We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

billings to rapid city to yellowstone

NYC
Level Contributor
24 posts
1 review
Save Topic
billings to rapid city to yellowstone

I am planning a trip to south dakota and yellowstone with my 10 yr old twins in august. Seems like flying to billings and renting a car there is less than flying to rapid city and renting a car....any suggestions for itineraries? horse back riding for my daughter?...cabins or hotels?

Thanks in advance

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
30,007 posts
442 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

If you are flying into Billings and need to stay the night there then stay in the Homestead area- has lots of restaurants and nice hotels. You can drive from Billings to Keystone(Mt. Rushmore area) in one day stopping at Devil's Tower and Deadwood. I would stay in Keystone- we stayed about a month ago at K Bar S Lodge at the foot of Mt. Rushmore. I would see Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, maybe Jewel or Wind Cave and some of Custer State Park. I don't think I would do the wildlife loop because you will see lots of wildlife in Yellowstone. You can then make your way back toward YNP stopping in Cody for horseback riding and museums and rodeo. We stayed at Cody Cowboy Village.If you don't have lodging in YNP then I would stay in West Yellowstone, MT. I would see Old Faithful, Artist Point, Lamar and Hayden Valleys while there. I would not spend more than 2 days in SD and the rest in YNP. We have stayed at BW Desert Inn and Holiday Inn in West Yellowstone. How many days do you have for your trip? Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
Level Contributor
21,282 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

How many days? I will assume a week or so

Day 1 arrive Billings.

Day 2 Drive to YS via Beartooth Highway. Stay in Gardiner MT.

Day 3 Visit YS. Stay in West YS, which may be better for touring the lower part of YS. See Mammoth, Old Faithful and geyser basins this day

Day 4 YS - see the Canyon area and possibly do a horseback ride there.

Day 5 YS to Jackson. See Tetons at sunset. Maybe a nice dinner in Jackson.

Day 6 Jackson WY, Teton National Park. in the morning, then to Cody in the afternoon. Stay there.

Day 7 Museums in the morning, then drive to Black Hills. Long drive, maybe stay in Buffalo or Sheridan WY.

Day 8 Black Hills

Day 9 Mt Rushmore possibly Jewel Cave or Wind Cave

Day 10 Back to Billings.

NYC
Level Contributor
24 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

Thank you both so much...just hope there are rooms available on such short notice. I did book the flights into billings (northwest for around $322 rt) then rented a car using coupons I found online $449 for 2 weeks...now just have to book some hotels.

THank you and will keep looking for your suggestions!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

Have you thought about Sturgis Rally august 4-10 2008? See www.sturgis-rally.com for that. Will be busy in the Black Hills then.

Tet

NYC
Level Contributor
24 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

Hi:

Yes I realized that. The sturgis rally will be over by the time we get there... we won't arrive until very late on Aug. 15 to Keystone. Hopefully it will have cleared out by then.

Any suggestions for where to stay around yellowstone since the lodges in the park seem to be booked.

So far my itinerary is"

aug. 15: arrive billings, pick up car, drive to keystone (Suggestions for routes or stops?)

Stay in Keystone 3 nights....see surrounding sights...

Aug. 18: go to Custer park and stay in the park one night...drive the loop and see animals...maybe hike

Aug. 19, 20 and 21: Stay on a dude ranch outside of Cody, Wy not booked yet but trying to get a room at Crossed Sabres Ranch ala carte...

Aug. 22: Stay in West Yellowstone at Yellowstone Park Hotel (kind of pricey....any suggestions for something more moderate wtih a kitchenette?)

Aug. 23 and 24: Stay in Yellowstone at Canyon Lodge & Cabins (these were the only 2 nights available in the park so I booked them).

Aug. 24-29: ???? Maybe stay in Gardiner or go back to w yellowstone? this is where I am in need of suggestions...

Aug. 29: fly home from Billings at 1:30 PM.

Thanks so much!

NYC
Level Contributor
24 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

Have changed my trip around slightly and welcome suggestions...Ce Ce your posts are wonderful...saw yours about your trip and the bad weather...must have been disappointing....

Aug. 15 fly to billings mt and drive to Keystone

Aug. 15-18 Stay in Keystone at K Bar and S Lodge

NOTE: MY KIDS WOULD LOVE A POOL THO...ANY SUGGESTIONS?

Aug. 19 and 20: NOT SURE...maybe custer?

Aug. 21-22: Booked a room at crossed sabres ranch ....thought this was in Cody but it is much closer to Yellowstone. Kids will horse back ride and hang out at ranch.

Aug. 23: Old Faithful Inn

Aug. 24 and 25: Canyon Village Inn

Aug. 26: Lake Hotel

Aug. 27: Mamouth Cabin NOTE: I MIGHT CANCEL THIS...no bathroom

Aug. 28: RED LODGE OR BILLINGS??

Aug. 29: Catch flight home at 1:30 and return car.

Looking for suggestions for Aug. 28 and if Red Lodge area or Billings requires more time....

Thanks in advance

Whidbey Island...
Level Contributor
140 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

Just curious what time you arrive in Billings? It is a 6 +/- hour drive to the Black Hills. The shortest route (IMHO scenic route) is Hwy 212 between the Battlefield and the Hills. It is a two lane road and runs the gamut of beautiful pine hills to wide open ranch land. Midway point is Broadus where you can fill the tank, see a great museum and realize you aren't in NYC anymore. Then take I-90 west after visiting the hills and catch Devil's Tower.

Red Lodge or Billings....I would vote for Red Lodge and drive into Billings the next morning before your flight. That way you can spend the day driving and exploring the Beartooth Hwy. Of course, your kids might like to head on into Billings and enjoy the waterpark!

Uden, The...
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
60,942 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

I agree with the previous poster. It already will be a 6 hours drive between Billings and Keystone ánd possibly stops are Little Big Horn Battlefiels and Devils Tower NM but you should count of several extra hours to visit them. If you want to splurge last night before departure try Rock Creek Resort in Red Lodge....

Tet

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
30,007 posts
442 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

After you fly into Billings with the time difference, etc. and getting a car then I would just drive directly to Keystone. On August 20 I would see Deadwood and Devil's Tower and stay somewhere like Sheridan. Then the next day make your way over the Bighorn Mts. to Cody. This will be much better in terms of driving for kids. If you don't stay in Mammoth the last night then don't stay in Gardiner unless you do the BW because you will be very disappointed- we were!!

NYC
Level Contributor
24 posts
1 review
Save Reply
10. Re: billings to rapid city to yellowstone

Thank you all so much.....I did book a room at the Rock Creek Resort for the last night. They were very accomodating and even gave me a 10% discount (even without being a AAA member).

Right now I plan to rent the car and drive straight to Keystone and stay there for 3-4 nights.

Then we have 4 nights to play with....I have 2 nights at the Crosssed Sabres Ranch and am wondering if I should stay there longer...or should we stop somewhere for a night or two between Keystone and Sabre (which is west of cody and east of Yellowstone).

Ideas?

Thanks again