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Old 02-10-2020, 10:10 PM   #15
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While Mt Rushmore is a must do, a visit to Crazyhorse Memorial nearby is even more impressive, much, much larger than Mt Rushmore.

https://crazyhorsememorial.org/

I still think you got to reduce extend of your trip or add lots more time. You could easily spend 2-3 months doing everything on your list after you get out west. Just saying....
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Old 02-10-2020, 10:23 PM   #16
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I am actually planning a Tetons/Yellowstone trip this summer. I wing it on places to stay, and generaly don't have an issue. A co-worker and his wife are also going in their truck and trailer. While I want to see the Black Hills again, it is not in the cards this trip. I realize our limitations and we will take I-80 west thru Nebraska and Wyoming to get there.

The OP would be wise to drop the Chicago side trip and also the Black Hills also and just focus on the other areas, you are still biting off too much, especially with kids. Be very careful, many national parks are not dog friendly and many campgrounds in the west do not have power. You may end up boarding the dog for some of your day trips.

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Old 02-10-2020, 11:35 PM   #17
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As others have posted this is a very ambitious trip, around 5000 miles of driving. 9 days of driving at about 11 hrs/day including gas and dinning stops, if you don't run into a lot of delays. How will the 9 (10) years old do with that. That are a lot of interesting suggested here and have been to most of them. But we live in California and have made several 2-3 week trips to see them. After Yellowstone I would head to Moab. (a swim in Great Salt Lake with it's buoyancy might excite the girls) Then head to Williams Arizona. on the way you could take a boat tour of Lake Powell at Page, a Disney like tour of the Grand Canyon. I suggest Williams, because it an interesting town with a nice RV park. You can take an excursion railroad day trip to the South Rim or stay a couple of days in the Grand Canyon Hotel in the park(Grand Canyon Railroad) Suggesting this as it might be more interesting to your daughters, than camping at the North Rim and you are on US40 for a direct shot East. Buy Lonely Planet guide books for the various areas, especially the Southwest USA. Thiese guides are written by local people and not professional travel guides and thus contain recommendations of restaurants etc that the locals like. Even has suggestions for traveling with children. Comments some what based on taking our 2 granddaughters on RV trips. Have a great experience
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:33 PM   #18
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I’m likely taking the Chicago portion off of the trip as it’s more LF a guys trip than with the kids. They are overly excited about baseball.

As much as I’d like to do badlands, I don’t think it would be as enjoyable for the kids as it would be for me. I’m still thinking Rushmore but may do the Clark Griswold version of a visit.

This is all good info and much appreciated. It’s very helpful to get good insight from good folks that have visited these areas and are experienced in the parks and campgrounds.
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:48 PM   #19
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We did the Clark Griswold version of Rushmore. That was enough for us. In fact, we didnít get out of the car. When it came to the North Rim, I can sit there for hours taking it all in.
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Old 02-11-2020, 04:23 PM   #20
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I think I’d enjoy Devils Tower much more than Rushmore. But, I love aliens and that UFO sci-fi stuff, and ever since watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a kid, Devils Tower has always been some sort of a bucket list place to visit.
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:02 PM   #21
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I think Iíd enjoy Devils Tower much more than Rushmore. But, I love aliens and that UFO sci-fi stuff, and ever since watching Close Encounters of the Third Kind as a kid, Devils Tower has always been some sort of a bucket list place to visit.
If you can get more time GET IT.

30 DAYS MAY SOUND LIKE A LOT BUT 10 DAYS + will just be driving long days of driving.

Couple days in the Black Hills then a day in Cody maybe a day on the Beartooth Hwy and maybe Chief Joseph into YNP 4-5 days to just touch a few things, then to the Tetons..........Already time for the twins birthday.........Jackson - Dino NM - RT 128 into Moab.......

Get more time,
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:53 PM   #22
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We've been doing SC to "out west" for going on our 7th year now. Trip lengths have been 6, 7, 8 weeks. We started when our twin boys were 9 and they are 15 now!

I agree with all of the comments of cut it way down or add weeks of time.

I could type books on our experiences, suggestions and opinions. However, I've already been putting videos together on YouTube (in my signature). I hope this doesn't get dinged as channel promotion, as I genuinely think you might find something useful. For reference, Season 1 was 6 weeks. We couldn't have pushed any harder for the time we had. In all, I feel like we managed our time pretty well for all seasons.

I'm in the process of building an all inclusive Google Map of the trips. The yellow markers were Season 1. It isn't finished, but here's the link. https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oh...du&usp=sharing

I hope that helps. I don't want to sound like an expert, but we have done similar several times. I started with great input from forum members here and I'm sure you will to!
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:04 PM   #23
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I’ve already told the wife we need 2 more weeks. Much longer and we start encroaching into the girls’ summer camp with their cousin. So I really don’t want to do that as they enjoy that time and we start getting close to the start of school.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:13 PM   #24
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If you can get more time GET IT.

30 DAYS MAY SOUND LIKE A LOT BUT 10 DAYS + will just be driving long days of driving.

Couple days in the Black Hills then a day in Cody maybe a day on the Beartooth Hwy and maybe Chief Joseph into YNP 4-5 days to just touch a few things, then to the Tetons..........Already time for the twins birthday.........Jackson - Dino NM - RT 128 into Moab.......

Get more time,

Right now my rough itinerary has us at Dino NM for the girlsí birthday. I havenít read much about the place and it doesnít look quite as majestic as much of the other key stops. Wondering if we should just spend an extra day in Tetons and Yellowstone then ride hard and long the next day straight to Arches/Moab area and bypass Dino NM.
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Old 02-11-2020, 09:18 PM   #25
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Good, that gives nearly four weeks in the west. Still won't allow all of those stops.

I'd have each person choose their top two destinations. ID the possible overlaps and make those the top stops. Then map out what is on the route between those points and fill in with those. Everyone gets something special for them. Then start planning followup trips.

Some folks goto Alaska for the once in a life time trip, and then wind up going back another six or more times.

We always have points along the long haul routes to stop at as well as the primary destinations. The journey can be as much fun as the targeted destination. At least for some routes.
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:36 AM   #26
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Right now my rough itinerary has us at Dino NM for the girlsí birthday. I havenít read much about the place and it doesnít look quite as majestic as much of the other key stops. Wondering if we should just spend an extra day in Tetons and Yellowstone then ride hard and long the next day straight to Arches/Moab area and bypass Dino NM.
Sorry for the earlier short posts, with little to explain why IMHO you need more time.

Driving - Miles per day with Kids..... this is big, Really Big, not just for the Kids, but also for You and the DW. Look at a couple things that many just don't take into account - Miles Per Hour - most have found that 50 mph is what you will average if you are Lucky, Really Lucky. You are not driving a Car so not only will you likely drive a little slower but for most people it requires a lot more Energy to navigate an RV for days on end.

What this means is that a 500 mile day will be a Really difficult day - put two or three of these together and you might just notice you are slowing down, not just in your driving but in your energy level. From NC to Custer, SD is 1800 + Miles - Long Drive - Long Days - 4 days at 500 miles/day = 4 days - long hard days - so a couple things you may find as you get to the destination, you might just want to rest a Bit and then the other thing to keep in Mind - you just drove 1800 miles and you might enjoy seeing more - Black Hills are Beautiful - Sylvan Lake - Needles - Custer State Park and the Buffalo - Jewel Cave - Wind Cave - Crazy Horse - Needles Highway - BadLands, at least a drive through - Wall Drug is a stop that has been made by Millions over the Years - Remember it when I was 4 on one of many a trip across and have visited again many times.

Let's think about this, sure you will likely be back but......why not enjoy at least 3 Jam Packed Days and see at least a little of this Unbelievable area, three days would barely touch it all but at least give you a few real Memories, Take Pictures - Lots of Pictures!

Now leave - all day drive to just get to Cody - You are now in the Mountains - so the 50 MPH you were getting will likely fall down to say, 35 mph - so while it is a shorter drive in miles - it still is a Drive that will take Time and Energy. As I left out at least a drive By of Devils Tower - Another Long Day just of Driving - Reservations are also needed as you get close to Yellowstone NP.

Will not even attempt to try to tell you how long it will take to just see a small sample of Yellowstone and the Tetons - 7 days - 10 days - two weeks............ Don't forget the drive is likely 15mph in the park just slow - Jackson will likely pull you in so really work on the Plan...................... no easy Task.

Somewhere in here, you may need to Catch your breath.

Am I getting through as to the Need for More Time - As for Dino - 9 - 10 is the age that will never forget seeing Bones in the Stone at Dino NM so it is not to be Missed IMHO. Green River is Beautiful also. Then when entering Moab try to get off I-70 Exit 214 to RT 128 - Road goes right along the Colorado River.

Zion - is high on your List but may want to do some research on it - it is a day Bus trip out of Vegas and has gotten to be a Zoo in the Summer - often you cannot even get in without a long wait - so check to see if it works for you - Another option or two would be Monument Valley - Mesa Verde - And the San Juan's in Colorado - Page and Lake Powell - North Rim................

I'll stop as I'm likely getting carried away - Let us know what you are leaning towards, as this is a great group with a lot of Great opinions.

Hope this is of some Help. See if you can get more time, it will not be wasted.

Best of luck,

You will need to have your Boondocking skills sharpened - https://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm

Few links that may help;

20 summers of RV road trip travels across the USA and Canada | Lolo's Extreme Cross Country RV Trips

https://www.pbase.com/sparker1/root%26view=tree

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Old 02-12-2020, 01:01 PM   #27
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BussSkipper just introduced you to another great state in those vides, Colorado. I've got two kids living there. One right in the middle of much of the country shown in the videos. Being in Santa Fe, just a couple of hours south, northern New Mexico and southern Colorado are my play grounds.

Some people who visit Colorado once, comeback and never leave. This in no way takes away from any of the other states and sites. All of these states have a lots to offer in many ways.

Just start planning a second trip.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:19 PM   #28
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The wife and I already discussed and realized that there is no way we are going to see everything on this trip. That we will need to tone it back some and start planning next year’s trip on this trip knowing good and well that we won’t be able to see everything in this trip.

But what it will do is give us some good insight as what we want to do when we come back. Spend 10-14 days next time at each of the major areas. Fly out and make another family trip out of it.

She did agree to 2 more weeks. So it looks like we may be doing the trip in 6 weeks rather than 4. Yay! I haven’t told my boss yet.
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