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Old 08-13-2019, 04:42 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by WhereStream View Post
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."
I'm usually not a big fan of KOAs, but the one at Devil's Tower has the perfect location. We had an unobstructed view of it during our stay.

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Old 08-13-2019, 04:51 PM   #42
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Having been stationed at Ellsworth AFB, Rapid City, SD fo a number of years...

Hereís a site that some maybe interested...

..and yes the Black Hills Motor Classic, better known as the Sturgis Rally is over as of the M/C crowd should have almost disappeared f those who canít stand the noise..

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Old 08-13-2019, 09:40 PM   #43
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We stayed at Sheridan Lake South Shore, site 59. It is a nonreservable site with a beautiful view of the Lake. Dry Camping, water spigots by Facilities. My favorite was Crazy Horse Memorial. Spectacular!! We spent hours wandering the displays museums and took in a program by the Lacota Indians. Dancing, singing, story telling. Custer Park is a must see. Eye of the Needle Road and the Iron Mountain Road with pig tail bridges were memorable. Sunrise balloon ride was cool. Mount Rushmore of course. Day trip to Badlands and a stop at Wall Drugs for Ice Cream and a photo. Lead Deadwood and Sturgis were a day trip. We intended to be there maybe a week. We stayed 2 weeks and will return. I donít think you will have any trouble keeping yourself busy! We missed Wind Cave due to elevator breakdown but would have seen if available.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:28 AM   #44
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CrazyHorse Monument

Crazy Horse Monument is a must see .
A true warrior monument to Human Freedom in contrast to what Presidents did in the late 1800s to both the Native Americans and the Bison !
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:03 AM   #45
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When you've seen one bison, you've seen them all. But, there's only one Wall adrug!
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:09 AM   #46
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Dont miss

Custer State Park
Crazy Horse monument
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:12 AM   #47
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Sturgis SD, May 22nd 2019. Stayed in Day's End campground on the west side of Sturgis. Nice owners and reasonable price. Used this as a base and stayed for a week touring the north end of the Black Hills. It's a short trip to Deadwood and easy access to everything in the park. There are plenty of things to do and see in the area. I strongly suggest that you get a travel guide and plan your days sightseeing around that. I came from 70 degree weather in Manitoba to shovel snow in South Dakota! LOL!
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:21 AM   #48
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We went to the Badlands, Black Hills and Devils tower this past June. Wonderful trip. Everyone commented on some great places to see, but Iíll add one more. If you are looking for a down day after hitting all the sites stay at Fish n Fry outside Deadwood. Beautiful campground and they have a stocked rainbow trout pond. They provide fishing rigs and will clean your catch. You can take the fish with you or they will cook it up. I caught a beautiful trout and had a wonder dinner. No fishing license necessary.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:22 AM   #49
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As far as "how much time?" .... I suspect you could spend a couple of months heading out on various trips from an arbitrary point in the Rapid City area. (yes there are also things to do in town ..... ). A typical recommendation is a week. The gotcha is that there are a lot of other things a few days drive this way or that. Do you spend a month at Custer SP and not go to Yellowstone / Glacier / Grand Teton / Banif / Jasper / Rock Mountain / Theodore Rosevelt / ....?

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Old 08-18-2019, 11:32 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by rooksg View Post
As someone who is coming from way east, what time of year would you suggest and how much time would be optimal?

Just before or just after snow threat is a good time. Definitely before kids are out of school. Less crowded and cooler.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:43 AM   #51
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Where ever you go to see things be sure you stay Creekside Mountain Resort one mile south of Hill City SD. Tell Rita that Tom and Melanie said hello. Small up to date private spot on the creek and the Ďrails to trailsí path that you can walk to town on! Very very dog friendly too
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:14 PM   #52
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Donít miss the Badlands of North Dakota while youíre there. In our opinion theyíre the most beautiful. Medora is a wonderful little town. If you go make sure you go to both the steak fondue and musical show. There are two parts to those Badlands. At least do the southern. Itís a short drive from Mt. Rushmore.
Motorhomes were our choice for 40 years and decided to get rid of the stress and experience more flexibility in travel.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:24 PM   #53
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I want to just add that Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is "just" over the border in Wyoming, and it has some pretty awesome campgrounds at pretty high elevation with beautiful views, as well as the drive to the bottom and back up is pretty spectacular. The highway through the area is very well maintained which is not always the case in Wyoming.

But, the people in western South Dakota have to be some of the nicest, friendliest and most hospitable people I have ever met in the USA. I have been there during the motorcycle rally and the locals were still as welcoming and interested to talk and share as any other time I have been there. The wife and our dogs and I really enjoy Spearfish, and there are some really great antique shops in Belle Fourche just a short ride north of Spearfish. Around this time of year there's a carnival that stops in Belle Fourche that has the WORLD'S BEST ride: The Zipper. (First rode it in Great Falls, MT, almost 50 years ago--and have never forgotten it. Saw it in Belle Fourche just last year.)

And for John Wayne movie fans, Belle Fourche is where the "Cowboys" were driving the cattle. "We're burnin' daylight!" has to be one of the best movie lines ever.

Iron Mountain and the Needle Highway are beautiful (tow vehicles with dual rear wheel rear axles can be challenging!), and you can see how South Dakota is dealing (very well!) with beetle kill. They just have their act together in South Dakota. Great roads and highways, beautifully maintained state parks and campgrounds, and the nicest people around.

There are SO many places to visit and good dining (if you like that kind of thing (we do)--and in South Dakota the wait staff are very nice and helpful). We've NEVER had even an uninteresting time in South Dakota--but mostly just because we find the people so nice and friendly. We go there when we just want to have a nice, relaxing time--there's no end of places to visit (and we haven't seen them all by a long shot!), and we know we are not likely to run into any sour faces or attitudes (because in more than 20 years--we haven't!!!).

I just wish I could convince my wife to move there...! (She says she's finished with snow and long winters. And I have to respect that. Happy wife--happy life!)
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #54
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Nice area to visit. Watch for black skies and rain that turns into hail. 1 - 1 1/4" hails did $10K damage to my truck last summer. My trailer was parked in a campground that missed this storm! Enjoy your trip. We also do the Minuteman Missile site tour as well. That is worth your time to see.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:25 PM   #55
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Little Bighorn

Youíre also only a few hours from the Battle of Little Bighorn, which is a very sobering place to visit - lots of history. Sheridan Wyoming is a nice western town, and Bighorn National Forest has some great driving and hiking (lots of Bighorn sheep)
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:27 PM   #56
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We are near you, Leesburg, GA.
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:30 PM   #57
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You must stay in the Badlands, numerous campsites including state. I stayed this spring, think I got there And Left before the big snow above came through (15 May). Absolutely beautiful, looked out over antelope grazing. If you fish, you cannot get to all the lakes and streams in a week, great fishing. I stayed at the Roosters Roost outside of Custer City, about 30m south of a Mt Rushmore.
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:49 PM   #58
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The following route to Mt. Rushmore through Custer State Park is spectacular: Take Sylvan Lake Road out of Custer to Sylvan Lake; turn right on Needles Hwy; turn left at Hwy 16 which will take you down through the park; turn left on Iron Mountain Rd. Hope you enjoy the views as much as I did!

Forgot to mention that this route is not recommended for RVs.
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Old 08-18-2019, 04:10 PM   #59
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Hill City SD

Where ever you visit in SD make Creekside Mountain Resort your place to stay. It is located one mile south of Hill City. It is small and sits on the creek. Say hello to Rita from Tom and Melanie
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:57 PM   #60
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Wall Drug is a must for lunch or dinner, get the hot beef sandwich with extra gravy; best hot beef commercial sandwich anywhere.
Dinosaur park in rapid city, cosmos, badlands are a must. We stayed at a campground in Interior inside the badlands.

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