We'll be coming to the Black Hills in a couple weeks and I've noticed that the experts on this forum seem to be particularly friendly and helpful in offering helpful itinerary suggestions, so I'd like to run ours by you. We're a very active family who enjoy the outdoors and relatively full travel days, with 3 boys ages 11, 9, and 2.5.
Sunday, Aug. 1 - Long drive from Kansas City to Circle View Ranch just outside of Badlands (with stops in Mitchell Corn Palace and Chamberlain visitors center)
Monday, Aug. 2 - Minuteman (assuming we can get reservations), Badlands loop with some of the short hikes (out of Door, Window, and Notch, is it worth it to do all 3, or are the views similar, and if so, which are most recommended?), drive to Keystone to check in to K Bar S Lodge, go see Mt. Rushmore at the end of the day and night lighting ceremony
Tuesday, Aug. 3 - Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, Crazy Horse (possibly just from the road depending on time), either Reptile Gardens or Cosmos and pan for gold - I know that these places are very spread out and a lot of driving, but I'm not sure how to tweak the schedule to avoid this - suggestions? Should I try to do some of Custer SP on this day since I'll be in the area and some the next day and hit up the kiddie activities when driving north the next day? If so, how would you divide Custer SP?
Wednesday, Aug. 4 - Custer SP (Needles, Iron Mt., wildlife loop, Sylvan, a good 2-4 mile hike - perhaps Little Devils Tower?), then drive to Hulett for the night via Spearfish Scenic Byway -
Thursday, Aug. 5 - see Devils Tower, then on to GTNP and YNP
Thanks in advance for all of your help and suggestions!