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What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

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Marion, NC
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What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

Mt. Rushmore, the Black Hills, The Bad Lands and maybe some of the prairies. The prairies are not a must do but if they are within reasonable driving distance we would like to see them.

We are trying to coordinate the Mt. Rushmore trip with a trip to the Glacier National Park and we are trying to determine which city to fly into, rent a car, etc.

Thanks in advance.

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1. Re: What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

I would say a week if you've never been there. If you don't want to get out and do any hiking, you could probably get away with less time.

South Dakota
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2. Re: What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

We usually say 5 full touring days. This should not include arrival and departure dates. Also, if you haven't already done so, please go to the South Dakota forum (this is the Keystone forum) and read the Top Question in the upper right corner entitled, "How much time should I allow to visit . . .?" It's the seventh question down in blue. This will help you plan how much time to allow for individual attractions.

As far as flying, there's no cheap way to fly into areas such as the Black Hills, Yellowstone and Glacier. You're looking at flying into small, isolated, airports and this tends to be expensive. You're also looking at one way car rentals, which are also expensive. People arriving by air to the Black Hills have about three choices: 1. Rapid City. Small, convenient and expensive (usually). 2. Denver. Large and more budget friendly, but you've got a six hour drive on two lane roads through isolated, desolate, territory. 3. Sioux Falls. Larger than Rapid, smaller than Denver. This is a five hour drive on a four lane interstate. The western half of the drive will be isolated, but not as isolated as the drive from Denver.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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3. Re: What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

For both areas, I would plan 2 weeks minimum. I have not been to Glacier yet, but you will need to allow yourself travel time between the 2 areas. Some might consider flying into one airport or out another, but as 3174 mentions, all the ones closest to these parks are quite expensive. Car rental fees are not cheap when you don't drop off and return to the same location. Some try flying to Kalispell and then driving to Glacier, but it's pricey. Spokane is a more reasonable option with a longer drive.

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4. Re: What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

We've done SD, Glacier, and Yellowstone all together in a two week trip although granted, we had already been to SD and Yellowstone 2 or 3 times before so we could afford to skip some "must sees" that we didn't skip on our first trips there. In my opinion, I think it would be best to fly into Rapid City, with Sioux Falls as a second choice. Next day, Badlands and Wall Drug. Day 2, Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore. Day 3, Spearfish Canyon and Devil's Tower. This is a bare minimum-if you can add a day to Custer or want to see Deadwood or Sturgis add another day or two. If you stay somewhere around Devil's Tower your last day in SD you would then have an 11-12 hour drive to Glacier (we stopped overnight in Great Falls, MT and then were able to get into the park fairly early the next day). Allow a minimum of 3 full days in Glacier-5 or 6 if you are hikers-a few of the hikes we did at Glacier (Grinnell Glacier for example) pretty much took a full day. Also, when are you planning on going? Glacier's Going to the Sun Road usually doesn't open until late June because of all the snow they get so keep that in mind. After Glacier you'd have another full day's drive back to Rapid City if you want to fly out of the same airport.

5. Re: What is the minimal amount of time recommended to see

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