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Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

Vienna, Virginia
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Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

Trying to finalize plans for family of 4 (with 12 and 10 year old) for our June/July trip. We are doing the loop from Denver to Black Hills, YNP, GTNP and RMNP.

Does this work?

Day 1 - Arrive Denver 3pm and drive to Lusk, WY, stay in Lusk.

Day 2 - Lusk, WY to Badlands, drive loop & see sunset, Stay in Wall at Frontier Cabins.

Day 3 - Minuteman Tour if we did not get in on Day 2 then onto Mt Rushmore, stay in Keystone - KbarS lodge.

Day 4 - Custer State Park, Crazy Horse and pm light show, stay in Keystone (or drive onto Deadwood to save time for Day 5?)

Day 5 - Drive to Deadwood (see town, Saloon 10, cemetery)

Spearfish Canyon and see falls

Stop at Vore Jump, Sundance Kid

Devils Tower to hike around base

Then onto Buffalo, stay at Occidental

Enough time for this day?

Day 6 - From Buffalo, drive to Red Lodge and then to Cody. Question.....should we stay in Red Lodge this night and drive Beartooth next day, or do we have time to drive on Beartooth Hwy/Chief Joseph to Cody on this same day?

Day 7 - Cody - (depends on day 6)

Day 8 - Cody - See museum & rodeo

Day 9 - YNP - Canyon Lodge

Day 10 - YNP - Canyon Lodge

Day 11 - YNP - OF Inn

Day 12 - YNP/GTNP - stay at Snow King

Day 13 - GTNP - stay at Snow King

Day 14 - GTNP - stay at Snow King

Day 15 - Drive to Rawlins and see prison, then onto Estes Park - too long day?

Day 16 - Stay Estes Park, Drive Trail Ridge Road

Day 17 - Fly home

Thanks for any suggestions on time, routes, must sees, hotels, etc!

Apple Valley...
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1. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

I would not drive to Deadwood after the Crazy Horse Laser Show as it will be late and dark of course and probably been a long day already with an early start for the Wildlife Loop in CSP. Its only about an hour drive to Deadwood the next morning. Most of the contributors on the SD forum normally advise against driving after dark too much due to the wildlife.

Uden, The...
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2. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

Technically it is possible to drive from Buffalo to Red Lodge and to Cody after that. But that will be an 7 hours drive without much stops. But no, I would not want to do that and stay Red Lodge for the night. Red Lodge is a lovely town with good restaurants and a nice place to stroll around. Plus, the drive on Beartooth next morning is better than the drive in the afternoon with the sun in your eyes and last but not least, I'd take the time to visit an historic place called Little Big Horn Battlefield. The impact of Gen Custers defeat (he was disobeying orders and did not stand a chance with 750 men against 3000 native Americans) was huge in DC only to compair with Pearl Harbor and 9/11. My advice is to read first about this battle and what happened before and after and enhance your visit to "Custers Last Stand''.

Tet

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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3. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

I suggest you cut a day from Jacksons Hole & drive the 191 to Vernal visit Dinosaur NM... The on to Moab... I feel the kids would be more impressed whis this than a pile of moldering stone work in one of the most uninspiring locations in the West ... carracar

Vienna, Virginia
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4. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

Thanks for input! We will stay in Keystone another night.

Is Day 5 doable from Keystone? Are Crazy Horse and Mt Rushmore evening shows good for kids?

We will now stay in Red Lodge for Day 6. We are driving so much that I don't want to be rushed. If we do battlefield, does this route take us thru Billings to Red Lodge?

Rock Creek or Comfort Inn or other suggestion? Think we need place with pool this day.

Rawlins is not a must see. Just trying to get to Estes Park and thought it would be a good mid way point.

Apple Valley...
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5. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

Both evening shows are good for kids, the one at Crazy Horse is more of a laser show and the Mt Rushmore one is a ranger talk, movie and then a patriotic lowering of the flag by any active or retired military participants from the audience. I did not do Crazy Horse myself but I know it is popular.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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6. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

If one does drop down to Vernal...Drive the US 40 to Granby... Then,get thee to Estes Park, by the back door ! carracar

Uden, The...
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7. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

The interstate will bypass Billings. Take exit 434 and mt212 to Red Lodge.

I also think the kids will like Dinosaur Quarry in Vernal and also a good idea to drive us40 via Steamboat to Granby. If you go via Rawlings, there's a great detour via Snowy Mountains Range but probably you have seen scenic routes enough by that time.

8. Re: Help with Itinerary from Black Hills to YNP, GTNP

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