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Old 04-22-2012, 02:07 PM   #1
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Denver to Mount Rushmore-ideas please?

Hi, were trying to plan a 2 week vacation starting in Denver and going to the Black Hills. I've ordered the vacation guide to South Dakota but I must confess I'm just overwhelmed and having trouble plotting an itinerary.

We travel with dogs and prefer staying at National Forest Campgrounds or those with alot of good hiking trails from them. We also want to see the sites and one of us will stay in the RV and babysit the dogs while the other sees if necessary.

Any one have suggested campgrounds, sites or itineraries? At this point every little bit helps because I'm seeing this that and the other thing as good possibilities but it isn't coming together into a plan. Just getting a driving route suggestion that is recommended for either ease of driving, interesting sites along the way or any other reason would be helpful and then I can start to fill in the blanks. Thanks!
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:46 PM   #2
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Not going to be much help as far as CGs go, we stayed in Hermosa(hwy. 79) and roughed it w/full hookups at Heartland RV Park and use the Jeep to explore the area. We went to MT. Rushmore, of course, and then drove into Keystone for a buffalo burger. They're very tasty critters.

We traveled the Iron Mountain and Needles hwys. in both directions...the sight of Mt Rushmore visible from inside the tunnels was very cool(Rushmore is visible from all of the tunnels, just have to be going in the right direction). No Class A's will fit in the tunnels but both of those highways are not to be missed. Rent a car if necessary...very curvy with some amazing topography.

We took a long tour of Wind Cave...on approach, we got lost on a dirt road in the Southwest section of WC NP and somehow ended up at the cave, so we took the tour and it was well worth it. We also explored Custer State Park, but saw more buffalo at Wind Cave. The roads were good for RV travel in both parks had we not had a toad. Also, Badlands NP isn't too far away and is RV accessible as well. We could have stayed another 10 days in the area...lots to see. IIRC, we saw a few CGs at both WC NP and Custer. Have a great trip. Bob
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Old 04-22-2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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Hi MICD, we also stayed in Hermosa, SD. But we stayed at the Rockin' R Saloon, Steakhouse and Campground. The campground nothing fancy but is set way back from the roadway and very quiet. Good water and electric (50 amp) and sewer. There was what appeared to be a brand new laundry but it wasn't in service yet. The steakhouse puts out good food at a reasonable price and is a favorite with the locals.

Custer State park is a must see and the Needles Highway is a great drive. There are a number of campgrounds within the park that looked great for family camping. Below is a picture I took at one of them. You can't see them but there were three kids in that pop-up that are simply awe struck looking out at the buffalo killing time behind their camper.
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Old 04-23-2012, 11:02 AM   #4
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Sheridan Lake is a great NFS campground just north of Hill City. Good location and quiet.

Facility Details - SHERIDAN LAKE, SD - Recreation.gov
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:16 PM   #5
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Make reservations early if near a holiday. Everything books up. We got to see fireworks over Mt Rushmore. Great ! Badlands, sitting bull memorial & museum, walls drug. Like to go back! Can't you just go to Cheyenne and head east?
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Old 04-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #6
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Thanks!

Thanks to everyone for the great suggestions. Its especially helpful to know when roads are and aren't RV accessible since we don't have a tow car. Maybe we will rent a car for Needles Hwy. I'm definitely going to check out the Sheridan Lake campground from what I've seen on-line it looks like our kind of place. :-) Have you also been to Horsethief Lake Campground? How do they compare for trails right from the campground and secluded sites?

To answer the last question. If we went to Cheyenne and headed east we'd never get there. :-)

Any suggestions for good points to stop at half way there and back? We may go a different route each way to see more.
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Old 04-24-2012, 05:36 AM   #7
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Go to Cheyenne. Then north some more then east near gillette over to SD.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:31 PM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for their input!

We just got back last weekend. Thanks to everyone for their input.

ronhanson, Sheridan was our kind of place. It was my favorite campground of the whole trip and I wouldn't have known about it without your post. Thank you!!!

I just completed my summary blog posting so if anyone is interested I reviews all the places we stayed and things we did.

Start here and keep clicking on 'Newer Post' to work your way through our trip.
1994 Brave 29RQ RV: Mount Rushmore trip - Glendo State Park Wyoming
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:06 PM   #9
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Thats great! Thanks for the link to your blog, now you've given me some ideas on where to find some boondocking sites in CO!
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:26 PM   #10
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Feel free to drop my a PM

If you ever have a question on CO boondocking or other places we've been in the blog feel free to drop me a PM.
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