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Help with Yellowstone to Mt Rushmore Itinerary

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Husband and I (in our 60's) are just starting to plan a trip in late August, 2015. Have never been to any of these places. Planning to fly LA to Jackson, WY and return home roughly 10 days later from Rapid City, SD, renting a car:
2 nights Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton NP
2 nights Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone
2 nights Mammoth Hot Springs Cabin, Yellowstone

Have secured reservations for the 4 nights in Yellowstone. Too early to book flights. We definitely want to see the Geyser's and the Lamar Valley wildlife in Yellowstone. Somewhere during this trip, we'd like a 1/2 day of whitewater rafting, maybe horseback riding and some kind of a fun "chuckwagon" dinner experience. How is the Stagecoach / Chuckwagon dinner in Roosevelt? I've also read about the Hells-a-Roarin' ranch in Gardiner for scenic horseback riding followed by a meal. Or are their SD options we should consider. How is the rafting in GTNP (Snake River) versus the Gardiner, MT options?

After Yellowstone, the number one goal is to see Mt. Rushmore. But I'd like advice on:
1) best and most scenic driving route from north end of Yellowstone to Mt. Rushmore. I read great things about hwy 212 Beartooth Mountain scenic route, but also about Cody WY - not sure we could do both. Is Buffalo WY interesting? We love history and historic towns and would love to "soak up some of that western atmosphere" but we are not museum people.

2) What else is a priority to see near Mt. Rushmore if we only have 2 to 3 days in that area? Crazyhorse? Custer National Park? Caves? Deadwood? I think the Badlands might be just a bit too far for us.

3) Any highly recommended lodging for the post-Yellowstone segment of our trip?

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