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Old 11-06-2015, 04:58 PM   #1
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First trip to Mt Rushmore

Hi All,
We are planning a trip next summer to Mt Rushmore. This our first trip east of Jackson, Wyoming and we are looking forward to seeing new sights! We'll be coming from Salt Lake City via Casper, WY. and are thinking about Sheridan Lake as a base for a 7 to 10 day stay.
Any input about Sheridan Lake or other campgrounds would be appreciated.
Also, looking for sightseeing suggestions in that same area. We are usually looking for the road less traveled so all suggestions welcomed.
Thanks in advance for your help
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:13 PM   #2
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In the Black Hills we stay at Crooked Creek Resort just south of Hill City (stay there every year since 2009). Just 15 minutes from Mt Rushmore.

Sheridan Lake is nice too.

Take the train from hill City to Keystone and back someday. Well worth it for the view and the history of the area. You'll see stuff you can not see from the road.

Custer State Park. A MUST. The Wild Life Loop is awesome. We make sure to ride through at least twice during the week we are there (sometimes more).


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Old 11-06-2015, 05:27 PM   #3
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Sent you a PM. Custer State Park is a must. Other nearby places. Wind Cave & Jewell Cave if you are in to cave tours. On the way from SL stop at Martin's Cove if you're into Mormon history. Stop at Independence Rock. Open Pit coal mine east of Wright, Wyoming. Be sure & go back to Mt. Rushmore at night. Under the lights are fantastic. We watched a program by Brule at the amphitheater at Mt. Rushmore. It was great. Loved it.
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Old 11-06-2015, 05:49 PM   #4
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We just returned from Mt Rushmore last Friday. Sheridan Lake is really pretty. We stayed in Custer at Beaver Lake RV Park, can't say enough about that park. The sites were all very nice, shaded, and roomy. The owners are fantastic, we stayed 4 nights and enjoyed it very much. Onsite water park as well for the kids. We stopped in at a couple other RV Parks and though Beaver Lake had them all hands down. Yes, Custer State Park is a must along with Mt Rushmore both at sunrise and sunset, amazing! If you are into gaming Deadwood is a fun town, but we are not and we thought it was over rated. Spearfish Canyon drive is also noteworthy, take a whole day and enjoy some stops along the beautiful route. We received a lot of mixed reviews about Crazy Horse monument but took a chance and were delighted. It's and interesting stop contrasting it to Rushmore, I wont say any more, we suggest checking it out though. We missed Hill City but wished we had made the stop it looks neat. Jewel Cave is also a must but be aware that they limit the numbers of persons per tour, if your late to sign up you'll miss a tour you might like. The Scenic Tour is the most popular and well worth it. A note of caution, the summer months are extremely busy in the Black Hills, bring along a lot of patience.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:22 PM   #5
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Thanks to all for the info and ideas. This will go a long way to helping us plan for another bucket list trip next year.
For photos of this years bucket list trip, click here: Forest River Forums - Canonman's Album: The Grand Loop…Sorta
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:48 PM   #6
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As a local to the Black Hills area, I agree with a lot of what has been recommended - Mt Rushmore, day and night; Custer State Park; Hill City and the 1880 train; Spearfish Canyon. I would add as a must, Iron Mountain Road. I'd also recommend Devil's Tower in WY and the Badlands by Wall, SD. A must SKIP IMO is Wall Drug - what a major letdown that was. Also, I am not a fan of Sheridan Lake and would never stay there. We've not camped in any of the campgrounds in the Hills (we usually go to a lake south of here) so no advice there, but Custer State Park has some pretty campgrounds, but so does the surrounding areas. It depends what kind of amenities you want at a campground, this area has everything from dry camping to private campground resorts. There are numerous caves around and tourist attractions/traps galore (Tourism is our economy!). If you like to hike, you will have tons of trails to choose from. As was mentioned, summer is busy around here and unless you are interested in the Sturgis Bike Rally, I'd avoid the whole area like the plague during the first two weeks of August. If you'd like any other info, send me a PM.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:23 PM   #7
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My first time to Mt. Rushmore this past summer. Definitely go during the day and return for the evening show. I was there the end of June. Very nice during the day. Make sure you take a jacket or sweater to the evening performance because it cools off quite a bit.

I stayed at the Rafter J CG. Very good. I'm a newbie and not very good at backing in. One of the office staff escorted me to my site and was very patient helping me backin.

I went to the Alpine Inn in Hill City for an excellent bacon wrapped filet. $11.95! You could cut the steak with a fork. It was that tender and one of the best steaks I've ever had. I tried going back on Saturday, but heavy rain closed the roads into Hill City. Tried going on Sunday but they were closed. I left on Monday. Looking forward to my next visit.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:24 PM   #8
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Be sure and visit the town of Keystone

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Old 11-07-2015, 12:29 PM   #9
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When we visited a couple of months ago, Nick Clifford, one of the original "drillers" from the carving of Mt Rushmore, was in the souvenir shop answering questions and signing his book.
If he is there, be sure to go over and see him - great oral history!
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:41 PM   #10
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Wall Drug is a bit tacky but i wouldn't miss it. Its an American success story. During the great depression, the original owner gave out free ice water to those traveling through as a way to drum up business. Its is an American icon. Largest collection of western art in the USA. Free donut and coffee to vets. A lot of stuff to see in this small town. Great for kids.

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