Top 10 Things to Do at Sturgis

Rockin’ concerts, beautiful scenery and long, twisty roads— these are a few of the things that make the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally a biker’s dream come true.

If you’re looking to take your rally experience beyond Main Street, here’s a list of the top things to do at Sturgis.

1. Mount Rushmore

© South Dakota Tourism

You can’t take a trip to Sturgis without cruising over to see Mount Rushmore. You may have visited this national landmark on family vacation as a kid, but there’s nothing like seeing it from the seat of a motorcycle.

2. Spearfish Canyon

spearfish canyon
© South Dakota Tourism

Full of sweeping curves and lined with ponderosa and spruce pine trees, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is one of the best riding experiences in the Black Hills .  The route offers tons of places to stop and take in the tranquil beauty of its crystal clear streams and waterfalls.

3. Buffalo Chip

They call it legendary for a reason. Check out the baddest bikes in the country at the Rat’s Hole Bike Show and stay for killer concerts by some of the biggest names in rock music.








4. Needles Highway

Needles Highway
© motochic

Needles Highway is a bucket-list destination for bikers who seek the thrill of the ride.  This  narrow, winding road makes its way up the mountainside, taking riders through one-lane rock tunnels and past the giant granite stone spires it was named after.

5. Badlands National Park

© South Dakota Tourism

Cruising through the Badlands Loop  is an out-of-this-world experience. This desolate landscape boasts 244,000 acres of striking buttes, pinnacles and spires that have been sculpted by millions of years of erosion.

6. The Broken Spoke 

Broken Spoke
© Broken Spoke Saloon

The Broken Spoke is a massive campsite with a suspended burnout pit, indoor and outdoor music stages and a bar you can bike through! Need we say more?

7. Devil’s Tower National Monument

ron vesley photography
© Ron Vesley Photography

Rising an astounding 867 feet from it’s base, the Devil’s Tower is one of the most impressive natural wonders of the Black Hills. It was the first national monument established by President Roosevelt in 1906.

8. Custer State Park

© Harley Space

Bison get the right-of-way in Sturgis! Custer State Park encompasses 71,00 acres of spectacular terrain and abundant wildlife.

9. Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse
© Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation

The Crazy Horse memorial is a colossal mountain carving that was started in 1948 to honor the Lakota warrior Chief Crazy Horse. If completed, it may become the world’s largest sculpture.

10. Deadwood

Deadwood, SD
© EnjoyDeadwood

The old gold mining town of Deadwood, SD is a great place to stop for dining, shopping and legal gambling. This charming little town is notorious for being the sight where Wild Bill Hickok was shot.


  1. Don’t bother paying to get into Mount Rushmore, you can get good shots from the road. I was thoroughly disappointed. Crazy Horse was MUCH better and more informative. Deadwood suspends all the street shows for bike week, go before or after for those. Definitely do all the rest on the list.

  2. we were there in 2010 and going this year! check out our u tube videos! badseed486 is our channel!

  3. Did all these in 2012 and even got married out there! Well be back for the 75 to do it all again, and to celebrate our 3rd anniversary!

  4. Vanocker Canyon and Nemo Rd and stop at the Sugar Shack on Hwy 385 for some Ice Cream. Also go up Terry Peak Rd and climb up to the observation deck. Rear brake only!

  5. We’re taking two weeks to ride out and back, am looking forward to the trip as it’s been on my bucket list for a long time!!!

  6. Buffalo Chips is fun for a concert, but without a doubt the worst excuse of a campground on the planet. 24/7 high decibel noise. Dust when its hot, impassable mud when it rains, and outhouses so foul they should be listed as a toxic dump site.
    Custer State Park, Needles Highway, Iron Mountain Road and Mount Rushmore make for a wonderful day ride, as does the trip to Devils Tower in Wyoming.

  7. All great rides you can’t pass up. But add the wildlife loop to the list of things to do.

  8. A great day-long ride in the Black Hills: Take 14A south out of Spearfish Canyon to Cheyenne Crossing. From there, go right / southwest on 85 down to Four Corners, Wyoming. At Four Corners, take 585 right / northwest to Sundance, Wyoming and from there, take 14 to 24, and follow the signs to Devil’s Tower. Take the northerly route back to South Dakota on 24 (the other direction, north / east) to Hulett, Wyo (not to be missed — great place to stop and check out the sights) and continue on 24 through the Bear Lodge Mountains, on to Belle Fourche and Sturgis. A great day.

  9. Hey John Jacobson, when camping at Buffalo Chip you don’t expect the luxuries of a five star camping spot. It is almost 600 acres of field that is opened up by the owner as a place for the bikers to be entertained during bike week. I’ve camped there a few times and each year it gets better and cleaner. The owner, Woody, is doing a good job of adding more and more facilities to accommodate the crowd. We stand in line to use the showers and share the outhouses. It is not a luxury hotel. If you are a drinker it is a great place to stay and party so you don’t have to worry about riding the bikes afterwards. You can just crawl to your tent after a fun night of libations and frivolities! In my opinion, it’s the best place to say in Sturgis!

  10. Been there no other place on earth like it. Beautiful country side . A must see and ride.

  11. Never been, but so looking forward to going. Heard Buffalo Chips is now a town and Woody has been growing the place for years, I am looking forward to partying at BC with my friend Bonnie – cannot way to see you!

  12. This will be my first Sturgis trip. I’m glad it’s landing on their75th anniversary. I heard their is a retired military man that has acreage to camp in for military only. Any updates on that?