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Estes Park to Keystone South Dakota ”

Teesside, England
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Estes Park to Keystone South Dakota ”

As part of a road trip I plan to drive from Estes Park to Mount Rushmore area. The distance is almost 400 miles, I don't really want to do the drive in one go so could somebody please suggest an overnight stop somewhere.

Everett, Washington
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1. Re: Estes Park to Keystone South Dakota ”

Hi again. If you are going to break it up it offers some options beyond the usual stop at Cheyenne, WY which is not that far from Estes Park.

The straightforward way is to go to Casper for the night. Lots of hotel choices and almost all freeway. Not a lot to see but some pretty spots north of Wheatland, WY around Glendo. 263 miles. Then 222 miles from Casper to Mt. Rushmore area (Keystone) via WY-357 and WY-450 to Newcastle and US-16. Nice part about this stretch is it crosses the Thunder Basin National Grassland - scenic in a wide open way and still green in June. Also an abundance of Pronghorn Antelope grazing by roads.

Longer more scenic option...

Estes Park to Casper via US-287 to Laramie and WY-130 to Walcott and then up to Casper. Passes over very scenic Medicine Bow Mts. and the Snowy Range Scenic Byway. A rival to Beartooth Pass farther north but with some impressive granite cliffs. A picture I took up there a few years ago...


Nice lunch stop on this route would be at Saratoga, just past the pass. The historic Wolf Hotel and the Silver Saddle Restaurant at Saratoga Inn and Spa both have good food.

Third somewhat shorter option for doing in one day...

As above heading to Casper but at Douglas take US-18 to Lusk, WY and then up to SD-89 to Pringle where US-385 comes in. 373 miles - 6.5 hours so not a really long drive. Lunch in Wheatland. We've done Hot Springs, SD to Cheyene, WY in 3.5 hours in driving rain and snow. In good weather a very easy drive. Miles in this area tend to pass very quickly due to lack of towns to slow down in.

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2. Re: Estes Park to Keystone South Dakota ”

I made a similar trip a few years ago and it was an EASY 6 or 7 hour trip. No need to spend the night (unless you are leaving later in the evening). I recommend driving it in one day. You can stop for a long lunch if you want to break up the day.

3. Re: Estes Park to Keystone South Dakota ”

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