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terridpage Mar 2nd, 2017 06:42 AM

My Rushmore trip
Hi. I will be traveling by car from southern Illinois in may or June to mt Rushmore. I'm wondering what are must sees along the way and when we get there. My boyfriend is very into the Indian history so if there's anything like that I'd love to know about it. Also we were wanting to drive about 10 hours the first day so we were wanting to find the best place to stay the night. The route we've looked at is going up to St. Louis and drive all the way through Missouri go up to Nebraska then to South Dakota. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Gardyloo Mar 2nd, 2017 07:00 AM

I'd do a big loop. In one direction go via I-90 through South Dakota - Mitchell Corn Palace, Badlands National Park, Deadwood, Lead and Mt. Rushmore in the Black Hills, and maybe a short extension to Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Then on the other, head south into Nebraska and return via the Sand Hills on NE Hwy 2 - very scenic and fascinating.

Map -

tomfuller Mar 2nd, 2017 07:17 AM

Gardyloo's map is the best plan. It is 10 hours from St. Louis to Mitchell. If you didn't want to go all the way to Mitchell, Sioux Falls would be your stop for the first night.
The Corn Palace is worth an hour or two of your time.
While you are in the area, spend some time in the Badlands and maybe see the Crazy Horse sculpture.

HotWheels Mar 5th, 2017 04:43 PM

How long are you planning to travel before arriving in the Black Hills(Mt Rushmore area)? It's roughly 3 hrs from Kansas City to Omaha/Council Bluffs, the same from Omaha to Sioux Falls - not much for attractions along the way. (I personally wouldn't bother seeing the Mitchell Corn Palace, unless you have ample time to spare.) From Sioux Falls to Rapid City along the Interstate there are a few roadside attractions such as a Classic Car museum, Frontier town, etc. Wall, SD is a small town with the famous "Wall Drug" on Main Street - a touristy place to stop, but a good rest stop for a lunch break & light shopping, and also the entrance to the SD Badlands. You can drive the "loop" leisurely in a few hours, and continue on to Rapid City, about an hour West, which is the gateway to the Black Hills.
My top four attractions, besides Mt. Rushmore, would be Crazy Horse Monument (Cliffside sculpture of Crazy Horse, on the scale of Mt Rushmore - also has a large, interesting museum on Native American history). Jewel Cave National Park (take elevator down to tour large caverns inside earth) or Wind Cave in Custer State Park (drive thru park on the way to cave & see buffalo, antelope, etc.) Mammoth Hot Springs (prehistoric mammoth dig in a sinkhole - enclosed in a building, but still being explored). Needles Drive for panoramic views. Deadwood may be worth a look; it's not like it used to be - now has several casinos, but still has Calamity Jane & Wild Bill's gravesites, No. 10 Saloon where he was shot, etc. Devil's Tower is also a nice daytrip from Deadwood.
As previously stated, you could return home going South from the Black Hills into NE.

happytourist Mar 7th, 2017 04:54 PM

For Indian history you should definitely go to the Museum of the Fur Trade in Chadron, Nebraska.

bjgchi Mar 7th, 2017 05:04 PM

A bit out of the way, but Pipestone National Monumet could be interesting to your boyfriend. It is an Indian rock quarry for stone used in peace pipes. It is small, but interesting.

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