Route from YNP to Black Hills

Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 01:44 PM
  #1  
sweens
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Route from YNP to Black Hills

After a stay at Y'stone this Aug., we'll be heading back East, and our first stop is the Mt. Rushmore/Badlands area. Will leave park thru East entrance via Cody. Doesn't look like an obvious direct route, so any recommendations? I see there is Rte. 14 and Alt. Rte. 14 to Burgess Junction and then on to I-90... is one any better than the other? Also, while I'm at it, any campground recommendations around Black Hills/Badlands? Or should we just overnight it at Black Hills & eyeball Badlands on the way through to the next stop (somewhere in MN)?
 
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 02:08 PM
  #2  
jpm
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I'm not sure of the exact route but we went from Cody to Medicine Wheel and then to Mt. Rushmore last year. The drive to Medicine Wheel is beautiful. If you want to stop at Medicine Wheel be aware that it is a 4-mile hike at high altitude - not really hard, but it does take at least 2 hours. Maybe you can talk them into letting you drive up to Medicine Wheel (when we were there they were building a parking lot at the site).

I may get flamed for this but I love KOA's and their Kamping Kabins. The one in Rapid City is great (air conditioned cabins) and comes with a free breakfast.

Unless you plan on hiking, the Badlands can easily be seen in 3 to 4 hours as you drive the Rim Road.

 
Old Jul 3rd, 2002, 10:25 PM
  #3  
Utahtea
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Most of the campgrounds that I know of in the Blackhills are private campgrounds.

We always liked Custer State Park south of Mt. Rushmore and we liked the Badlands National Park Campground even though it's barren, you fell like you are camping on the moon.

Have you given any thought to going to Devils Tower National Monument in the northeast part of Wyoming. It's a neat place to visit and they have a nice campground.

http://www.nps.gov/deto/index.htm

Utahtea
 
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 09:41 AM
  #4  
From N'vill But Loves The West
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We went through there last year, only from Rapid City to Yellowstone. Be sure to give yourself a day in Cody. (Built by Buffalo Bill Cody) We expected to breeze through there spending and ended up spending the whole day and evening.
On your way to Rapid City area (Mt. Rushmore/Keystone) don't miss a day at Devil's Tower. You can spend a day in Deadwood (be sure to see the re-enactment of the shooting of Wild Bill Hichock in the actual saloon it happened it, eat a buffalo burger somewhere for lunch and the Hickock and Calamity Jane graves). You can also get a quick look-see at Sturgis as long as it's not the time of year all the bikers are in town...these places are all on your way East.
Black Hills are just beautiful and the Badlands are something you just HAVE to see. Another MUST is the Crazy Horse monument/museam/tour just south of Rushmore. We didn't camp, so can't help you there. However, the area is one of our most favorite places to go.
 
Old Jul 7th, 2002, 11:05 AM
  #5  
Denise
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First, WHEN are you going to be coming through. The Rally is the 1st 2 weeks in August...you will have difficulty finding lodging in the blackhills and it will be full of Bikers. That may have a lot to do with whether you stay in the BlackHills or not. Pretending that you are not talking about the 1st 2 weeks of August...

Definitely concur with cowgirlwannabee! We drove back through Cody and also through the BigHorn Mountains. We went to Devils Tower (national parks pass gets you in). If you're into biking (as in Harleys) you'll want to stop in Sturgis and go in the Harley store. Super nice people work there. I would stay in Rapid City...KOAs have easy access to I-90. Yes, Elk Vale Rd is currently under construction but there are no delays. Would go to Mt. Rushmore and see their evening lighting program (bring a lightweight jacket...though it has been unseasonably hot AGAIN this year). Would do the badlands as you are driving past them...I wouldn't spend the night. You may also want to consider Wind Cave and Jewel Cave...1 is a national monument and 1 is a national park.
 
Old Jul 29th, 2002, 01:18 PM
  #6  
sweens
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Thanks! I had almost forgotten this posting, sorry I didn't acknowledge sooner. Yes, we are coming through in late August. Our plan now is 2 nights in Custer St. Park camping so we can enjoy a full day at Rushmore, Crazy Horse and some scenic drives before heading home via Badlands as you suggested. Absolutely cannot wait! Oh - and thank you for pointing out Medicine Wheel and Devils Tower; we will stop at both on the way, never would have thought of either without this bulletin board. What a great country we live in!

Sweens
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 09:33 AM
  #7  
Sweens
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We're baaaaaaaaaack!! And do we wish we could pack up again & leave tomorrow! What a trip! As it turned out, when we left Y'stone we pretty much just hoofed it as fast as we could, given the numerous potty stops and separate-the-children-from-each-other's-throats stops, to get to South Dakota. What an unbelievably beautiful part of the country, though. We only saw one grizzly at YNP off in the distance, but within 15 minutes of leaving YNP and entering the Shoshone NF, we saw one about 30 yards off the road down in a meadow, and two black bears up on a hillside. We were running late & wanted to see the evening lighting ceremony at Mt. Rushmore, so we ended up reluctantly skipping Medicine Wheel and Devil's Tower. Turned out to be a good move, because we shortly afterward had our only car trouble of the whole trip, a flat tire. We limped to Rushmore on the spare & had plenty of time to get to the ceremony, which was quite moving (we greatly love this country, even before 9/11/01). My wife said over & over again how glad she was that that was the way she got to see Rushmore for the first time.

(We also stopped in briefly at the new Buffalo Bill Cody museum but decided to drive on because it was too expensive and didn't look like our kids would really appreciate it much, the way they did the National Parks and scenery.)

We left YNP on the front end of a thunderstorm, so we stayed in a hotel near Rushmore since our tent was wet, and it was COLD at YNP. Needed a night of dryness and warmth.

When we left Rushmore the next morning we went up to Rapid City and found a WalMart Supercenter for new tires and went on east via Wall Drug and Badlands. No offense to anyone, but Wall Drug seems to have gotten pretty cheesy over the years, so that was a quick stop for some milkshakes, which was nice.

The Badlands were great, too, and the kids loved the prairie dogs.
 
Old Sep 13th, 2002, 12:02 PM
  #8  
utahtea
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Glad you had a great trip. Count yourself lucky to have seen a grizzly bear in Yellowstone. It took about 6 or 7 visits before we saw one!

Utahtea
 
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