Family trip to RMNP and Mt. Rushmore area

Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:16 AM
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Family trip to RMNP and Mt. Rushmore area

We're a family of 5; 3teenage boys. We're going to Rocky Mountain National Park for 4 days and then traveling to the Mount Rushmore area for 4 days. We're flying from RDU to COS and renting a car for 12 days. I would love suggestions for activities that are unique and fun plus suggestions for the extra 4 days we have. We aren't big shoppers and some people in our household have a reletively low tolerance for museums. Hiking, rafting, horesback riding would all be activities we would enjoy. I really appreciate any suggestions you could give us.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:31 AM
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Custer State Park should fill your requirements. There is a lot to do in and around the Custer area. We used Custer as our home base when we visited Mt Rushmore. South Dakota has a nice tourism web page which I used for all my travel planning to the area: www.travelsd.com.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 05:37 AM
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When you are in Mt Rushmore area :
-Custer park(wild life++, hikes,...)
-Deadwood and spearfish canyon(hikes++)
-Badlands(scenery, hikes)
-Devils Tower nat'l monument(scenery and
there is a combination of trails that
would allow you a whole day with pic-nic
and cross a prairie dog town).
-Crazy horse memorial(indian artifact
museum is incomparably rich...)
-Journey museum in Rapid City(one of the most interesting we have never seen...)
-In Keystone there is a dude ranch : the
RRR ranch.They have a website. Rides are not difficult, only walking due to
the nature of trails(rocky, in forest) and due to the custer park legislation but views are so incredible...
-Mammoth site in Hot springs would be very interesting for the family...
We were in South Dakota last year for 2 weeks-parents only- but will return this year with our 2 daughters...
I've made a trip report on our sejour.
Just click on my screen name and you will find it...
Erik.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Thank you for the wonderful suggestions. This is our first non-ocean/lake vacation and we're really looking forward to something different
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 04:01 PM
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What time of year are you talking about? Certain activities in Colorado are better at certain times of the year and worse, or non-existant, at others.
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Old Mar 3rd, 2006, 08:43 PM
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Jewel Cave National Monument in Custer and Wind Cave National Park (www.nps.gov) both have more "high adventure" type cavern tours.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 12:43 PM
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We will be traveling in late July this summer. We appreciate your suggestions thus far.
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Old Mar 12th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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If you enjoy biking, try a part of the Mickelson Trail in the Black Hills. The Trail is an old railroad bed and runs from Lead/Deadwood through Hill City and Custer to the southern Hills in South Dakota. You can rent bicycles at various towns; we rented ours in Hill City. Also, make your hotel reservations early, as things fill up quickly for the summer. Although people enjoy staying in Custer, we prefer to stay in Hill City.
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Old Mar 17th, 2006, 07:53 PM
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There are many nice hikes in RMNP. The East Inlet trail is my favorite - lots of scenery along the trail, waterfalls, meadows and wonderful views. Take plenty of water with you! Rent a motor boat, canoes or kayaks in Grand Lake - it's a pretty lake and is connected to Shadow mountain Reservoir by a channel - you can cruise on both lakes. If you are flying into Colorado Springs - make sure to visit Pikes Peak! You can take the cog-railway train to the top if you don't want to drive, but make sure to have a reservation. There's actually a trail that goes to the top, but it's long and winds all over the place. I've been on better hikes! If you are around the Idaho Springs area, you can drive to the top of Mount Evans. It is another 14er. You'll see a lot of wildlife - big horn sheep, mountain goats and elk.
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