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Planning and Preparation for Your Sturgis Trip

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally offers an exhilarating, authentic rally experience for motorcycle enthusiasts and their families. However, you’ll want to do at least a little preparation for your trip to ensure that you have all the supplies you may need and you know what to expect.

Here are a few essential tips for planning a trip to the Sturgis Rally.

Consider When to Arrive and Depart

The 2022 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally will span ten days — August 5th through the 14th. However, pre-rally festivities will take place from August 1st through the 4th.

Some motorcycle enthusiasts arrive at the rally on the first day of the pre-rally party and leave on the event’s last night. Meanwhile, others only stop at the rally for a few hours on the way to another travel destination.

No matter how long you plan to stay at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, there will always be plenty of activities and events happening to fill your time. While staying the full ten days can allow you to experience everything the rally has to offer, you’ll still have a great time if you visit for only a day or two.

Pack Accordingly

Bringing the appropriate gear can help you remain comfortable throughout your rally experience. As a result, we recommend preparing a detailed packing list before you leave and sticking to it when you pack your bags. Here are a few tips to shape your packing list:

  • Leave room in your suitcase: Many rally attendees purchase T-shirts and other souvenir clothing within the first few days of the event. As a result, we recommend planning to add a few new articles to your bag by leaving room in your suitcase and bringing one or two fewer shirts than you think you’ll need.
  • Bring layers: South Dakota weather can vary significantly from morning to night. As a result, we recommend packing warmer layers, such as sweatshirts and long-sleeve shirts, that you can easily don when the weather cools down.
  • Pack rain gear: Most Sturgis Rally events take place outside in uncovered locations. As a result, you may not be able to take shelter every time it rains. Bringing a rain jacket, a poncho, and rain boots can help you stay dry during the inevitable rainy periods.
  • Consider travel supplies: If you’re traveling to the Sturgis Rally from out of state, consider the supplies you may need for your journey. At Law Tigers, we always recommend keeping essential first aid equipment, repair tools, and emergency contact information in your motorcycle storage area.
  • Bring earplugs: Sturgis can get loud. If you’re sensitive to loud noises or want to protect your eardrums, consider bringing a pair of earplugs in your pocket. Earplugs can also keep the cold wind out of your ears while riding.
  • Wear your helmet: Parking and navigation around the rally will be congested and slow, and accidents are bound to happen. Wearing your helmet while riding can help you stay safe in the event of a crash.

If you can’t fit all of your gear in your bike, you can consider shipping supplies to your hotel or the Sturgis Post Office in advance. The post office will hold packages for 30 days, allowing you to pick up your package when you arrive.

Check the Weather

We also recommend checking the weather forecast a few days before you leave for the rally. While weather patterns are always subject to change, having a general idea of the potential temperatures and precipitation can help you prepare accordingly.

For example, if the forecast predicts colder temperatures during your trip, you may want to pack heavier layers. Additionally, several days of rain in the forecast could prompt you to bring additional rain gear.

Consider Parking

There’s nothing more tiresome than showing up to an event only to find that you have no clue where to park. The Sturgis Motorcycle rally is a huge event spanning multiple locations in and around Sturgis. Knowing about parking lots and free parking spaces in advance can give you a better idea of where to park throughout the rally.

First, you should think about which vehicle you plan to bring to the rally. Of course, most attendees ride their motorcycles to the rally, and as a result, the event offers extensive motorcycle parking. However, plenty of people drive their passenger vehicles to the rally instead.

Event organizers only allow motorcycle traffic on Main Street during the rally. If you’re planning to ride your bike to the rally, you can park it next to thousands of other motorcycles on this central street. If you’re driving a passenger vehicle, you can follow signs for parking in other downtown locations.

Additionally, many of Sturgis’s significant events and activities occur at the Buffalo Chip Campground, which has its own parking areas.

Finally, most of the area attractions, such as Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, and Crazy Horse Memorial, charge around $10 for parking.

You shouldn’t have too much trouble finding parking throughout the rally. Event organizers do an excellent job directing traffic and creating designated parking for the hundreds of thousands of attendees. However, be sure to bring extra cash to pay for parking off-site.

Book Your Lodging ASAP

If you haven’t booked your hotel or campground for the rally yet, now is an excellent time to do so. Many annual attendees book their hotels a year in advance to secure the best rates. If you wait until the last minute, you may not be able to find any lodging within a reasonable distance from the rally.

We’ll discuss your lodging options in more detail in a later chapter. However, for now, here are a few tips to secure adequate lodging for rally week:

Prepare To Lodge Farther Away From the Rally

The hotels and campgrounds within a few miles of downtown Sturgis fill up fast. If you haven’t booked lodging yet for the 2022 rally, you’ll probably need to look at options closer to an hour or an hour and a half away from the rally. If you’re planning to visit any off-site attractions during your trip, you may want to book hotels closer to those sites to reduce driving distance.

Plan For Boisterous Guests

If you love a good party, you’ll be happy to know that many of the lodging areas around the rally have their own parties each night.

The hotels and campgrounds near Sturgis tend to be loud and boisterous throughout the night, as event attendees maintain the momentum from the rally’s activities overnight. If you’d prefer a quieter lodging option, consider hotels farther from downtown.

Prepare For Higher Prices

Most hotels and campsites raise their rates during rally week. Be prepared to pay more for these lodging options than you would during any other week. If you’re on a budget, booking a simple campsite may be your most affordable option.

Consider Sharing a Room

Do you have friends, family members, coworkers, or casual acquaintances who are planning to attend Sturgis? If so, you may want to consider sharing a room or campsite with them. Doing so can expand your housing options and save you money. While it may be a tight squeeze for a few days, you’ll be spending most of your time at the rally events, anyway. And speaking of lodging, here are our tips on where to stay at Sturgis.

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