Road Rube Rides
Vanocker CAnyon/Nemo Road
Distance: 35 miles
Time: 54 minutes
Vanocker Canyon is the most fun motorcycle road in the Black Hills
The scenery in the Black Hills is great wherever you ride. And every year you go, you probably do the same rides that you do every year. You even enjoy them every time you get on them. I’m the same way. Then I rode Vanocker Canyon. Maybe I’ve ridden it before. Maybe not. Can’t remember. But when I rode it this time, I realized that it is a blast. It’ll be on my list to ride when I go through the Black Hills from now on.
Take Vanocker Canyon out of Sturgis – take Junction Ave. south out of Sturgis and it takes you to the underpass of I-90. That turns into Vanocker Canyon Road. It took the Vanocker Canyon Road through Nemo and followed Nemo Road (which changes to South Canyon Road) all the way into the outskirts of Rapid City. Otherwise, start in Rapid City and find South Canyon Road on the west side of the city and follow it to Nemo and then north on Vanocker Canyon Road.
The scenery and roads in Vanocker Canyon are excellent. There aren’t too many gawker spots to stop, but this is about the road. Take mental pictures. The road is perfectly curvy through the Black Hills terrain. It goes from craggy palisades to open farmland vistas throughout the ride. The speed limits are mostly between 35 and 45 and are just fine for this ride. I rode 35 miles and it took about 54 minutes. The road opens up after Nemo heading toward Rapid City. It still has good curves. The speed picks up and the road condition is fairly shoddy for stretches heading into Rapid City. You may want to cut out the Rapid City leg of this ride and head west out of Nemo. Here’s the link to that section of the ride Nemo Road
The Bottom Line
You’re missing out if you don’t ride Vanocker Canyon. It’s the best motorcycle ride in the Black Hills.