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To Visit Mt. Rushmore, Which Airport Do I Fly Into?

To Visit Mt. Rushmore, Which Airport Do I Fly Into?

Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:16 PM
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To Visit Mt. Rushmore, Which Airport Do I Fly Into?

I see that Rapid City Regional is about 35 miles away. Do the planes with 100 seats and larger fly in there, or just the smaller ones? If I use FF miles on American, I see that they don't fly in there, so I'd be with one of their partners. I can't tolerate the motion of the smaller planes, so I might need to drive from a larger airport. Any hotel suggestions nearby would be appreciated as well. Thinking of going next May or September (skip the school kids.) Thanks, all!
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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We flew into Rapid City. Flew United used FF miles into Denver and then a turboprop to Rapid City. Not my favorite thing to do, but our only choice. I think there are the 50 passenger regional jets that fly into Rapid City, but United didn't offer that option.

We were there a few years ago over Memorial Day weekend. Crowds weren't a problem. It was very chilly at night for the lighting ceremony at Mt Rushmore.

We spent a couple of nights in Keytone, but can't remember the name of the hotel. We then drove up to Deadwood for the day and spent the night there. We thought Deadwood was fun, although it is a tourist trap.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:39 PM
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Into Rapid City

United flies Bombardier CRJ-700 from Chicago with 85 seats and CRJ-200 from Denver (50).

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni...nadair_CR7.php

http://www.seatguru.com/airlines/Uni...nadair_CRJ.php

Northwest flies CRJ - 900 with 75 seats.

All these planes are all 2-2 seating in coach, are jets, and are actually quite smooth - more comfortable than the smaller Embraer and DeHaviland planes.

Or, you could drive from Denver (8hrs).
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:42 PM
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It's actually skywest who flies the CRJ's, but I think they are branded as United Express.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Often the planes are smaller that fly into Rapid City, but larger planes do fly in. I'm not sure what you mean about your nearby hotel question, but there are no hotels near the airport, it is about 5-6 miles out of the city. If you mean Mt. Rushmore, either the towns of Keystone or Hill City are central to the monument and to sight-seeing, though Rapid City has the most selection.

Driving from other airports: Sioux Falls is 5 hours, Denver 6-7 hours, Omaha 8, Minneapolis 10.

Some Black Hills attractions don't open until mid-May, though Mt. Rushmore is always open. September generally has better weather than early May, but we've had an unusually cool summer this year.

Hope that helps.
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 02:55 PM
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I've looked at every single flight for the last 3 days on flightaware.com and the largest plane is the Bombardier CRJ's I listed above.

Where are you finding planes larger than that, LHS?
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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J62, we posted at the same time.

I fly out of Rapid City, I'm not an aviation expert, the bigger planes could have been the the size you state, though I have been in 3-2 & 3-3 seating at various times in the past. But I guess I wouldn't have been in the past 3 days, ok?
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Old Sep 12th, 2009, 06:24 PM
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Thanks so much to all of you who replied! My DH is saying now that there's a good chance that we may drive ... from Raleigh. We want to see Mt. Rushmore, stay in one of the towns not far away. Maybe one of the resorts with cabins, hayrides, etc. Read about one called "Blue Bell" that sounds nice. I keep hearing about "chuckwagon dinners." Exactly what is that? We're very flexible about hotels, as long as they're CLEAN! I assume the area is mobbed around July 4th? My DH would love to see the fireworks display at Mt. Rushmore! Thanks again, all!
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 07:37 AM
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With Blue Bell's chuckwagon dinner, you actually ride in a chuckwagon to the dinner site. With some of the others, the tables are more like a big western cafeteria.

Blue Bell Menu choice of 8 oz. choice sirloin steak or 1/3 lb. hamburger entree with all the fixin’s including Cowboy beans, cornbread and honey, potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon, cookies, chuck wagon coffee and lemonade.

And then the cowboys sing & tell stories.

The lodges & cabins in Custer State Park, including Blue Bell, are designed to look rustic, but generally get good reviews. Custer State Park is a beautiful area.

The Mt. Rushmore fireworks are on July 3rd. The parking garage often fills by 10 am on the 3rd. It is a big crowd with different events all through the day.
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Old Sep 13th, 2009, 08:54 AM
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LHS, you are a treasure-trove of information! Thanks so much. I'm assuming that summer peak is the most expensive time to go, but for once in a lifetime and to see the fireworks, we might go for it. I will be back to ask more questions if we go forward with this decision!
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