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Need help: itinerary from Kansas City to Yellowstone and back

Need help: itinerary from Kansas City to Yellowstone and back

Jul 3rd, 2015, 08:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 286
Need help: itinerary from Kansas City to Yellowstone and back


My family and I leave soon on a driving trip from Kansas City to Yellowstone and back. We have the driving itinerary mapped out, but I'm so overwhelmed by the choices of what to do and how much time to spend at spots between Kansas City and Cody, Wyoming. I've been researching the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, Spearfish, etc. I can't get a sense of how long to be at those places.

Also, which is a better place to stay if you had to choose just one -- Spearfish or Deadwood?

I've been using these books: Moon Mount Rushmore and the Black Hills; Lonely Planet's Yellowstone and Grand Teton; and Moon Montana and Wyoming.

Here's the intinerary. I really need help with the first three days, but if you have suggestions for the others, I'd welcome then.

Day 1:
Leave Kansas City and stay the night in Sioux Falls.

Day 2:
Leave Sioux Falls and drive to either Deadwood or Spearfish

Day 3:
Leave Deadwood/Spearfish and drive to Cody, WY

Day 4:
Drive from Cody to West Yellowstone

Day 5--9:
Yellowstone (staying in a condo in West Yellowstone)

Day 10:
Leave West Yellowstone, drive through Grand Teton to Vernal, UT

Day 11:
Leave Vernal, UT and drive to Denver

Day 12:
Leave Denver and drive to KC
ksbeem is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2015, 10:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,710
Why Vernal, UT?
wtm003 is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2015, 10:16 PM
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Posts: 286
We're paying with some of our lodging with Marriott points -- my husband travels a lot. Trying to save money with a couple kids in college. And we're stopping at Dinosaur National Monument.

The bigger questions for me are what to see while we're driving to Cody. We have a condo rented for five days and have to get there by a certain time. Our work schedules/ kids' schedules determined when we could leave to drive there, etc.

I'd love to see Custer State Park, but I think it would be too much to do that and see other things on the way to Yellowstone. Probably should be a separate trip. Yellowstone is the destination, but I want to make the most of our time on the road.

We are hamstrung by the time we can take to get there -- can't help that because of jobs and other commitments. So I'm trying to make do with what we can do.

Thanks for any help.
ksbeem is offline  
Jul 4th, 2015, 02:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 4,710
Kansas City to Sioux Falls is only about 5 hours. If you are able to drive straight through to Rapid City it is about 10 hours and would free up Day 2.

On Day 2 you could start out early and see Mount Rushmore and drive through Custer State Park. Then overnight in Spearfish or wherever a Marriott is available.

We spent a weekend in South Dakota and did the following during our one full day:

We got up fairly early and headed to Mount Rushmore and probably spent an hour or two at the monument before leaving for Custer State Park. We spent the rest of the day driving the scenic Needles Highway and touring Custer State Park. We took our time that day and made frequent stops. Try to pack a cooler with food and drinks so you can have lunch at your leisure in the park.
wtm003 is offline  
Jul 4th, 2015, 11:26 PM
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Posts: 286
That's a thought. We could see the falls in Sioux Falls on the way through, see the Corn Palace on the way by and end up in Rapid City.
ksbeem is offline  
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