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Author Topic: Looking for a place to stay near Mt. Rushmore  (Read 4242 times)
Brian Diehl
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« on: June 15, 2009, 09:25:19 AM »

I'm going to be taking the family to Mt. Rushmore on Sunday, June 28th.  I need to find a place to stay for Saturday night any where between Wall, SD and Mt. Rushmore.  Anyone have any ideas other than the KOA (or similar)?  After we do the basic tourist viewing of the monument we plan to head on out to the Big Horns in Wy.  So, I think I only need a place to stay one night.  We used to stay at my brother's place in Rapid City, but the Air Force transfered him down to Abilene, TX. 

Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 09:42:59 AM »

There's a KOA in Deadwood.
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 10:25:34 AM »

There are several campsites around Custer plus if I remember right a KOA with a lake beside it. Custer is a nice area. Later
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niles500
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 12:39:31 PM »

I second the Custer choice - more than one campgound - Custer is a nice little tourist trap with plenty of facilities and things for the kids to do, while less than 20 miles from Rushmore - Don't forget to save some time and stop and see the "Crazy Horse" project - It's on the way to Rushmore - HTH
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 02:15:06 PM »

If you are just looking to do a day trip, try Cabellos in Rapid City. If you ask they will probably not mind an overnight as long as you park out of the way. Walmart also seems to have several rigs there when I'm over in Rapid.

Beaver Lake Campground on Hwy 16 west of Custer is pretty nice. We stay there when Elk hunting and they are very friendly and accommodating.

Not much between Wall and Rapid.
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 04:50:40 PM »

Brian,

Quite a few options in the Black Hills National Forest.  Horsethief lake is the closest to Rushmore:
http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/blackhills/recreation/camping/index.shtml

I'd love to tell you where, exactly, we stayed when we visited Rushmore, but it was a couple months before we started blogging, so it is lost to history...

We did stay at a very nice FS CG in the BHNF last year (well, only for a few hours), but on the Wyoming side of the line.  It was right off highway 24, about half way between Rushmore and Devil's Tower:
http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/07/very-very-quick-update.html

HTH,

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 05:39:28 PM »

Niles got it right. You really have to do Crazy Horse. In fact if I had my druthers I'd do that before Rushmore if I had to make a choice. Incredible museum if you are into Indian artifacts. Keystone is a small town by Rushmore that is also a little tourist trap. On your way I would probably skip Devil's Tower if you are on a time schedule (not that big a deal) but a must stop would be the Little Bighorn Battle Field Monument. I really enjoyed that a lot and hope to stop again someday. I've always been interested in the history of the old West and in particular the Indians so take my advise with a grain of salt if you are not so inclined. Have a great time!! Later
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2009, 06:22:09 PM »

Brian - If you've got more time spend in the area and give the age of the kids - I know of some other activities - HTH

Scott - I agree about Devil's Tower, unless the kids are of an age that they can easily remember it if they saw it, but as of yet never heard of it - Then a fun thing to do would be to bring along the movie "Close Encounters" - Don't tell them your going to DT - but the night before you do - play it and then watch the look on their face as you drive up to it - After that experience you'll find them looking out the window more often - FWIW
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2009, 06:30:34 PM »

Niles got it right. You really have to do Crazy Horse. In fact if I had my druthers I'd do that before Rushmore if I had to make a choice. Incredible museum if you are into Indian artifacts. Keystone is a small town by Rushmore that is also a little tourist trap. On your way I would probably skip Devil's Tower if you are on a time schedule (not that big a deal) but a must stop would be the Little Bighorn Battle Field Monument. I really enjoyed that a lot and hope to stop again someday. I've always been interested in the history of the old West and in particular the Indians so take my advise with a grain of salt if you are not so inclined. Have a great time!! Later

and if you are that close, don't forget Ft Robinson, west of Crawford, NE. Great campground, jeep rides into the bluffs to see the mountain sheep, tons and tons of history. The place where Crazy Horse was killed in captivity. You won't be sorry. We heard coyotes all around at night.

I will be heading to Teddy Roosevelts (my favorite prez) two ranches in N Dakota my next trip up that direction.  I know Crazy Horse, Deadwood, Mt Rushmore like the back of my hand, but will always stop at Ft Robinson. Gorgeous country up that way.
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 07:08:11 PM »

Fort Robinson!!  That is a pretty neat spot. More cool history and such. I once jumped on the bike with a tent and sleeping bag and rode the some 350 miles up there and camped out some 100 feet from where Crazy Horse was killed. Peeps think Nebraska is boring and I like to keep it that way. Don't be telling them where all the  cool spots are!! Later
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 07:16:55 PM »

Thanks for the ideas guys.  Anymore thoughts let me know!  My girls are 9 and 11 and enjoy the busing way of traveling!  I don't think I'll do the Close Encounters thing, but really liked the idea!  My wife and I have been to DT twice and enjoyed it each time. 
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« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 08:28:56 PM »

Brian - my kids were from florida and had never seen prairie dogs, so that alone was worth it for them and boys love climbing -
 
The Black Hills (of course)
Bear Country USA - If they like animals
Wind Cave - On a hot day it's great in a cave
Dinosaur Park
The Maze
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2009, 01:33:57 PM »

Brian,
How was Mt. Rushmore?

Have they started on the new addition of Mr. Obama yet? LOL (sorry couldn't resist even though I know it is very much a possibility that it will really happen!)
Grin  BK  Grin

PS How's that "Cumapart" do'n?

Thankfully construction work has not begun!  We had a great time while there.  We arrived pretty early in the day.  By the time we left after our tour the place was PACKED!  I highly recommend arriving early for a better viewing experience.

Our "Cumapart", as you called it, is running great.  We have over 17,000 miles on it now and still marvel at the difference in the driving experience.  On a side note, I finally found out how to get it into double digit fuel mileage.  Simply run with a 10 - 20 mph tail wind for an entire day!  On our way home from Helena, MT we managed to run pretty darn close to all day with a great tail wind.  We managed 11mpg @ 65 mph on that tank and managed 9.4 mpg on a combined 1500 miles from Boise to Milbank, SD.  No, this is not my standard mileage, but the best I've ever seen.  I've been running around 8.8 mpg average so far.  I ran across the scales on the way home and my combined weight is 37,000 lbs including the Jeep Grand Cherokee I was towing.  This was with a full water and fuel tank.  Not too shabby.

We enjoyed seeing lots of wildlife: moose, moose calf, elk, bull elk, pronghorn antelope (lots!), mule and white tail deer, Black bear, golden eagle, and more.  We even ended the life of two doves on the way home.  I guess they were confused by the winds pushing us along and misjudged their flight times across the road in front of us.  Weird.  I also ended the life of a red winged black bird.  This is a first as well.  

BTW, the drive from Boise to Helena is really incredible.  We ran up ID HWY 55 to HWY 95 to HWY 13 and then East on US HWY 12 all the way to Missoula.  From Missoula we ran MT HWY 200 to HWY 141 and then east again on US HWY 12.  The climb up to White Bird Hill Summit on HWY 95 was amazing.  Then the downhill run on HWY 13 down into the clearwater river bottom amazed us equally!  What a great run down that mountain.  I would not have wanted to do it without the jake brakes though!  With my old powertrain I would have topped the White Bird Hill Summit at 18 mph and then descended down into the valley on HWY 13 in 1st gear as well due to the steepness of the grades.  Yikes!   If any of you get a chance to do this drive, make sure to leave lots of time as we did the drive from my brother's place east of Boise to Lola mountain pass on the MT border as a full day drive.  Of course, we had a blow out on the Jeep to slow us down and spent 2 hours helping a motorcyclist fix a flat on his bike on HWY 12.  The rest area at the border is a great place to stay the night.  It was very quiet and we had the whole place to ourselves most of the night.

We spent a bit of time with three different members of this forum as well.  We spent a great evening around the campfile with Rick Baron and his family while we were in the black hills.  I got to see Bruce S.' amazing N14 repower in his 102A3.  What a beautiful engineering job.  We enjoyed sharing time with both Bruce and his wife.  Then in Helena we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with Skip Nyberg, his wife, Maria, and family.  Skip and Maria were very hospitable and shared their home with us.  We wish we could have spent more time with these "nuts" then we got too!  :-)
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HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2009, 09:06:58 PM »

Ok, folks.  The political hijack of this thread went to the off topics board.  Let's keep this one the nice informative thread everybody can enjoy.
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