Will not be held in 2024
The Grassland Gravel race/ride showcases the 116,000 acres of rolling mixed-grass prairie of the Fort Pierre National Grassland.
The Grassland Gravel starts and ends at the Richland Dam Dispersed Recreation Site, approximately 17 miles south of Fort Pierre. There are three route distances that feature wide sky spaces and sparse traffic of gravel roads and doubletrack across three counties.
The event is operated under special use permit with the Fort Pierre National Grassland.
The 2023 Rider Guide is now available
We're excited to see you this weekend for the 2023 Grassland Gravel race/ride! The Rider Guide is now available and includes important information about:
the event schedule,
final route files (changes were made)
route conditions, and
Download the Rider Guide [2.5 MB .pdf], read it thoroughly, and feel free to ask any questions in advance. See you soon!
Note: the link to the 34-mile route GPX file was incorrect in the original edition of the Rider Guide (it went to the 22-mile route file). This was updated to the correct link in the Rider Guide at 12:30 p.m (CT) on Thurs., July 13. The updated Rider Guide linked above notes this correction on the first page of the guide, and a new link has been emailed to riders who registered before deadline.
Join us for a party on the prairie with the Grassland Gravel race/ride!
There are 3 route distances. Choose your adventure of 22, 34, or 53 miles, whether at race pace or party pace. The surfaces on each route include packed and loose gravel and bare dirt road, with the medium and long routes also including double track through pastures. More information on the routes is shown below.
We’re cool with whatever you’d like to ride - drop bar, flat bar, e-bike, etc. - as long as it’s set up appropriately for a gravel adventure. E-bikes are welcome but are not eligible for race prizes.
Registration includes stocked aid stations, post-ride meal, event swag, and prizes for the top 3 in each category.
The feature item of event swag is a custom 16 oz. stainless steel pint glass. You'll also get some goodies courtesy of the US Forest Service and the Black Hills Parks & Forests Association, and a chance to win some swag from our friends at SRAM.
Aid stations will be stocked with water, electrolyte tablets in a variety of flavors to mix with water, and snack bars.
The post-ride meal will be picnic style sandwich and sides at the Richland Dam Recreation Site, prepared for you by one of our favorite locally owned restaurants in Pierre - Richie Z's Brickhouse BBQ.
Place prizes are custom wood engraved medallions with route distance, race division, and place.
Registration fee for all routes is $55 through Sunday, June 25, 2023. Registration fees increase to $70 on June 26, 2023. Registration closes on Sunday, July 9, 2023. There are no refunds and entries are non-transferable. You can choose to protect your registration by purchasing registration insurance through BikeReg when registering for the event.
Camping is available at the Richland Dam Dispersed Recreation Area. As a USFS dispersed recreation campground, there is no registration, reservation, or fee required to camp at the Richland Dam area. There are no hookups and no running water. There is only a vault toilet at the campground. No open fires are allowed.
22 MILE ROUTE
The 22-mile route is a good introduction to riding gravel on the National Grassland. The rolling county gravel roads are single lane, can be loose in spots, and cross cattle grates. It will also give you a feel for how remote you can get in the ocean of prairie just a short distance from the state's oldest town.
34 MILE ROUTE
Off into the grass you go! The 34-mile route includes 4.5 miles of doubletrack of FSR 217 as it connects you between two county gravel roads. FSR 217 gets rugged in spots to give you some pure prairie ride flavor. Never mind the road closed sign as you enter (that's for vehicles only), and a dry creek bottom crossing may have you off the bike briefly to get across. There's more climbing to do on this route, with more than 1,600 feet of up.
53 MILE ROUTE
Double the doubletrack fun! You'll go through 2 sections of FSR doubletrack. FSRs 202 and 217 are both rugged adventures, with the doubletrack rutted in spots sometimes with tall grass, along with some short punchy climbs. Keep an eye out for the ride mascot - the greater prairie chicken - as you pedal across the prairie. This one's not for the feint of conditioning. There's 2,700 feet of climbing on the sometimes steep rollers.