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Old 05-19-2011, 10:25 AM   #1
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black hills mt. rushmore

how many days should we plan to spend to enjoy the Mt. Rushmore/black hills area
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:27 AM   #2
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How far you travelling? What you plan on doing? If you plan to sight see and take it easy. Probably at least 3- maybe 4 days. If your in a hurry to get home... Maybe 2.
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Old 05-19-2011, 10:40 AM   #3
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it would be on return trip from northern colorado to michigan probably have 3 days to spare so maybe we will give it a shot.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:07 PM   #4
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BTW. Camping is filling up fast. I just held 16 minutes to reserve a spot
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:24 PM   #5
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Visiting Mount Rushmore is on my bucket list. I thought I was going to get time a few years back to get there, but it didn't pan out. I did however, go to the South Dakota tourism site back then, and signed up there. They still send me emails (and mailings) all the time with specials and such. It just fuels my fire to try and get there.

Might be something you want to look into.

South Dakota Tourism

Now, where is the 'green with envy' emoticon. LOL

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Old 05-19-2011, 01:48 PM   #6
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We are staying at the MT Rushmore / Hill City KOA from the 26th of June till 2nd July as there are many things to do and see in the area and we figured 6 days was the right amount to see everything we wanted to. Also going to Hardin Montana for the Custers last stand reinactment and will be in Bismark for the 4th of July.
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:00 PM   #7
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If you include the Badlands Nat'l Park in your itinerary (and you should), add a day for that. Also, about an hour or so west of Rapid City is Ft. Laramie. Well worth a visit and you can see most of the Fort in a couple of hours.

As for camping, I don't know how hard it might be to get a site right now, but look at Custer State Park. A great park and very close to Mt. Rushmore.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:09 PM   #8
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Try Custer State Park. We stayed at Stockade lake CG
some years ago and had a wonderful time.
They didn't have hookups at that time but in June it wasn't
a problem as far as being too hot at night.
We have a Maxxair fan and it gives us a cool breeze on the
bed even with no hookups.
They also had decent shower facilities.
It's a great old park. Be sure and stop by the old lodge.
It's the first time I'd ever seen bighorn sheep up close.

Be SURE and drive up the scenic needles highway.
It's awesome. Google needles highway for tons of pictures.
Also have to agree with Willis, save a day and run out
to Badlands National Park.
It's definitely worth it.
Stop at famous Wall Drug for a mandatory walkabout
and some ice cream on your way back!
Ya just gotta love their highway signs.
Reminds me of the old Burma Shave signs.
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:12 PM   #9
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Last time I suggested we go to South Dakota my wife made me take her to Hawaii. Without that little jaunt I'd have the MH paid off!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:34 PM   #10
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I would say minimum 2-3 days in the Black Hills area. There is so much to do & see there that you could easily make a week out of it. We stayed at Custer State Park Stockade Lake north campground. Very nice park. No hookups, but they have decent showers that were well maintained. While in the area we drove all of the roads in the state park. The one road has three tunnels that open out overlooking Mt. Rushmore. Not for large vehicles though. What a diverse area & plenty of wildlife to see. We visited Wind Cave & Jewel Cave. Spent a day at Mt. Rushmore. If you can be sure & go back at night to see Mt. Rushmore under lights. It is impressive & they have some nice programs there as well. It was a very memorable trip. Well worth the time.
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Old 05-25-2011, 06:58 AM   #11
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I would say minimum 2-3 days in the Black Hills area. There is so much to do & see there that you could easily make a week out of it. We stayed at Custer State Park Stockade Lake north campground. Very nice park. No hookups, but they have decent showers that were well maintained. While in the area we drove all of the roads in the state park. The one road has three tunnels that open out overlooking Mt. Rushmore. Not for large vehicles though. What a diverse area & plenty of wildlife to see. We visited Wind Cave & Jewel Cave. Spent a day at Mt. Rushmore. If you can be sure & go back at night to see Mt. Rushmore under lights. It is impressive & they have some nice programs there as well. It was a very memorable trip. Well worth the time.
Yes those tunnels can be intimidating for large vehicles.



Be sure to drive the wildlife loop road in Custer State park.



A trip to see the Chief Crazy Horse Momument is worth it.



If you can hike the trail at Mount Rushmore, it offers some close up views.

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Old 05-25-2011, 07:00 AM   #12
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Oh and I almost forgot, be sure to check out the backside of Mount Rushmore.

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Old 05-25-2011, 08:18 AM   #13
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Oakman,
That looks more like yearly review time at my office.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:23 AM   #14
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Black Hills are a little touristy but it really is a beautiful area. Easy to spend 3 days there. There is a steam train ride that is fun; from Keystone I think. There are dude ranches that provide horse rides. And fun places for kids like "gravit spots", reptile gardens, etc. Shootout re-inactments in Keystone out on the street.

Badlands are cool as previously noted. If you have pets, keep them in the vehicle as the local rodents (in the Badlands) carry bubonic plague. (I'm NOT kidding.) There are signs posting. Beautiful landscape. Twisty drive but we got our 25' trailer through there OK.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:24 AM   #15
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I have been out there many times from 1 day stops to 5 day trips. I would say you need at least 3 days. My kids love it there. They will spend hours climbing rocks and hills. I have stayed there with a tent, tent-trailer, and a 31 travel trailer and Custer park is nice. If you need hook ups you should check out Rafter J Ranch. We have stayed there several times and we love it. The property is amazing. Ask for the "island" campground.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:20 AM   #16
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Oakman,
That looks more like yearly review time at my office.
LOL, I didn't think about that before but yes, it does remind one of the workplace.
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Old 05-25-2011, 11:27 AM   #17
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We are headed out that way come mid-July from Florida. Hoping that 60 days gives us time to see your part of the country. Can't wait !
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:12 PM   #18
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there are several things to do in that area. we stayed at a campground right next to the crazy horse monument (heritage village i think).
1 day to do crazy horse
1 day to see the 5 presidents on the mountian (Rushmore...bill is under construction).
1 day (at least) to visit Custer state park
1 day to do the dinosaur dig at hot springs
1 day to do the wild horse tour south of hot springs
ok that will fill 3 of the days...
on the way, spend a day at mitchel, sd and visit the corn palace. very interesting.
don't forget to stop in wall, sd and get ur free glass of ice water.
we spent the night at murdo, sd (just before rapid city) and visited the car museum.
if u have 60 days to do it, go up to rigby(?),ND and see the geographic center of north America.
we thoroughly enjoyed SD. there is plenty to do there. my first time up there was in 2002. in July, it didn't really dark until around 11.
if u have the time, go over and visit glacier park in Montana.
my first trip up, i had 13 days and did murdo, rapid city, and Yellowstone. the second trip, we had 30 days and made sure we took in Mitchel and wall.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:18 PM   #19
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jimh,
Thanks for the tips. Working on the routing over the next few weeks and appreciate all the advice available.
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Old 05-25-2011, 07:45 PM   #20
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Don't forget "the cosmos" and Bear Country USA!!

drive through bear country - YouTube - ‪Bear Country USA‬‏

Cosmos - Cosmos Mystery Area - A fun-filled Black Hills attraction near Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore!
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