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Old 06-20-2014, 12:13 PM   #1
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Duluth, MN to Rapid City (bad land area), SD

Hello everyone,

We are traveling west along the UP of MI now and will be heading through Duluth to Rapid City. I would like to know any suggestions for the most scenic route with the most interesting stops.

We love to hike/walk, bicycle ride, eat and love "kitschy" fun things.

Any recommendations would be appreciated. We like traveling the smaller roads if there are things to see and don't mind hopping on an interstate to get from point A to point B if there is not much to see.

Thank you in advance,

Stuart & Leslie
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Old 06-20-2014, 01:57 PM   #2
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I guess I can make one suggestion for a "neat and interesting" stop on your way to Rapid City..

A Couple years ago when coming home to Milwaukee from Rapid City, we stopped at Pipestone, MN. It's very interesting, as it is one of only a few locations that Native American's can mine the rock that makes up a peace pipe. Native American's come from all over to mine the rock. It has to be done by hand, no machinery is allowed. It is a National Monument and had a nice visitors center.

Might be worth checking out if you like that sorta thing.. We did...

Pipestone National Monument (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:39 PM   #3
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Suggest you check out the welcome/rest area (I-90) in Chamberlain SD. Overlooks the river. More museum than just a rest room and a picnic table.
Cabelas in Mitchell has overnight parking and encourages RVers to stay the night. I was told there is a dump station there, but I did not see it. We have had as many as 20 RVs there with us when the morning sun came up.
The Corn Palace is also in Mitchell. Big building with walls covered in corn and other grains. Lot of birds flying around nearly all the time
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:42 PM   #4
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Teddy Roosevelt nat,l park, corn palace in Mitchel, SD. Wall drug, little house on prairie in de smett mn. are along the way.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:48 PM   #5
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Depending on where you plan to stay, west of Rapid on I-90 at exit #17 is Elkhorn Ridge RV Resort. Just 8 miles away is the history filled gambling town of Deadwood. Spearfish is just 4 miles away and Spearfish canyon and Spearfish city park are very scenic. The RV resort is Big Rig friendly, all paved level sites. We go there a couple times a year and just love it. Randy
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Old 06-21-2014, 07:16 PM   #6
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Drive the Badlands loop, Hwy. 240, which will bring you back to I-90 at Wall, SD.
We drove it in the month of June , but it may not be this green other times of the year. Hiking trails available along this route, we stayed over night at the KOA in Interior, a good campground.


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Old 06-21-2014, 09:46 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the suggestions.

I think we will plan to take a diagonal path through Mitchel, SD passing through Pipestone national Monument in MN. Then we will head west to the Bad Lands.

We will finalize our plans over the next week or two.

Stuart & Leslie
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:22 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GREGORYJ View Post
Drive the Badlands loop, Hwy. 240, which will bring you back to I-90 at Wall, SD. We drove it in the month of June , but it may not be this green other times of the year. Hiking trails available along this route, we stayed over night at the KOA in Interior, a good campground.
We just returned all of these are good. We stayed at rafter bar j at hill city it's a very nice rv park with friendly staff. Try the $10 filet at alpine inn in hill city. Don't forget Rushmore and crazy horse. Needles highway is quite good and Custer state park is nice if you like rural drives and wildlife. Beware of low tunnels though if you plan on taking the rv. We did it in the jeep so no problem. This area is beautiful and green right now with all the spring rains.
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Old 06-25-2014, 10:34 PM   #9
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We just returned all of these are good. We stayed at rafter bar j at hill city it's a very nice rv park with friendly staff. Try the $10 filet at alpine inn in hill city. Don't forget Rushmore and crazy horse. Needles highway is quite good and Custer state park is nice if you like rural drives and wildlife. Beware of low tunnels though if you plan on taking the rv. We did it in the jeep so no problem. This area is beautiful and green right now with all the spring rains.
Another sight to consider is devils tower about 60 miles west of spearfish. Interesting geologic site. I noticed a campground just outside the entrance.
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:46 AM   #10
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Stopover Suggestion

Stuart & Leslie;

One stop along your way ya might strongly consider is a night or two at Lakehead Boat Basin/RV Park in Duluth, MN. We moved out of Minn. (Duluth) to South Dakota back in 05 to full time for 9 years but occasionally returned to Duluth for visits and Lakehead could be just up your alley. Great biking along Lake Superior, walk from RV to Canal Park over the famous Aerial Lift Bridge, watch ship traffic right from RV, etc. etc.

If ya do decide to stop there, take Hwy. #2 into Superior, WI, and follow it over the Blatnick Bridge (also called "High Bridge") linking Superior, WI to Duluth, MN. When crossing this bridge, just after getting to mid point and you begin decending into Duluth, watch for the Grand Ave. exit on the and follow Grand and take a RIGHT onto Railroad Street. Follow Railroad just past a BIG RED IRON ORE CARRIER that moored permanently for tours and after passing this Ore boat, take a right on Lake Ave. that will take you direct to the aerial lift bridge. Cross over the lift bridge and go to 10th Street and take a Right on 10th right into Lakehead Boat Basin/RV.

I don't think you'll regret this stop and even though you'll wonder if it's easy to get to it is REALLY simple. Also simple to jump on I-35 when departing.

Could offer A LOT of other suggestions about your visit to South Dakota as we often spend time in the Rapid City area although my wife is from Mitchell area and we also are frequently there also. BUT.....this would get too long for now.

HAVE A WONDERFUL TRIP!!

Steve & Lynette
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Old 06-26-2014, 07:51 AM   #11
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Oooop, forgot

S-n-L

P.S.....Ya won't have trouble with your 45 ftr. We used to full time in a 45 ft. Essex, towing a car and Lakehead was NOT difficult at all.

Steve
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Old 06-26-2014, 09:54 PM   #12
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Thanks again everyone,

We will leave Duluth via route 23 and head to Pipestone for a few nights. Then to Mitchell, SD then to the KOA in Interior. We will plan on staying in the area for about one week. Over the next few days we will plan how we will move around while in the Bad Land, Black Hills, Rapid City area. So much to see there.

Stuart
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:32 AM   #13
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One of the highlights for us in the Blackhills area was the Michelson Bike Trail. It runs 109 miles, from north to south through the Blackhills and was once a railway bed converted to this excellent limestone topped bike trail. We didn't do it all, but camped,for example, at Oreville Campground and would bike north one day , then south the next day. See info here:SD GFP | State Parks | Directory | Mickelson Trail




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Old 06-28-2014, 03:48 PM   #14
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Ellen & Greg,

Thank you so much for the info. Bicycling has been some of the highlights of our touring so we will put this on our list of places to go.

Stuart & Leslie
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