Dakota Adventure Loop

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by SD113, Aug 28, 2019.

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  1. philstrailgnome

    philstrailgnome Adventurer

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    We just wrapped up a DakAL-ish loop today and had an absolute BLAST. Started in Edgemont and up through Hot Springs (Cheyenne River crossing was super low), Custer State Park, Needles Hwy, wrapped around west end of Pactola (the road north out of Silver City is an absolute highlight), Nemo, Deadwood, Stugis, Belle Fourche, over to Devil's Tower and back to Cement Ridge, Hill City, Bear Mtn and back to Edgemont. Spectacular. Big winds up by Belle Fourche and got into some seriously technical adventure riding between Pactola and Nemo as we had to re-route because of some route closures.
    We have ridden the COBDR, most of UTBDR and a load of adventure riding, and the DakAL is one of the best!!! Spectacular scenery and some spicy spots for sure. Rock on!!
    #41
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  2. SD113

    SD113 Been here awhile

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    philstrailgnome,

    Awesome! Glad you had fun. Yes this year is probably ideal for it. Did you do it on one of the KTM's? How does it compare skill wise and technical travel wise to the Utah BDR? I will be heading that way next year and am seriously considering doing part or all of it but I will still have the VStrom 650 if did the DAKAL with.
    #42
  3. philstrailgnome

    philstrailgnome Adventurer

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    Hey there,
    Did it on my 990. We had a 690, a 790, a DR650 and two 800GSA's as the posse. One highside dump that resulted in a broken mirror on the 790 in the super rocky technical section between Pactola and Nemo, other than that pretty clean runs.
    As for the UTBDR, outside of the Lockhart Basin stretch, it is not super technical, except for the sand!!! Go in spring or fall (recommended to do fall, so you do not have to deal with late snow closures), just do not plan on summer for the UTBDR. The desert is blazing hot then!
    COBDR overall is quite a bit more technical.
    PM me anytime and I can give a longer run down on options!!!
    Keep smiling!
    #43
  4. Idahopilot

    Idahopilot Been here awhile

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    Man, do I LOVE/MISS South Dakota. Thanks for the pics and ride report.
    #44
  5. dbrettneville

    dbrettneville Parkerider

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    Parker, CO
    We just finished riding the Dakaota Adventure Loop (6/8/2020 - 6/11/2020) and did it in 4 days (KTM 690 Enduro R and KTM 1190 Adventure). The Southern Loop is a BLAST and the Northern Loop SUCKS! Why...because the Southern Loop is in the Beautiful Black Hills and the Route is FUN with INTERESTING SIGHTS and some CHALLENGING Sections. The Northern Loop is BORING, you could drive your grandma's Buick on the entire gravel road route. Yes, there are Road Closures and Bridge Closures...IGNORE them...the Road Closures are there to keep the ATVs/UTVs out of the Mud Holes and the Closed Bridges are safe enough to cross on your two wheeled bike, we had no problems with these closures. Enjoy!
    #45
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  6. philstrailgnome

    philstrailgnome Adventurer

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    Was the main route between Pactola and Nemo still closed, and if so, did you re-route over the super technical rock garden?? We did that three weeks ago and wow!! Great fun but definitely techy!!!
    TOTALLY agree on assessment of the northern half. We did not even do it, just cut across at Belle Fourche and added a loop out to Devil's Tower, and back in to Cement Ridge. Totally worthy alternative!!!!
    Black Hills portion is so awesome - no need to blast for days on flat gravel roads on the northern portion.
    :)
    #46
  7. randingo

    randingo Voted "Class Lounger"

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    Having done it twice, I agree that the Hills are sweet, but I enjoy the vast emptiness and real South Dakota feeling of the northern part every bit as much. However, coming from Colorado, I’m a huge fan of the Great Plains.
    Just say’n......
    #47
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  8. SD113

    SD113 Been here awhile

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    Mmm...you rode the entire northern section of the DAKAL? Grandma's got a kick ass Buick that can make it through the Slim Buttes, but I'm sure it's possible. The northern route was some of the best I thought, so removed from everything. I wouldn't dissuade people from taking the northern route, yes it is different, but that is the beauty of the DAKAL, very diverse terrain. As far as road closures go...I guess I kind of thought that applied to me also. Next time.
    #48
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  9. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    I'm thinking of riding the DAKAL next week. Going solo unless someone else wants to join me.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1. when does hunting season start (I'm not a hunter)? I'm assuming some of the route goes through some hunting areas and I don't want to annoy the hunters in their limited window of opportunity.
    2. will State, County or private campgrounds generally still be open?
    #49
  10. SD113

    SD113 Been here awhile

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    Well, antelope season is open, probably only a concern on the northern section. Archery deer and elk are open. I don't think it will be a problem however, the routes you are on have regular traffic, you just may see a few hunters trucks here and there.

    I think the campgrounds will likely be open as will hotels. You can also dispersed camp for free. That is my preferred method.

    Good luck, wish I could go again. Looks like nice weather but be prepared. Parts of the hills have already seen snow and below freezing temps. Also fire is a pretty big concern this year.
    #50
  11. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    Thanks for the info. Some people will think I'm nuts but my plan was to do the northern loop first, will enjoy wide open space with no one around. And then do the southern loop likely bypassing the more technical areas as I will be solo.

    I also like dispersed camping. My plan is to get to Belle Fourche and camp the night, 2nd night camp somewhere along the north loop and then make my way through the south loop hit the trails I'm comfortable on and bypassing what I think may be too technical solo. Not sure about dispersed vs campgrounds on the southern loop, I'll likely decide that in the moment.

    Next week looks like no rain, and I think it's been a few days since it has rained, so I'm hoping the northern loop is dry enough.
    #51
  12. SD113

    SD113 Been here awhile

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    Southern loop is easy to dispersed camp. You'll see. Don't tell your friends how cool SD is! Take care!
    #52
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  13. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    I just finished the Dakal solo as well. The bypass route suggested now has numerous signs up, "no trespassing" , "violators will be prosecuted" , etc. Didn't notice a "shot on sight" sign though.
    #53
  14. SD113

    SD113 Been here awhile

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    Give us more than that! How was it? You didn't get shot! Win! Weather? Highs? Lows? Jealous I miss it bad.
    #54
  15. Phil8dirt

    Phil8dirt '17 BMW R1200GSA

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    I still have half a days ride home. More to follow. Briefly, I did both the northern and southern loops, bypassing a couple of the known techical spots since I was solo and brought too much stuff with me. If I could do it again, I would do it all again. Great ride.
    #55
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