Mt. Rushmore, Late March 2016?

Jul 8th, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Mt. Rushmore, Late March 2016?

We are really wanting to visit the Mt. Rushmore, Badlands, Deadwood, South Dakota area in Late march for our kids' Spring Break ( and mine as I'm a professor). We will have about 10 total days including drive time ( 17 hours) from Central Arkansas.

My question is about weather. Will there be snow? I found online the average in Deadwood late March is 44 degrees, but I assume snow is still possible. We are okay with snow, but please note we are from Arkansas and rarely see more than a few flurries. I wonder if we could still travel well in the snow. Again, in Arkansas a few flurries and all life halts.
rachellynn99 is offline  
Jul 8th, 2015, 04:47 PM
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In March 44 is the average high - the average low is 21. So you will very likely run into quite cold weather and snow is very likely.

If you are not experienced driving in snow/sleet/ice this is not something I would recommend.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 8th, 2015, 07:05 PM
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Snow is fine, and actually we would love to experience an actual "winter" and perhaps go skiing or tubing. The lodges we were hoping to stay in are both open during that time period. Thanks for your information re: road conditions though. I didn't know if roads were better managed there when it snowed than here. I assumed so, but didn't know how travel would be .
rachellynn99 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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Yes, you can expect roads to be better managed in any area that gets a lot of snow.

But when it is actually snowing you will run into roads that are not plowed, partly plowed, have residue of snow and ice and are slippery. Black ice is especially treacherous.

And driving in snow or ice is a very different skill than driving on a dry road. Much better if you have a car with 4WD - or at least front wheel drive. And you need to SLOW DOWN, preferably drive in 1t or 2nd grear to have more traction, and be very careful - as well as carrying all necessary equipment in your car: snow shovel, snow/ice brush, something to put under the wheels in case of ice (kitty litter? cardboard?) and blankets/water in case you are stuck for a while. (A major storm can easily close roads for 12 to 24 hours).
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 01:01 PM
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Thank you. So if my options were having to go during late March or not going at all, would you "chance" it.

This has been a want of ours for a while, but due to schedules Spring Break is really the only time we have longer than about 4-5 days all together.
rachellynn99 is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 04:32 PM
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The Black Hills will not shut down if there's s bit of snow falling.

Road conditions will depend completely on how much snow is falling and the temperature. Late March and early April can get a lot of snow, or it could be rain if its a few degrees warmer than freezing. Impossible to predict.

Badlands is warmer than the Black Hills but that time of year is very unpredictable. Could be 60 for a high, could be 30 with a blizzard. I would make plans to go and have an alternate destination in mind if there is a major storm in the forecast that would severely hinder your travel and/or vacation plans. A blizzard is a major storm, an inch or two of snow in that region is not.
WhereAreWe is offline  
Jul 9th, 2015, 04:42 PM
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Well if that was the only time I could go I would do so as long as the snow wasn't more than 8 or 10". But I have spent more than 30 years driving in snow of all types and know how to deal with problems.

Only you can decide how comfy you will be in snow - agree per the above to have another option is a storm blows in.
nytraveler is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 12:59 PM
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Thank you. We certainly don't want a blizzard or to be stranded. We just don't have another option to be gone for that long for a while unfortunately. I'll take this information to my husband and we'll discuss.
rachellynn99 is offline  
Jul 10th, 2015, 07:38 PM
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If there is going to be a big snowstorm you will get plenty of warning.
tom_mn is offline  
Jul 12th, 2015, 05:14 PM
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Snow in the Dakotas in late March, and April for that matter, is almost a certainty, at least as a ground cover. The thing to remember if driving from Arkansas is that the prairie is wide open, and often windy. If not crusted over, the snow can be blown over the roads, polishing them into "black ice", which is treacherous. Not to say that it will, but it's often the case, even on sunny days. They usually sand the roads, but you'd want to avoid driving around the 32 degree range at evenings, especially if there's blowing snow, due to low visibility.
If you decide you're up for the adventure, I would definitely recommend keeping the cruise control OFF, drive slower than recommended speed posted, pay attention to weather advisories (and HEED them!)and stop at truck stops/rest areas for advice from fellow travelers as you travel. Remember that people live in this area and go about their lives all the time; they're just mindful of Mother Nature.
Also remember that some attractions/areas may be closed; check before coming so you won't be disappointed. You may want to check into snowmobiling options as well as skiing/tubing for winter fun; you may even be able to hire a guide to drive you around certain areas if you're not comfortable. Another time of the year would be better, but just do your homework & ask for more advice from the locals.
HotWheels is offline  
Jul 18th, 2015, 07:20 AM
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I know I'm a bit late to the party but I needed to add my 2 cents worth. I agree with the previous posters about the possibility of heavy snow and wind but if it were me, I'd go. The year we went we had great weather in March. You just never know for sure. My in-laws rent a four wheel drive when they are headed to snow country. You may need to be flexible in your final destination but to tell you the truth, I think it is fun to hunker down in a snowstorm (as long as you are indoors looking out) and kids love snow. If they aren't used to snow that could be an adventure in itself. You'll have plenty of time to change your daily plan and accommodations to suit the weather. You may want to check out some alternate lodging possibilities in advance of your trip. Be sure to allow an extra couple of days on the end of your trip in case weather slows you down. Drive cautiously, keep an eye to the weather reports and have fun.
mdwest is offline  
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