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Old 06-29-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Question Iowa 80 or I 35 - Rt. 20

Hello fellow campers,
We will be heading to Mt. Rushmore in couple months from southern Illinois. Ford F350 dulley pulling a 30' 5th wheel.
We haven't decided which way to go to Iowa Rt. 80 or I 35 to Rt. 20.
Anyone with information about these routes and places to stay overnight or 2 days would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 07-03-2011, 04:36 PM   #2
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We were just in Iowa and Hill City a couple of weeks ago. The I-80 is closed at I-29 due to flooding, and was expected to be closed for 6 weeks. We took I-35 from Des Moines up to I-90 all the way to Rapid City, then 16 to Hill City, make sure you use the exit 57 for the 16, not exit 61.

On the way over, we stayed in Mitchell, SD at the R&R Campground, close to the freeway, but not a lot of noise. In Hill City, we stayed at the Rafter J Bar Ranch, VERY nice Rafter J Bar Ranch - Home. This is by far the nicest RV park in the area.
If you stop in Mitchell, The Corn Palace is a must see, it is in the downtown area and is free.


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Old 07-03-2011, 05:44 PM   #3
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You have me confused ... I-80 runs east and west through Iowa and Nebraska .... US-20 runs east and west through Iowa and Nebraska ... neither of these roads go to South Dakota ... I-90 runs east and west through southern Minnesota and South Dakota ...

What is your goal in picking your route ... fastest, most scenic, most historic, fewest hills, ???

PS. The Missouri River is currently flooding ... not all roads that cross it are open ... (right now I-680 in Omaha / Council Bluffs is closed according to the website) ... as the time arrives for your trip check the DOT sites for the roads you plan to travel ...
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:09 PM   #4
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I 80 west or US 20 west will work. You can get on US 385 north and stay on US 385 north to the Rafter J Bar Camping Resort in South Dakota. Only a few mile from Mr Rushmore and only a few mile to Crazy horse monument spend a couple days exploring the black hills.

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Old 07-03-2011, 11:29 PM   #5
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As in other posts, check ahead closer to your travel time for road conditions, we were through that area last Sept/Oct. After the kids go back to school the area clears out, lots of camp grounds available, no crowds at the attractions. But don't leave your travel too late as cool weather comes early in the high country and many campgrounds close. The park we were in in Rapid City, had already started to winterize some of the sites. I'll dig through my route info and post names as soon as I find them.
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Old 07-04-2011, 05:14 AM   #6
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Re: Noble to Rushmore


Hi, and a Big Welcome to iRV2.

Since your goal is to visit the Black Hills, we'd likely run from Noble North up to Urbana and hop on I-74 West to Moline/Davenport, then West on I-80 through Iowa and onto I-29 North (just above Omaha) up to Souix Falls, South Dakota, then head her West on I-90 to Rapid City and the Black Hills. (see Corn Palace at Mitchell, see Wall Drug near Rapid City, etc.).

Although most of this is freeway driving, and alot of us like to poke along exploring U.S. roads and other "back" roads, it sounds as though you might have a limited vacation window and as such, if it were us, we'd head through to the "Hills" (Black Hills) as quickly/smoothly as possible and spend our vacation time relaxing and exploring there. Using the route mentioned above, is pretty much the quickest, least problematic route and, after all, you can always take another route back home.

By the way, you're going to LOVE the Black Hills, and while you're there, consider taking a day trip over to Devils Tower.

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Old 07-04-2011, 09:27 AM   #7
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Rafter J Bar Camping Resort

Spent four nights at Rafter J Bar Camping Resort outside Hill City last month. Great camp and central to Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Custer, Custer State Park, et al. Enjoy...........ronspradley
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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I 29 may not be open north of Omaha because of flooding thru August or longer. I 35 north is a good route north thru Iowa or a shorter route would be I 380 NW to I 35 Good Luck
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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I 80 was not closed, just I 29 thru Iowa
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Old 07-04-2011, 03:18 PM   #10
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Consider using the avenue of the Saints. St Louis, to St Paul. It generally follows US 61 north from I70 up through Iowa City and N using I380 towards Waterloo, Ia. Then follow US20 to I35 and pick up I90 in Minnesota and head west. In Missouri, you can stop in St Louis and visit all it has to offer. A stop in Hannibal and checking out Mark Twain is fun. Stopping along the way and checking out the Amish settlement in Kalona, Ia or a side trip to the Amana Colonies is interesting as well.Camping at nearby Coraville Lake just North of Iowa City is a good spot. Another nice camping spot would be in Clear Lake Ia, at the state park. The route I have given you is all four lane and good Hiways.
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:31 AM   #11
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I am always curious when responding to one of these posts what the decision was and if anyone of the responses helped to determine if the original question was altered because of the answers. I always consider the questions and answers are little more than a good conversation and not a professional response, however peoples opinions can and do influence! Follow ups are nice!
Years ago when I was driving 18 wheelers and the CB radios where heavly used truckers would always ask what it looked like over your shoulder. Answers were always a mixed bag from hammer down to the road was closed due to ice in mid summer! Everybodys view would be different depending on the personality of the responder! So I always used the info with caution!

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