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Little Big Horn

Berkshire
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10 posts
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Little Big Horn

We are planning a trip to Rapid City and plan to tour the area there, but my husband also wants to go to Little Big Horn.

Can anyone advise if this is worth a visit and if there is anything else to do in the area. We are visiting in August.

Thanks

Wyoming & Sanibel
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1. Re: Little Big Horn

Little Big Horn is in Montana, not Wyoming, so you might get better responses there. There is a monument and center and some ranger programs, and it is located in the middle of a reservation. It would be a long drive, there's no place to stay that's closer than about 50 miles. Typically people driving from Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone will sometimes stop, or Mt. Rushmore to Glacier National Park. Devil's Tower National Monument would be a closer destination.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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2. Re: Little Big Horn

I am a history nut and we made a quick stop back in 2008 on our way from Black Hills to Yellowstone. I was glad that I got to see the site but it did not seem to impress the rest of the family. There is nothing and I mean nothing around the area except a small town that is very economically depressed. The next major area is Billings.

Montana
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3. Re: Little Big Horn

The Little Big Horn (LBH) Battlefield. Unless you are an avid western history buff, you will be done with the LBH in three hours - tops. (Probably more like 2 hours.) Most people don't know that the LBH battlefield stretches for 4 1/2 miles on a prairie ridge overlooking the Little Big Horn River. Except for a few scattered grave stones marking where the soldiers - and indians - fell, the LBH battlefield is really scant of things to look at beyond "Last Stand Hill" where Custer and many of his men died.

The Visitor Center has very well-done displays and is worth your time. Most people just walk up to "Last Stand Hill" from the visitor's center, look at where Custer fell, and then head out. You can drive a well-maintained road along the entire ridge of the LBH. The road has well marked stops with displays showing the major parts of the battlefield. But again, if you are not a history buff, these places are nothing more than large expanses of prairie overlooking the river.

A national cemetery is across the parking lot from the visitor's cemetery. The cemetery has many graves of western soldiers who died in famous battles, but, again, if you are not a history buff, the cemetery won't mean that much to you. I just recently spent about 8 hours at the LBH battlefield, but I am a western history buff and military historian.

I certainly don’t want to dissuade you from going to the LBH battlefield, but you have to know it is not as scenic as people assume, especially in the hot summer when the prairie grass turns dry. The battlefield has no trees or shaded areas; it gets hot there, plus you must stay on the trails because of rattlesnakes - no joke.

You can drive to the LBH via interstate, but if that is your sole reason to drive west from Rapid City, I honestly recommend you reconsider. You can see far more in the Black Hills area.

Good luck.

Berkshire
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4. Re: Little Big Horn

Many thanks. My husband has taken on board what you have said, but we are still going!! I will try and remember to let you know how we got on.

Brenda

Park City, Utah
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for Utah, Winter Sports
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5. Re: Little Big Horn

Great info here so far. All I can add is that it's a VERY memorable experience. But ... it's also a long drive. Do also think about Devil's Tower, which is also a long drive, but worthwhile.

Everett, Washington
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6. Re: Little Big Horn

The stretches between Gillette and Buffalo and then Sheridan to LBH Battlefields seem to take forever. Just be prepared for it to take longer than you might expect - or seem that way. If you leave very early you can do a quick loop up to Devils Tower via WY-111 to Aladdin and WY-24/US-14 to Moorcroft. A the freeway exit for WY-111 is the Vore Buffalo Jump (2 miles east on northside frontage road) which is good for a leg stretch to the sink hole where the Indians drive bison over the edge. The bones are dozens of feet deep. Another history thing.

We've stopped at LBH several times and I never have enough time to really scope it all out in terms of the various battle actions over the two days. If really into the history be sure to go on down to the Reno-Benteen section, site of a defensive stand that was a lot more successful than Custer's.

Everett, Washington
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7. Re: Little Big Horn

Ooops. Just re-read post. In the part about Vore Buffalo Jump - DROVE not drive. Past tense. They don't do that anymore. Scarcity of bison there for a long time and now ASPCA and PETA and others would have a few choice things to say about that hunting practice.

Edited: 27 July 2010, 15:22
Berkshire
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8. Re: Little Big Horn

Well, we're back! We had a lovely holiday, visiting so many places. Our trip to LBH was very good. We stayed at Sheridan for 5 days and this was one of our days out. We listened to a ranger talk which was excellent and had a walking tour with a different ranger. It was hot, hot, hot. We started the walk down the hill but decided that it was just........too hot, shame. It helped that my husband knew so much about the history in advance. He now knows even more as he bought a book at the visitors centre. I am certainly pleased that I went. We are used to long drives in the States so that was not a problem.

Thanks to everyone for all the advice - Brenda

Billings, Montana
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for Yellowstone National Park
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9. Re: Little Big Horn

Thanks for posting back on how it went. It's always nice to have the additional imput- makes helping others with the same questions a bit easier.

Deb

10. Re: Little Big Horn

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