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Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

Astoria, New York...
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Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

Hi there, so my girlfriend and I have been invited to two weddings in June, one near Menomonie, Wisconsin on June 22nd and the other in Crested Butte, Colorado on June 29th. We've decided to use that week in between as vacation time but are debating flying straight from WI to CO and spending the week there or doing a road trip through the midwest since neither of us have spent much time there.

Plan would be to fly to Minneapolis, drive to Menomonie and then start the trip from there after the 1st wedding. I would probably have to be in Crested Butte by Friday the 28th, so I'd figure 5 or 6 days of driving to get from one place to the other.

Aside from the badlands/black hills/mount rushmore, nothing really jumps out at me as urgent to see between those destinations. Also don't know how much time I'd really have at any of those places in the time we would have... Would love any suggestions of places worth seeing/stopping at. We are most interested in outdoor attractions, scenics/hiking etc. Historical attractions are also a plus.

I'd like to try to spend no more than 7ish hours driving each day (any car rental recommendations for this kind of trip would also be nice). It's looking to me like the most scenic route might be through South Dakota and down through Wyoming.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated, if this time frame/route is not ideal we'll probably just spend the week in Colorado.

Thank again!

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1. Re: Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

Hi Turitsj-

Yes, there isn't a ton to see on this road trip compared to other places like California and the southwest, but you missed a few things that I know of on that route. For example, just down the road from Mount Rushmore is the Crazy Horse Memorial. Native Americans’ retort to Mount Rushmore, this sculpture of Chief Crazy Horse is enormous – even bigger than the presidents down the street. Last time I was there, it was only partially completed, but still awe-inspiring.

On your way to Wyoming, you can also stop at Deadwood, a real old Wild West town best known for "Wild Bill" Hickok, who was shot dead there while playing cards in Saloon No. 10. There are regular reenactments of Wild Bill’s murder and the trial that followed, plus plenty of fun saloons and casinos to check out.

Once you're in Wyoming, be sure to stop by the Devil's Tower - the same eerie formation seen in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. As you mentioned loving the outdoors, it's a good hike and there's wildlife to see as well.

Hope this helps-


Astoria, New York...
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2. Re: Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

thanks for the quick response! Deadwood was secretly on the list as well, big fan of the TV series, lots of history in those black hills.

I had no idea that Devil's Tower was that close to my proposed route, definitely on my list as well... looks like the best thing to do would be to try to get from Menomonie to near Rapid City as fast as possible and just enjoy that area...

Marina, California
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3. Re: Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

Sounds like a good trip. But were you planning on dropping the car off in Denver or wherever you're flying out of? Because that can get very expensive.

Yes, there's not much between Minneapolis and the Black Hills. Wall Drug, the Corn Palace...

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4. Re: Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

Corn Palace and Wall Drug are great areas to get out and stretch your legs.

Park City, Utah
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5. Re: Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

We do that trip often between Utah and Wisconsin. Key thing here, as noted, is that you'll get killed on drop fee for the car. However, it's still likely less than two airline tickets MSP-DEN but you might do the comparison.

Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Devil's Tower are all good possibilities. You could actually do a touch and go to Yellowstone.

However, all that being said, I think you'll have a better experience if you flew to Denver, rented a car and did a loop through Rocky Mountain National Park, then shot over to Moab, Utah for Arches/Canyonlands and wound your way east to Telluride/Ouray, through Black Canyon of the Gunnison and in to Crested Butte. That would give you a much more spectacular trip.

Have fun.

6. Re: Possible Road Trip from WI to CO in late June

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