Driving from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD

Jul 13th, 2009, 05:49 PM
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Driving from Yellowstone to Black Hills SD

Hi - I am almost done planning my trip. Everything is booked, even my rafting trip.
Just one more thing. We are spending our last of 5 nights (Sat) in Yellowstone at Canyon and then driving across the state to SD. We don't have a hotel reservation for the next night (Sun.) We will be spending the next few nights starting Mon in Custer State Park. I am trying to map out our route. We would like to stop at Devils Tower on the way.
My first idea is to leave Canyon in the morning, drive through Cody and spend an hour or 2, then drive toward Devils Tower and stay in the Best Western in Hulett, WY which is near DT. First thing in the morning we can see DT and then hop back in the car and make out way towards Custer, while perhaps hitting some more stops along the way.
Does anyone have any suggestions for this route or a better idea (ie get there quickly and see it before dark and stay closer to Black Hills (Sundance,Deadwood), stay further out like in Gilette or Sheridan, I don't know - I am clueless here!!)
Anyway - any help on the matter is greatly appreciated!!
Also if there are any must sees in the Black Hills besides: Mt Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer State Park - please chime in!!
MiamiBeachMomma is offline  
Jul 13th, 2009, 07:40 PM
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MBM: My family and I took this same route in reverse few years back- Left Black Hills late morning, did DT, stayed overnight in Sheridan, then drove all day to Yellowstone via 14, Cody, East Entrance. Highly recommend Devils Tower-such a unique sight to see. I think what you have planned looks fine as I too would not do too much on that driving day. Just getting from Canyon to Cody is an hour, and then the route out to I-90 via Cody(we went rt 14 thru Sheridan)is definitely not interstate driving @ 75mph. It's all 2 lane highway going thru some small towns and very scenic going thru the BigHorn Mountains. Anyhow, my point is getting from Yellowstone to Devils Tower w/ short stop in Cody is a full day! Smart to stay somewhere and then do Devils Tower next morning I think.

Black Hills has so much to offer. I wouldn't miss either Wind Cave NP or Jewell Cave and take one of the guided tours. We did Wind Cave and the kids loved it so much that we went to Jewell Cave the next day (they're only about 45 mins from each other). I think from an earlier post, Badlands is already on your list- highly recommend that. Also, if have time, driving Needles Highway was fun also.
dw732 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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Thanks!! Good to know about the dirve - we werent sure if it was highway or back roads. I am sure this is more beautiful and more stressful
I was debating the Badlands as it is another long drive and a friend told me it was best at sunrise and sunset bc of the shadows, but she didn't recommend it other times of the day.
MiamiBeachMomma is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:25 AM
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I think stopping in Hulett is a good idea, it is close by to Devil's Tower. If you arrive early enough, you could see DT that evening. Afterwards, going east on hwy 24 to Belle Fourche (then south to Spearfish) is also a pretty drive.

Summer heat also might be one of the reasons to avoid the Badlands, but so far Black Hills weather has been cooler than usual, though that could change. I think the Badlands are striking with or without shadows, but it is a drive to get there and back.
LHS is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 07:49 AM
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 103
We also have done that route and it sounds like you have a good plan. We took an additional detour and went to Little Big Horn. A ways out of the way but worth it if you're a history nut.
We stayed at the Canyon this summer. The cottage was very nice but the roads within the Canyon property are pothole filled and not very good so be prepared. Other than that it was very nice. While we were there, a lady was talking on the phone and was "bumped" by a bison. She wasn't hurt real bad but it's worth another reminder to never turn your back on the animals.
Have a great time.
TravelGram is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 11:10 AM
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LHS is abs right about Badlands in that it definitely will be hot; especially compared to the cooler temps up in the BHs. But it is the dry heat and you can do as much or as little hiking as you like. We basically just drove the Loop Road, got out to take a few photos. Stopped in Wall, etc. It's definitely worth doing and you won't regret it. But that doesn't mean other things aren't higher priority because it is all fun, beautiful and you're seeing plenty. Hope you avoid the bikers and Enjoy!
dw732 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2009, 12:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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1. Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. We found this place very interesting and there's lots for kids to see and do as well if you are travelling with children.

2. Hike to the top of Harney Peak--The scenery on the hike is gorgeous and the views from the top are fabulous. The hike (6 miles RT) is rated as "moderate", but my grandmother did it when she was 80 years old and my daughter did it when she was 7 years old, so I'd say it's on the easy side of moderate. The trailhead is at Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park.
longhorn55 is offline  
Jul 15th, 2009, 12:12 PM
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TravelGram- Thanks for the info on the Bison "bumping", when that story hit Miami it was far more gruesome!! Now I have the actual story thanks to you and google!

dw732 - thanks to this board we changed our plans to avoid the Sturgis Rally!!

longhorn - thanks for the Harney peak hike - sounds great and I hope we can fit it in!!

Thanks everyone for helping me feel better about nixing the Badlands. There is so much to do and see on the trip without driving an additional bunch of hours.

LHS - I am going to book the Hulett hotel because as you pointed out we could go when we arrive or the next morning. Its a win win plan!!
MiamiBeachMomma is offline  
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