Thanks everyone so far for your help and comments on my previous thread.
It’s a good thing that the itinerary was LOOSE as I have changed it about 18 times with your ideas and information.
I originally wanted to do Spearfish Canyon on our Devil’s Tower day but wasn’t sure if there would be enough time, but I think I have worked around that.
Going to Crazy Horse is still somewhat up in the air. Once we’re there we may just want to include it.
sirtravelplanner, you have sold me on the 1880 train and the Discovery portion of Jewel Cave. For the train I’m going to send the family one way and I’ll drive to Hill City. This for two reasons, I think the one trip will be enough for the kids and I don’t want to be tied to a departure and then spend an additional hour. When we are done in Hill City we can just leave. I know its some backtracking but the train times and lunch wouldn’t fit right. If only the schedule were reversed. Reptile Gardens is still a good possibility, as the kids enjoyed Alligator Adventure when we were in Myrtle Beach. I too am wondering how “Roadside” Bedrock City is, I’ll let you know if we decided on that one. Maybe we’ll just send grandma in to check it out.
Thanks Sequim88 for the info on the Mount Rushmore ceremony time. I would imagine that we would need to arrive between 7 and 7:30. I think I have solved the problem so we are not rushing for it.
So here’s the updated LOOSE itinerary:
Since it’s a 10 hour drive we will leave Saturday late afternoon and get down the road. Stay overnight in Sioux Falls and finish driving in on Sunday. Now if we get to our cabin early enough and settle in, then we could try and do the Mount Rushmore evening lighting. If we can’t, then we still have four more evenings to try for it.
Monday: The town of Custer depending on responses to the above question. Peter Nobeck byway, Mount Rushmore (daytime), then finish the byway. Maybe include some of Keystone or the evening lighting if we missed it the previous night.
Tuesday: Spearfish Canyon drive, Devil’s Tower, and Belle Fourche.
Wednesday: Get going early. Spend the morning in Keystone and take 1880 train 11:15am to Hill City. Shop and have lunch at Alpine Inn. Go to the WaTiki waterpark in Rapid City about 4pm for a couple hours.
Thursday: Discovery portion of Jewel Cave. Custer State Park. Chuckwagon dinner. I think there may be extra time this day to see something we missed or want to see again.
Friday: Check out of cabin and 3 hours in Badlands then on to Mitchell, SD and stay the night.
Saturday: Return home.
We will still have the breakfasts in the cabin and I’m thinking picnic lunch every day except Wednesday when we have lunch at the Alpine Inn.
Please, any feedback on this itinerary?
At some point I will need to make reservations for the train and the chuckwagon dinner so the itinerary can’t remain LOOSE.
Thanks so much.