The VC is in a narrow limestone canyon. Sun and shade are found at all times of the day. The canyon is a very delicate area so tread lightly and respect it. Many local people hike the canyon and would not appreciate a mess. Make sure you pack out everything you bring, including TP! Rattlesnakes have been seen!
Make sure to access the area from Sheridan Lake Rd. DO NOT APPROACH FROM HWY 44 (RIMROCK), the landowners have been generous to the climbing community but are now starting to press trespassing issues.
Take Sheridan Lake road west out of Rapid City. You will come to a convenience store on the corner of Sheridan Lake Road and Dunsmore, go 2.1 miles more until you come to Norsemen Lane on the north side of the road. Take this road for about 100yards until you go through a NFS gate (open May 15-Dec 15). The NFS road you come to is #150. Start you mileage at this point. Stay on the well traveled dirt road for 1.7 miles then go right at road 1E. You will drive over a few rubber water bars until you hit an open meadow at mile 2.7. Stay on the well traveled road through the meadow until mile 3.2. There are no motorized signs at this point, park here and walk for .3 miles to an old barbed wire fence (hard to see) and the trail into the canyon. Follow the trail left downhill for about 3 minutes to a sweet overlook of the canyon. Go left and follow the trail down hill for another 2 minutes to the creek. Follow the creek bed to the right for about 5 minutes to the climbing. The creek flows in the spring through mid summer, getting to the routes can be cold and wet. Come prepared for being wet (water shoes, towel etc).
For those people that do or are wanting to climbing in the VC now or in the future this is for you. The NFS is in the process of making an offroad use plan for the Black Hills. Along with this plan are going to be some road closures. The NFS has a few different options that they can go with. One of those options could include closing FS road 150 which is the access road to the VC. After talking to one of the people on the board for the NFS I was told that we need to write letters to the NFS. The letters are not to be form type letter. Each individual needs to write their own version of why the road should stay open. I have a rough outline of things that the letters should hit on. I am not going to post those here. Anyone interested in writing a letter can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the key terms that need to be said. These letters do not need to be from SD residents. So anybody that has and will use the area needs to get involved. If this road closes permanetly the hike into the VC will be long. Lets all help with keeping the road to the VC open. I do not have the address to send them at this time. When I get that I will let all know. Or you can send the letter to me via mail and I will make sure the letters get in the correct hands.
To all whom care Here is the most current info I have on the possible rd 150 closure. The rough draft is being written up at this time. It is supposed to be out in late Feb or early March. That draft will be availabe to the public at that time. In the back of that draft there will be a page with a comment section and a self addressed envelope to send it in. Some people will get them in the mail, if you do not you can pick them up at the USFS office in your area. I guess you can pick a couple extras up for others also. When I find out more I will post it. Mike
Road 150 update The projected date of the off road use plan to be out for public comment is Feb 27th. From what I have found out is that road 150 is proposed to say open in all the drafts, but 1E spur road is proposed to be closed in all but proposal C, that is the one with the big off road use section. Nothing is set in stone so when the draft comes out please comment to keep the 150 1E open. If that closed is could add about 1 mile to the hike. 150 is looking like it will stay a seasonal closure. I will keep you informed as I get more info.
Hello everyone...just a quick reminder that climbers will be affected by changes made by this travel plan. Access to some of the crags around the area will require a longer walk once roads are closed. We should go to these meetings and voice our concerns. Contact Mike Cronin for specifics on how the plan will affect us.
Forest Service to Release Draft Motorized Travel Plans
Custer, SD – Forest Service officials will hold public meetings in March to familiarize the public with new draft plans for motorized travel management on the Black Hills National Forest.
The meetings are scheduled for two hours each, 6-8pm, March 9, 10, 11 & 12.
Meeting attendees will hear a presentation and join Forest Service personnel who will help people to get to know the documents. Detailed maps illustrate five alternative approaches to motorized travel in the Forest. The public will be able to participate in a question and answer period, officials said.
Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien said the alternatives reflect hundreds of public comments gathered at Forest Service meetings and meetings hosted by the Black Hills National Forest Advisory Board, a citizen advisory board appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to advise the Forest Service on Forest management.
The Forest Service has prepared a Draft Environmental Impact Statement with five alternative approaches for motorized travel management in the Black Hills National Forest for further review and further comment, Bobzien said.
“We will have public comments on the alternatives presented in the Draft EIS to further refine alternatives in the Final EIS,” he said.
The public will have 45 days during the official comment period to comment on the proposals, beginning March 20 and ending on May 4. Officials said people should comment during the formal comment period because of legal requirements in the National Environmental Policy Act process.
“People will have an opportunity to listen, look, and ask questions, and then to tell us what they think,” said Frank Carroll, forest planner. Carroll said the formal public meetings will be followed by individual ranger district meetings that will be announced later in March.
Bobzien said he intends to make a final decision and select an alternative in late 2009. The Forest Service will publish a Motor Vehicle Use Map implementing the decision in 2010.
Schedule: Monday, March 9: 6pm – 8pm Sundance, WY Crook County Courthouse Tuesday, March 10: 6pm-8pm - Spearfish, SD Holiday Inn Express Wednesday, March 11: 6pm-8pm - Rapid City, SD Ramkota Hotel Thursday, March 12: 6pm-8pm - Custer, SD Crazy Horse Memorial
For more information call travel planner Tom Willems or Forest Planner Frank Carroll at 605-673-9200 or visit the Black Hills National Forest website at www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills
Frank Carroll Planning & Public Affairs Staff Black Hills National Forest 1019 N. 5th Street Custer, SD 57701 (605) 673-9216 Work (605) 673-5958 Home (605) 673-1504 Cell Fcarroll@fs.fed.us Fcarrolls1@msn.com
RE: Proposed closure of Forest Service Road 150/1E near Rapid City, SD.
To Whom It May Concern:
This letter is a request for support in regards to the USFS Travel Management Plan (TMP) for the Black Hills National Forest. The TMP proposes that Forest Service Road 150/1E be closed. Road 150/1E is the only public access to Victoria Canyon (VC). Victoria Canyon is approximately 1 mile from Rapid City and holds 40+ sport climbing routes on steep limestone. The climbers of the Black Hills are asking you to submit comments in support of leaving Forest Service Road 150/1E open to vehicle access. Without more public support, this very unique rock climbing area will be lost due to lack of public access.
The following are some of the reasons we believe Forest Service Road 150/1E needs to remain open to public access:
1. Victoria Canyon has been used since the middle 1980’s for roped rock climbing and bouldering. 2. Due to the location of Victoria Canyon, it will be land locked if 150/1E is closed. The access from the Dark Canyon side of Victoria Canyon is all private and 150/1E is the only other access by motorized travel. Due to the Victoria Lake Road Closure that was established in the past years, all other roads that could access Victoria Canyon are already closed. 3. All types of recreation that take place in Victoria Canyon (hiking, climbing, bouldering, kayaking) are low impact and non-motorized. 4. Victoria Canyon is one of the closest rock climbing areas to Rapid City. Falling Rock climbing area takes a lot of impact due to its close location to Rapid City. Keeping road 150/1E open will help disperse recreational impact on one area.
Below are instructions on how to comment, what to include, and where to send your comments. If you have prior experience with this type of issue please feel free to add anything that you think might help this cause. The climbers of the Black Hills want to thank you for taking the time to help keep access to Victoria Canyon open to the public. Thank you!
How to comment on the Travel Management Plan Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) What you should know about making a comment… • For your comments to receive the consideration they deserve, we must receive them by May 4, 2009. • Your comment should include: o Name, address, telephone number and organization (if applicable) o Title of the document you are commenting on o Specific facts and supporting reasons for the responsible official to consider • Comments that are concise and specific are less likely to be misunderstood and are of greater value when being considered. Recommendations about specific roads, trails, or issues and the rationale are most useful. • Form letters and petitions are acceptable, but be aware that the Forest Service will evaluate the content of individual comments rather than the quantity of comments received supporting a particular view. • Comments, names and addresses received on this proposal will be part of the public record and may be included in the final EIS and available to anyone who requests to see them. We look forward to your comments… Comments can be delivered in many ways, but they must be in writing (paper or electronic) and must be received by May 4, 2009.
Send Comments to: BHNF Travel Mgmt Plan DEIS P.O. Box 162909 Sacramento, CA 95816-2909 E-mail to: BHNFcomments@fscomments.org Fax to: 916-456-6724
Road 150/1E update I went to the NFS open house on Sat morning and met with the rangers about the road closure. Once I mentioned the road I was concerned about they new what I was talking about due to the letters that they have been getting. They seemed to be very receptive to our cause. What this showed was keep the letters coming. Mike
By Chris treggE Administrator From: Madison, WI May 27, 2009
The "saddle" to park at is at mile 3.7. I will post photos when I get back from this road trip. Good directions. AWESOME place!!! Thanks Mike and Luke for the "in person" beta and posting stuff up here, and all the HARD WORK!!! This place is a mini Spearfish Canyon that is even cooler IMHO-- superb routes with amazing holds and features. I would highly recommend a high clearance 4WD vehicle if you plan to drive the full way to the saddle (EDIT -- YOU CAN NO LONGER DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO THE SADDLE). Otherwise park in the end of the clearing and walk the extra 10 minutes. It is absolutely worth it. Follow the trail down by the rock cairn. After about 50 yards it forks, go left.
I spoke with the NFS and was told that the access on road 150/1E will most likely stay open for access on a seasonal level may 15-dec 15. The final word comes from the big man in Custer. The Pactola Dist. recommended that it stay open for the VC access. Thanks for all the letters and it just goes to show that input from user groups does help.
Rumor has it that the road will be open for the weekend of the 20th. The water was higher than this level 3 summers ago, makes for a good cleansing. A rap station is going in over the top of hot cock. Should be able to rap in and keep the rope dry then climb out.
Here is the latest and greatest on Spearfish Canyon, The VC and Other Black Hills Limestone. There has been another delay on the printing. So Sharpend and I have worked out a deal on the e-books. I am now selling e-books for the same price of $28.00. So if you have prepaid for a book already I will give your contact information to Sharpend and they will send you the e-book link then you will get a hard copy when they arrive. If you want an early e-book, give me your email so I can invoice you and get an e-book on the way to you. If you have any questions on this deal please contact me. Remember 5% of sales through me goes to the local bolt and anchor repair fund. My contact info can be found at www.blackhillsclimbingguide.com