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Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

by LSpin716 Online Now Mar 27, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Good Day Everyone,

We are planning our first trip to South Dakota for the September 2009 timeframe. Our plan is to fly into Denver, drive up through Wyoming (making stops along the way) and then head to the Mount Rushmore area. After pouring through our AAA guides, AAA maps, and National Park Books, we have a pretty good idea of what National Parks we want to go to. We are thinking of staying in the Mount Rushmore area for 3 days (1 day trip to Devil's Tower/Deadwood/Sturgis and 1 day trip out to Wall (Wall Drug of course), Minuteman Missile, and Badlands and the third day check out Mt. Rushmore, Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, etc. We are trying to get a feel if we should stay there 3 days or 4. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

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  • Dymphna1's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by Dymphna1 Online Now Mar 27, 2009 at 10:10 AM

    No that is not enough time. You are looking at slow driving on roads that are windy at times. Getting in and out of Mount Rushmore is going to take you a couple of hours by it's self, then there is the time you are at the monument so it is at least 1/2 a day. Deadwood is another 1/2 day. I would go to the bar where they do the re-enactment of the death of Wild Bill. There is also a good museum that goes through the time. There is gambling there, if you are into gambling. The stagecoach ride is fun. Lead, which is close, has a good gold mine tour.

    I don't see Rapid City on your list. Rapid City has a great deal to offer. Bear Country and Reptile Gardens come to mind off the top of my head.

    Keystone is also fun. There are some neat wax museums there.

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  • traveltime10's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by traveltime10 Online Now Mar 27, 2009 at 1:36 PM

    Add more time. The drives may take longer, and there is the possibility of inclement weather (even snow and ice) Rapid City is interesting- I enjoyed Bear Country and seeing the numerous statues of U.S. presidents downtown. Minerva's is a good restaurant.

    What about the Crazy Horse Memorial? It is absolutely stunning. I'd skip several things on your list to see that. ( and I gotta tell you, I didn't find the Devil's Tower all that interesting- thought I would, but we only stayed there for about an hour.)

    Also check at that time of year for early closings in park areas, and remember, they days are shorter that time of year- you may not have enough daylight hours to see everything you'd like to.

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  • Dymphna1's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by Dymphna1 Online Now Mar 27, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    The daylight issue is even more acute as you go north. You will be at almost equal number of hours for light and dark at that point.

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  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by Camping_Girl Online Now Mar 28, 2009 at 8:30 AM

    I think you've already received some good advice. I have one more thing to offer:

    Have you visited the SD tourism website? They have some very nicely priced packages for the Black Hills area that might save you some money on the things you are planning to do. Last year, they even had a discount coupon book that was included with a lot of their travel packages. Here's the website:

    http://www.travelsd.com/

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  • pringlepoacher's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by pringlepoacher Online Now Mar 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM

    some of the posts have very good info. The drive from denver to the black hills alone will take one full day. For a more central location from which to do your exploring; I would stay at keystone or hill city or custer. The time that it takes from any of these is to deadwood alone is one day, let alone to devils tower(hulett,wy.) Jewel cave nat. mon. is west of custer and would take at least a half a day. mt. Rushmore, Crazy horse mountain,Custer state park, and Wind Cave nat. park can take up to two days.The roads are slow going at times because of narrow winding mountain roads with wildlife and tourists on the road. Rapid city(which is not in the black hills by the way) would not be a good choice because of traffic congestion. As one poster mentioned Bear country and reptile gardens are wonderful to visit, but are in between Keystone and Rapid City. The trip to the badlands will take one full day, but I'd skip wall drug(bad tourist trap). The most scenic drives in the country are The Needles hwy(us87) and the Iron mountain roads(us16A), but this loop takes a full day with the inclusion of mt. Rushmore. Add another day for Wind cave and may be check out the Mammoth site at Hot springs,SD. There is more distance than people usually allow for. Gas up often and have fun!

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  • pringlepoacher's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by pringlepoacher Online Now Mar 23, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    after labor day almost all business in Keystone and custer state park shut down including the needles and iron mt. roads. The cave tours are call ahead to reserve space and bear country and reptile gardens are also closed for the winter.

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  • Camping_Girl's Profile Photo

    Re: Is three days enough to see everything in the Mount Rushmore area?

    by Camping_Girl Online Now Mar 24, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    pringlepoacher, the original poster made their trip to SD 6 months ago.....

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