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Old 08-11-2019, 03:15 PM   #21
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The old west shoot-out re-enactment in Deadwood is a hoot!
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:28 PM   #22
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My wife and I are there now, watching hundreds of motorcycles heading home. Agree with everyone: lots to do. Might want to check out Welikit Campground just outside of Custer and drop by the Purple Pie Place for a slice of strawberry-rhubarb pie ala-mode. Mt Rushmore visitor area is under construction and Wind Cave tours have been suspended for now. Nice train ride from Hill City to Keystone. Enjoy!
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:29 PM   #23
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Beartooth Pass

TV only but a nice ride up the Mt.
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Old 08-11-2019, 03:38 PM   #24
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As most others have said, when we were there a number of years ago devils tower not too far away is worth a trip. We also went to Sturgis as it was bike rally. Badlands was a different type place but cool. We stopped at the wall drug store but really not a big deal. Crazy horse monument was cool especially at night they had a light show against it.
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Old 08-11-2019, 04:07 PM   #25
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Fort Robinson State Park, Crawford, Nebraska

The 'Gateway to the Black Hills', wonderful camp sites, patrolled by the State Park 24 hours, activities for the Family from Olympic Swimming Pool to Horse Back riding.

If the prices for Black Hills RV Parks are too pricey... check here. You go to Toadstool Park north of Crawford into Toadstool State Park for the same Badlands as in South Dakota, but you can climb around and walk anywhere you want in the park. Go a bit further and there are Badlands on BLM Lands.

If you are not bashful... great Off the Grid camping on National Grasslands... but you find them, as I do not want to ruin it for those who actually had to do some research prior to their trip.

You can see the Black Hills from Toadstool... Hot Springs, SD. Go to the Mammoth exhibit that was discovered when someone wanted to build a motel and found a former hot spring that mammoths entered and could not get out... They built a building over it and it is a Natural Wonder.

Hot Springs, SD has a huge swimming pool complex.

You can commute to the Black Hills from Fort Robinson to see Deadwood, Devils Tower outside Newcastle, WY and avoid the crowds. Locals go to the Casinos in Deadwood and a lot going on on the main street. Crazy Horse Monument is on the way to Rushmore, as well.

There are 'some' National Forest campsites in the south end of the Black Hills...if you can find them on a map. We parked our 23 foot there on this sliver of National Forest 22 years ago, but never marked it on the map. Only if you are... adventurous. Otherwise... go conventional.

Been going out there since I had a driver's license in 1965, learner's permit with a licensed driver in my 1956 VW and we would camp out for a week or two collecting fossils on local Ranches... which now... no longer accessible.

Love this area. There are so many places to see in this part of the country and many places like Agate Fossil Beds, Captain James Cook's Indian museum now National Park and on and on. Chief Red Cloud. Crazy Horse was murdered at Fort Robinson in 1877 and there is now the location is marked with a restored jail. This entire large area is a former Cavalry Fort and you can rent cabins or rooms. Water, restaurant, weekend melodrama... full hookups, horses, hiking...

Some days at Devils Tower you may find climbers. They will camp on top overnight.

The Black Hills have many sites... large parking lot at Crazy Horse Monument with a trailer in tow. Cool evenings. Dry air. If there is anything I missed... it is because someone else may have mentioned it.

If a picture is worth a 'thousand words'... the area from Agate, Nebraska to Sturgis, South Dakota will take a life time to know it well.

When all is well and done... the Bighorn Mountains will test your brakes and nerve. Have fun. You will return... over and over.
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:43 PM   #26
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As someone who is coming from way east, what time of year would you suggest and how much time would be optimal?
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Old 08-11-2019, 06:59 PM   #27
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You can also check out the Mountain Man Museum in Chadron Nebraska.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:01 PM   #28
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As someone who is coming from way east, what time of year would you suggest and how much time would be optimal?


We went in late May early June and it wasn’t overly crowded and the weather was cool.
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Old 08-11-2019, 07:55 PM   #29
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Lead SD

At Lead SD there is Homestake Mine and now Sanford Laboratory.

Homestake mine is the deepest mine in North America. A museum now, and the lab uses the mine for research.

Also interesting.

Great area.
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:02 PM   #30
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Mount Rushmore

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We are planning an (eventual) trip way up (from the Deep South) to South Dakota's Black Hills, to see Mount Rushmore.

We know we will visit the Badlands, too.

Is there anything else to see or do in the Black Hills?

Not familiar with that region, and after driving all those miles don't want to miss something great, entertaining or interesting.
Add another vote for Custer State Park and Wall Drug. If camping, there is Horse thief Lake behind the monument which is beautiful.

Crazy Horse monument has a very interesting history, and if you have time it is worth a stop.

If you are traveling east, there are some concrete dinosaurs in Rapid City, but most of the drive toward Minnesota is flat, boring and at least used to be uneventful.

If heading west however, someone has already mentioned Devil's Tower in Montana which was had a major part in the storyline of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and within striking distance is Custer Battlefield National Monument (Park now?). If you are into history, you can easily spend a whole day here.

Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park are the main attractions but the towns of Deadwood and Lead are also interesting if you stay in the area.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:23 AM   #31
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>> Custer Battlefield National Monument



We stopped there on our way east. I found it interesting and I'll probably go back when I'm not in as big a hurry. I thought about mentioning it but it is a bit of a hike from Rushmore.
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:44 AM   #32
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Agree, Little Big Horn battlefield is a must see if in the area. 7th RV park is right there. Huckleberry ice cream bars, YUM
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:52 AM   #33
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Little Big Horn Battlefield is just outside of Crow Agency, Montana.

Get there early as I do not recall any place to spend the evening with a trailer in tow. Try Hardin, MT. Take a few minutes and do an Internet search.

Parking with a trailer in tow can be a bit tight at the park. The historians at the Park are very good and make sure you take the time to sit through a talk.

Devils Tower is in Wyoming. 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' had a Wyoming plate with the county number of 24. There are ... 23 counties in Wyoming. I asked Thalweg if he could get me a County 24 plate... but no luck. I believe that the county number for Devils Tower is County 21.

Always something interesting to learn when traveling.

I knew a guy who bought a Ranch north of Newcastle, Wyoming (western Black Hills) who wanted it for... digging dinosaurs. He leased the land to a local Rancher and spent free time exhuming dinosaur bones. Watched one day when a nice 'herbivore' dinosaur skull, without lowers was found.

We all like to get away from the hustle and bustle of civilization... well, welcome to Wyoming, Montana, western Nebraska and western South Dakota!
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:26 AM   #34
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We were there in June and concur Custer State Park warrants a few days at least. We also very much liked the Nat'l Park campground at Devils Tower. No reservations taken, arrive early, similar to BLM campgrounds. Badlands NP is well worth a day or two.
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:49 PM   #35
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Devils Tower is close. We will be going through there in September
Is it close, like a day trip, or will I want to find a place to camp nearby?

Been wanting to see Devils Tower ever since "Close Encounters."
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:52 PM   #36
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Wall Drug ... I remember in the 1970s those Wall Drug bumper stickers started popping up on people's cars, and was a mystery to most of us, though we all snickered at the name.

What's there?
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Old 08-13-2019, 02:55 PM   #37
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'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' had a Wyoming plate with the county number of 24. There are ... 23 counties in Wyoming. I asked Thalweg if he could get me a County 24 plate... but no luck. I believe that the county number for Devils Tower is County 21.
Now, that's a cool joke slipped in by somebody. I wonder if Spielberg knew?
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:06 PM   #38
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Sturgis is a great visit. Nice restaurants for lunch. Nice campground there too. Concrete pads. Full hook ups. Nice campgrounds in Deadwood. Stayed there two years ago.
When time of year does Sturgis go nuts?
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:07 PM   #39
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Consider buying a Lonely Planet travel Guide (or Moon) for this area of country. I don’t leave home without them.
Thanks for the recommendation.

I will check out the Lonely Planet guide.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:37 PM   #40
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Black Hills used to be my favorite vacation destination until I went to Glacier NP. But Black Hills is a LOT closer. The cool crisp mornings even in August with the smell of Ponderosa Pines is awe inspiring. The highest point between the Rockies and Swiss Alps is in the Black Hills. Black Elk Peak. Great hike. Also the Sunday Gulch hike, both right around Sylvan Lake. Along with all the other great things like Needles Highway, Rushmore, Spearfish canyon, etc. Its awesome!!
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