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Saturday, July 15, 2023

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.

Event information

Join us for a party on the prairie with the Grassland Gravel race/ride!

There are 3 route distances. Choose your adventure of 22, 35, or 53 miles, whether at race pace or party pace. The surfaces on each route include packed and loose gravel, bare dirt road, and double track. Information on the expected routes are 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. Registration fee for all routes is $55 through Sunday, June 25, 2023.  Registration fees increase to $70 on June 26, 2023. Online 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.


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.

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Off into the grass you go! The 35-mile route includes 5 miles of doubletrack of FSR 202 as it connects you between two county gravel roads. Keep an eye out for the ride's mascot - the greater prairie chicken and its close relative the sharp-tailed grouse. There's more climbing to do on this route, with more than 1,300 feet of up.



Double the doubletrack fun! You'll go through 2 sections of FSR doubletrack and FSR 217 is an adventure - never mind the road closed sign as you enter (that's for vehicles only) and close the gate behind you as you exit on the south end. This one's not for the feint of conditioning. There's 2,600 feet of climbing on the sometimes steep rollers.

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