According to Mapquest, the shortest route is about 1,600 miles one way. I arbitrarily picked Bismarck as an ending location.
So if you make minimal stops it would be three full days of driving 8-9 hours per day to get there, and three full days back.
You would have 8 days to see something of the state, depending upon where you drive. Anything farther than Bismarck would add more time and miles, of course.
I'd probably check around and see if there are any reasonable airfares + car rentals available, since 3,200 miles just to get there and back @ $4+ per gallon will really add up!
We only visited the SW corner of ND for several days. If you are coming in summer don't miss Medora Musical performed at its fantastic outdoor theater. Medora also is at the entrance of Th. Roosevelt NP south unit.
I know what you mean about your "last state". We are going to Wisconsin this year as our "last state" but already found out there's a lot to do and see.
Thank you for putting things into perspective. We're not as young as we used to be, so the number of hours in the car, especially that stretch from San Francisco to Salt Lake City, gave us some second thoughts.
Have you ever driven us50 aka The Loneliest road of America? That's a great Basin and Range drive and you also could visit Great Basin NP on your way.
I'd break it into 6 hour days of driving. It would take you about 4 days(22.5 hours total). The mapquest route bypasses SLC.. Spend a couple of days in Yellowstone and hop over to Medora. ND was our last state too! We picked it up 2 years ago. The Medora Musical is as corny as Kansas in August, but a lot of fun.
Funny, we've been to North Dakota twice. My husband was teaching in Moorhead MN when my step-daughter was born, and the hospital was in Fargo, ND and we went back many years ago so she could see where she was born. Then in 2005 our younger daughter had a summer job in Saskatchewan so we drove thru ND to get there.
The only state in the lower 48 we've never been in is Alabama. Always seem to go east or west of it. Hope to get there in the next year or two.
I think half-brit's fly/drive is a great idea. Fly to Minneapolis for the cheapest flights. Then spend all your time out in the big open country of No Dak! Sacajawea was from eastern North Dakota, so look for Lewis and Clark information. You really can't say you've seen North Dakota without going to Medora, so be sure to get all the way west to see it.
There is also a replica of a Norwegian Stave Church up along the interstate, as well as a giant cow. http://www.realnd.com/salemsueindex.htm The cow is "the most popular of North Dakota's giant roadside animal sculptures". Going to see all the giants takes you on a pretty good tour of the state : http://www.realnd.com/giantsofnd.htm
I had forgotten about the cow. But do remember the large fish, bison and some of the other large animals.
East of Medora I enjoyed the drive along the Fantasy Highway with its sculptures. http://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2155
The Theodore Roosevelt NP south unit and north unit were interesting.
Don't forget about North Dakota's Enchanted Highway.
Geese in Flight alone makes it worth the trip.
-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-
This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.
To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html
We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.