D.A. asks from Minneapolis, MN on March 20, 2011
Mount Rushmore Summer Vacation
My daughters(age 14 and 16) and my boyfriend and I are planning a summer trip to Mount Rushmore. We will be pulling a camper. Besides seeing Mount Rushmore, what are things we should do and should not do along the way? Ideas also for good campgrounds.
4 moms found this helpful
S.T. answers from Sioux Falls on March 22, 2011
Hi I'm from Sioux Falls. There isn't much here except the falls of the big sioux river. but we have lots of places to eat. then mitchell has the corn palace and it is neat but teenage girls might get bored. Al's Oasis in Oacoma/Chamberlain is a very good place to stop and eat, browse the gift shop. They even have a grocery store there if you need things for the car. Between Chamberlain and Rapid is Wall Drug. That is a fun place to stop. Then down by Mt Rushmore are some fun towns...Hill City, Custer and Keystone are my favorite. Hope this helps.
E.B. answers from Duluth on March 22, 2011
Something I didn't see listed--I love Spearfish Canyon, in Spearfish. It's great hiking, very easy, and just gorgeous. And it's nice for a warm day, because the river is right there and you can wade in it!
A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on March 20, 2011
The scenic hwy that takes you from the main interstate 80 (or is it 90?) into the Badlands is a MUST. There is a place not too far from the interstate, gift shop kinda place, where you can feed prarie dogs! You buy food (unsalted peanuts) there and they will eat right out of your hand. Kids loved it!!! And yes, Bear Country drive thru zoo!
1 mom found this helpful
B.W. answers from Minneapolis on March 20, 2011
We stayed at Crooked Creek campground in Hill City the last time we went, last summer, camping with our boys who were 8 and 4 at the time. We would for sure go back there, nice place, nice people.
Deadwood, Custer, Crazy Horse, Badlands, Keystone, Lead, Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway (this is a MUST its gorgeous!), Rushmore Caves, 1880 train ride...
These are a few things we enjoyed on our trip last summer. Many things you can do in one day like the byway takes you to Deadwood, Lead, Custer and Hill City so you can stop along the way as long as you leave earlier in the morning to head out.
HAVE FUN! THe kids had a blast and can't wait to go back. The 1880 train was very fun, and the kids enjoyed hiking and the many stops along the byway to see the waterfalls. They were SURE they'd find gold. :)
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S.M. answers from Waterloo on March 22, 2011
we went last year and there was a ton more stuff to do than i ever imagined. we went in april and avoided the tourist rush. missed things not open for the season yet but still had plenty to do. it was extremely windy in that state and mountainous in that area(more than iowa anyway)!! you can order a free tourism book and its full of ideas to do and where to stay. there are websites, too and you can get directions to program into a gps if you have one. we didn't camp out so don't know about that but there is wall drug, reptile gardens, cosmos mystery area, crazy horse, bear country, badlands, custer park (buffalo crossed the road in front of us!), hot springs, etc. deadwood was my favorite and my 13 yr old could go into the casinos with us! rapid city has a cool journey museum, dinosaur park, and school of mines college with a fossil museum, a life-size statue of each president on all the corners in the middle of town, and a piece of the berlin wall in a park. one day we even went to wyoming to see devil's tower because it's not that far away. tons of interesting and educational stuff for the whole family! have fun!
1 mom found this helpful
D.H. answers from Louisville on March 20, 2011
Heads Up! Try to avoid going there during Sturgis rally!
Other than that, most of the ladies have the good stuff covered! Crazy Horse does a laser light show that you might enjoy! They also do a night blast - would have to ask my son if there is one this summer.
Evan's Plunge is something to do (we did it) - tho the girls might like the waterpark in Rapid City better.
Know there is so much more - but just can't pull out anything different right now!
K.N. answers from Minneapolis on March 21, 2011
We've made that trip a few times; a GREAT family vacation. Heading west on 90, you'll begin hitting more large hills about half way across SD. We pulled a camper the last time. If driving on a hot day, you MUST plan extended stops to cool down the engine. Also, fill up the tank whenever possible; you'll often go awhile without seeing a gas station. And, of course, you must keep a tally of the "Wall Drug" signs you see. Speaking of Wall, total tourist trap of junk to buy but still we stop cuz its fun to see and I love the story of how it came to be a "stop". Have things to do during the drive or you'll get quite bored. Take the Badlands loop. Bear Country remains my favorite by far; all ages love it. Enjoy!
P.K. answers from New York on March 20, 2011
I have not been out that way in about 40 years. However, if you belong to
AAA you can have them map out a route and give you all of the great things
to see along the way.
S.O. answers from Rapid City on March 21, 2011
I actually live in Sturgis so if you have specific questions, pm me.
If you want to camp, Custer State Park is a great option, also there are many sites within the Park to see- Sylvan Lake (the Lake that was on top of Mt. Rushmore in the movie National Treasurer 2), wilderness loop (a driving loop in the park where you can usually find the burrows and feed them from your car, as well as see many buffalo, big horn sheep, etc.). What time of year will you be headed this way? The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is August 8 - 14, 20111, so I would try to avoid that week (and the one before and after also) because lodging prices are very inflated then. Buying fresh saltwater taffy from Keystone is a must. Do you like to hike, bike or walk? Harney Peak is a nice hike, and Bear Butte (near Sturgis) is a smaller one (about 2 hours round trip). The Mickelson Trail runs from Edgemont to Deadwood, you can get on the trail at numerous locations and it is great for walking and biking.
J.J. answers from Bismarck on March 20, 2011
Keystone is fun to go through. Check out the gold mines-can even do some panning. Crazy Horse is fun also. Drive the Iron Mountain Road for a scenic drive-maybe even swing down to Devil's Tour. It's not far and worth the drive.
If the weather is nice, there is a great water park in Rapid City.