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South Dakota input
I am driving west to Wyoming this weekend to bowhunt for Pronghorn Antelope. I am taking Nancy along as my videographer. I promised her that we would leave a few days early, so she could visit some National Parks and monuments on the way out.
If someone from out that way wouldn't mind, I would like some input on the best route to take if we were going to visit the Badlands NP, Wind Cave NP, Rushmore, Jewel Cave, Crazy Horse, and maybe the Minuteman sites. I figured that we'd burn about three full days visiting these six sites.
Since I will be heading west on I-90, my initial plan seems to start at the Minuteman missile site(s), and then take the Badlands "loop". We'd either camp out (or get a room near Rapid City). I was hoping to see Rushmore, Wind Cave, and Crazy Horse (and maybe even Custer State Park or Jewel Cave), over the following two days.
I realize that I am trying to "cram" a lot into three days....but if anyone is familiar with these areas, I sure could use your input, suggestions, and helpful hints....even if it is just to let me know that my itinerary is probably not possible. Nancy seems to prefer a brief visit of many sites, versus an in-depth visit of one or two of the places mentioned.....so I am hoping that we can pull it off....since school in back in session, I am hoping that none of these places will be too "touristy"....present company excluded.
Stay in Custer or even Hot Springs. Motel or get a cabin at either KOA's or other campgrounds there. Much quieter than Rapid City. A lot of wildlife for viewing in Custer state park and Wind Cave. Especially dawn and dusk. I walked to within 15 yards of a herd of pronghorns the other day in Custer park. Buffalo roundup is Sept. 25.
Jake...I'm not all too familiar with SD, but have been to Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse. For me they are "must see" if you are going to be in the area, but don't really take up a lot of time so hitting it in three days isn't so much an issue. I agree with Brown E about staying off the beat'en path like in Hot Springs.
Any way you look at it, you'll have a "relaxing" hunt/trip. Enjoy.
Don't miss Devils Tower, its not to bad a drive from Rapid City and well worth the trip.
Jake, Make sure to do the 14 mile wildlife loop at dusk.
I just heard that the Full Throttle Saloon burned down last night so you can scratch that high priority off your list.
Jake, you've got the start of your trip nailed. Do the Badlands loop on your way out. I would spend a day one in Custer. Grab breakfast at the Baker's Cafe on Main St. Hit Jewel Cave first then travel back east to Wind Cave. After Wind Cave I would travel through Custer State Park and drive the needles highway up to Mt Rushmore. Try to attend the lighting ceremony at Mt Rushmore. It's a must see. Day 2 I'd spend in the Hill City area. Take in Crazy Horse, you can see more of Custer State Park, and ride the 1880 train out of Hill City to Keystone. You have to have dinner at least one night at the Alpine Inn in Hill City. The Custer State Park wildlife loop in the evening is a good thing to do one night. The last night I would spend in Deadwood. A lot to do there and a lot of history. Don't be afraid to get off the beaten path if you like out there. The elk are starting to bugle in those hills! If you wany any more specific details or anything just shoot me a PM. Enjoy your trip Jake!
Brotsky gave you the right itinerary there!!!
Dang, Brotsky sounds like a professional TOUR GUIDE! LoL, Say Brotsky, I'm taking my family to Vegas the week after Christmas to tour Hoover Dam, Yellowstone, etc... Can you recommend some good stuff out that way? Mike
Mike, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so unfortunately I'm unable to help there (literally unable as I don't remember much of that last trip for a friend's bachelor party!)
As far as Yellowstone is concerned I know no man in his right mind from Florida would travel there the week after Christmas! Ha!
Thanks for the suggestions.....!!