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Author Topic: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?  (Read 2348 times)


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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #30 on: January 11, 2018, 08:54:08 PM »
Not much else to mention, all good suggestions.

If you are age 62 or over, by all means get your senior America the Beautiful Pass. If not 62 a annual America the Beautiful pass is worth the $80. Badlands alone is $20. Devils Tower is another $20.

At Chamberlain, SD where I-90 crosses the Missouri River, if you travel north a few miles to Ft. Thompson, there is a COE campground below the dam in the middle of the river (like the one in Pierre) and it is super nice. I stayed there when I saw I was not going to make the Badlands campground.

Also, in Rapid City (know to locals simply as Rapid) there is a museum called the Journey. Well worth a couple of hours. http://www.journeymuseum.org/visit Take Exit 58 off of I-90 and go south to New York St, turn left, you are there.

Another museum I did not visit, but looks promising for next time is the High Plains Western Heritage Center at Spearfish. http://www.westernheritagecenter.com/

Do not miss Devils Tower. The Wyoming Welcome Station at exit 199 in Wyoming is worth the visit on the way to Devils Tower, as it has nice displays, not just racks of brochures. I was impressed by the quality. Vore Buffalo Jump is just up the frontage road a mile and worth the tour.

On the south end of the Black Hills is Hotsprings, and the Mammoth Site, also well worth the visit.

Rushmore is good for about two hours of your time, free admission, $10 parking unless over age 62, then $5. I spent more time at Crazy Horse, $11 admission, lots of Native American stuff in the Museum.

My whirlwind tour of the Badlands and Black Hills and eclipse.... http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,110023.0.html

2007 Winnebago View 523H on a 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis (T1N). Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles on it, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dymanics PD4645, Coleman Chill Grille, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, AutoMeter 8558 trans temp gauge, Roadmaster sway bar, Koni Red shocks (front & rear), Fantastic Ultra Breeze hood, added OEM parabolic mirrors and RH aspherical mirror, MB grill conversion.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2018, 06:55:16 PM by CharlesinGA »
2007 Winnebago View 523H, 2006 Dodge (Daimler-Chrysler aka Mercedes) Sprinter 3500 chassis. Bought Sept 2015 with 18K miles, Prog Ind HW30C, Prog Dynamics PD4645, Chill Grille, Fanstatic Fan Ultrabreeze, PML/Yourcovers.com deep alum trans pan, Roadmaster sway bar


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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2018, 12:40:19 PM »
You folks are great at suggestions. Thank you for all the replies. It will be awhile before we do the trip, but hopefully after the weather warms up we can make this venture. We are not sure yet how much time we will take, but with some planning we can narrow down where we want to stop and go from there. Basically, we have all the time in the world during warm months.

When we do, we will for sure update the post!
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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #32 on: March 29, 2018, 05:31:37 PM »
thanks all for the intel.  We will be traveling the area, and I'm taking notes. :)
Mike and Valerie
1996 Pace Arrow 35J - FORD 460 w/Banks Power and Gear Vendor Over/Underdrive
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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2018, 05:23:34 AM »
We did a few of the things others have suggested, here are a few tips:

The signs advertising Walldrug are quite entertaining and I thought they were better than the store!

If you go to the badlands and see the prairie dogs, stop a while and look for the burrowing owls, they use the old burrow holes and are just such cute little birds.

Needles Highway is a great drive, but very narrow with a low bridge so only for travel in truck/bike/car.  Sylvan Lake was so beautiful although busy.

Spearfish has lots of nice restaurants, we liked Killians and a little brewery - Crow Peak.

We much preferred Crazyhorse to Mt Rushmore.  If you go to Rushmore, there is a Gutzon Borglum museum in Keystone which we were too late to get to but it was recommended by some people.  I think there is a lot of history about this and it would be good to see.  Be careful of the roads here as there is one with pigtails on it, sorry I am not sure which one but would be tricky in an RV.

Devil's Tower is well worth a trip. 

If you are in Custer, Black Hills Burger n Bun is a nice place to eat.

Spearfish Canyon - make sure you stop at Roughlock Falls as it is very pretty.

If you go to Deadwood the Wild Bill Bar has a downstairs section which I believe is the old original bar, we missed it despite being in the bar!!  The No. 10 Saloon is very authentic and worth popping into.  The Cemetery is probably interesting but was just closing as we arrived, note you need to pay to go in.  Also a short trip away is the town of Lead where you will find Sanford Homestake Gold Mining Museum which is pretty interesting to see.  Will only take up an hour of your time but worth it.

Also near Deadwood is Tatanka, a place created by Kevin Costener.  We didn't have time to go, but it looked interesting if you like bison.


We stayed at Chris' Camp in Spearfish - a commercial RV Park which was pretty run of the mill.  We liked it and the family who run it were very friendly recommending places to eat and they gave out a leaflet with recommended drives.  I am sure I took photos so will see if I can find them and post here later.

Can't find those photos but I know I kept the leaflet in the trailer.  If you are going after May, I can get a copy of the drives to you.  We arrive May 8th so it would be around then if that is any good to you.     

« Last Edit: April 04, 2018, 05:28:06 AM by jackiemac »
Jackie n Steve - Happy Scottish Travellers

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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #34 on: April 04, 2018, 11:12:43 AM »
At Mt. Rushmore do the Evening Program, very cool.
About 40 miles south of Rushmore is Hot Springs where The Mammoth Site is and it is worth a stop. http://www.mammothsite.org/
Adjusting your route through Waterloo, IA the two John Deere plants and the museum are defiantly worth a stop. (reservations are a good idea). https://www.deere.com/en/connect-with-john-deere/visit-john-deere/factory-tours/

If you are on I-80...
West of Omaha is the Strategic Air Command Museum. https://sacmuseum.org/
There is a very nice car museum in Kearney, NE at the Cabela's. http://www.ccckearney.com/
The Bailey yard in North Platte is a good stop. https://goldenspiketower.com/tours/north-platte/
2012 Monaco Knight 36PFT
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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #35 on: April 24, 2018, 11:09:27 PM »
If you, or anyone in your family, is a fan of the "Little House on the Prairie" books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, the town of DeSmet, SD is about 30 minutes north of the highway. It's the town the family lived in the last 3 books in the series (don't believe what you saw on the cheesy television show). You can see the actual Ingalls homestead and see some of the places in town, such as the school house and Loftus' store. I was a huge fan of these books when I was a little girl and it's great to get to actually see it with your own eyes, if that sort of thing interests you :)


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Re: Chicago to Mt Rushmore, what is in between?
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2018, 04:53:40 PM »
The area typifies the westward movement and there are lots of places to visit, including forts and museums.  You'll probably follow at least some of the Lewis and Clark Expedition trail and there are many historical sites along it.  If you're on an interstate highway look for the brow signs that direct you to points of interest.  Also when entering a new state many have visitor centers with all kinds of information (dependent on state budgets these days).  Some are really good and have brochures and maps for different areas of the state.

:D :D