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Looking for roadtrip suggestions

Chicago, Illinois
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for Bend
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Looking for roadtrip suggestions

My family is planning a two week roadtrip from Bend, OR to Mount Rushmore. There are 5 of us - 2 adults and 3 kids (14, 13, 10). We plan to camp as often as possible, and prefer rustic areas over being surrounded by RVs and lots of people - but also plan to find a roller coaster or waterpark along the way. We'd like to spend one day driving then 1-2 days exploring a smaller area. Any suggestions for routes and "must see" stops along the way?

Here's a rough outline of what we have in mind:

Bend, OR

Idaho panhandle (Post Falls or Sandpoint)

Montana, I90 corridor (Bozeman looks about halfway)

Mount Rushmore

Yellowstone/Grand Teton

Baker City, OR (visiting friends there)

home to Bend, OR

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas! I am also planning to post this request in other state forums.

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

I would spend at least 2-3 days in the Black Hills seeing Wind or Jewel Cave, Custer State Park, Crazy Horse, Mt. Rushmore, and on the way to YNP/GT I would stop by Deadwood, Devil's Tower and Cody. The museums and rodeo are not to be missed in Cody. I would plan on spending at least 4 days in YNP and 1 day in the GT. YNP is like a giant figure 8. You will want to see Mammoth, Hayden and Lamar Valleys, Artist Point, and Old Faithful areas. There is a large KOA campground near Keystone, SD as well as camping in the Custer State Park. YNP has several campgrounds and there are also several in Cody.

San Diego...
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2. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

I would absolutely recommend a 2-3 day stay in the Black Hills. Rapid City has many fine hotels (The Holiday Inn at Rushmore Plaza and the Hampton Inn are my personal favorites), Custer and Custer State Park are also great places to stay (try to find something on or near Sylvan lake, it is wonderful!). Wind Cave is a very interesting site to visit. Within Rapid City, the Journey Museum, Bear Country USA, and the Reptile Gardens are all great family places. The Mammoth Site in Hot Springs is also a lot of fun.

And Devil's Tower is also a great hike and a lot of natural beauty. I highly recommend taking a stop there. A hike to it's base and a visit to the museum there would only take about an hour to an hour and a half and it's about an a hour and a half northwest of Rapid City, not a bad detour to see such an amazing natural wonder.

San Diego...
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3. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

Also, I believe there is a waterpark in Rapid City, and one just outside of Hot Springs. Sylvan Lake is GREAT for swimming

Pitman, New Jersey
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4. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

You got some great suggestions here. The waterpark in Hot Springs is called Evans Plunge. It's small, but the neat aspect is that it's fed by an actual hot spring.

Sturgis, South...
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5. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

If you are wanting to camp away from RV's and such you will need to venture away from the main CG's around the attractions. I recommend going a bit west from HWY 385 (it goes roughly N-S through the Hills) further north from Rushmore. Roubaix Lake, Black Fox CG and around Deerfield reservoir to name a few.

Everett, Washington
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6. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

The spring in Hot Springs is only barely warm (87 degrees). Evans Plunge heats the water up a bit for soaking purposes. Still is mineral water but the geothermal processes in the area don't lend themselves to 100+ degree water.

As I've mentioned in other posts a really quick "leg stretch" stop just short of the SD border, at mile 199, is the Vore Buffalo Jump. A big sinkhole where the local native population drove Buffalo (Bison) over the edge and the bones at the bottom are thirty feet deep. Free but donation requested. Can easily be imcorporated into loop drive off of I-90 to Devils Tower Nat. Mon.

After viewing Rushmore definitely consider also touring Crazy Horse and what the mountain there will eventually look like. A couple nice museums are part of the entrance fee. http://www.crazyhorsememorial.org

Chicago, Illinois
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7. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

Thanks for all the great suggestions so far!

8. Re: Looking for roadtrip suggestions

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