped at a gas station to use the ATM and a large group pulled in, parked their bikes behind our car, blocking us and 6 other cars. We sat for just short of 15 minutes waiting for them to move out so we could leave. We asked several of them nicely if they could move their bikes so we could get out and received only blank stares. I would like to preface, not all the bikers are this rude. Driving can also be very nerve racking, especially if you end up in front, behind or in the middle of a pack. Why it was more of a problem this year, I am not sure. Possibly because they were expecting a larger turn-out, 600,000. We have several friends who live in the area and all of them either go on vacation during the rally or do not venture out unless absolutely necessary. My suggestion to you would be to flip-flop your plans, if at all possible.

Pierre, South Dakota
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6. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

I live in SD, and the trends seem to be that bikers are coming earlier, and staying later. Some bikers despise the rally traffic as much as anyone, but like the area. Therefore, its not uncommon for groups to start arriving in mid to late july, and leave before the "rally proper" begins. Then, theres always a fair number of "lingerers" that stick around after the rally, for the same reason...to escape the crowds. However, this is, IMO, rapidly becoming a catch-22, as more bikers try to avoid the rally, the longer the congestion lasts. To be fair, there are FAR fewer bikes the week before and after the rally as there are around the "rally proper", but they are still present in considerable numbers. I love the Black Hills, but by being only a couple hours away, I play most of my recreational trips in late spring or early fall, when I basically have the hills to "myself"

Cedarville, Ohio
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7. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

I would avoid it at all costs. You spend way too much money on a vacation to have frustration daily. We left Rapid City on July 21this year and there were already enough cycles in the Black Hills to destroy the peaceful tranquility of the place. But they have as much right to be there as I do, so I would say...if its a concern then avoid the problem in the first place. Just four or five cycles can really obliterate the quiet that is so wonderful about the hills.

South Dakota
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8. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

Do you have flexible vacation dates? What about for 2015? If you're stuck with those dates in 2014, I'd consider another destination. Do schools in Texas get out early or late? If they get out early, I'd recommend coming in mid June. It's cooler, which is actually better for hiking, biking, etc. This is not a beach vacation, so it's OK if the weather is not in the 80s. Mid June is also generally before the forest fire season gets into full swing and it's less crowded. If Texas schools get out late, try the last week of August. A large chunk of South Dakota schools (I'd even venture so far as to say most of them) start next week, so the locals will be back in school by that time, reducing the tourist population.

Alberta, Canada
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9. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

Well, the replies may not have been what you wanted to hear, but you've been given some good info, advice & suggestions. I would definitely avoid the area a week before and a week after the rally. Hopefully you can changes your dates, or as 3174 suggested, choose another destination.

Edited: 17 August 2013, 05:59
10. Re: How bad would it be to overlap the end of Sturgis (2014)?

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