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Old 07-13-2009, 11:51 AM  
Buehler445 Buehler445 is offline
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Mt Rushmore

For the wife and I's anniversary, we are heading up to Mt Rushmore. I figured I'd leverage the knowledge of the Planet to maximize the value of the trip.

Basically, what are the best things to do up there? (Other than see the faces) Are there any must sees?

What about places to stay? Should I try to get close, or stay in Rapid City? The stuff close there is probably unbelievably expensive, no?

What about other stuff in the area?

Any must visit places to eat? I'm a pretty big fan of food. (Yes, I know NAPA can supply me with Antifreeze)

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:52 AM   #2
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
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I thought Rushmore was more of a "stop" along the way to somewhere else.

My recommendation is to drive t hrough the badlands and maybe go to Devils Tower.
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Old 07-13-2009, 11:56 AM   #3
Jenson71 Jenson71 is offline
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Bear Country. Crazy Horse is another mountain monument to see close by. Deadwood for some cards and old West lore. Wall Drug, maybe. It's nothing too exciting though, but maybe you'd like it. Badlands, Black Hills are great.

There's a cafe at Mt. Rushmore - that's all I know of. There's a small town at the bottom of the mountain that has some lodges that I used to dream of owning a cabin there. That's as close as you can get.

Last edited by Jenson71; 07-13-2009 at 12:03 PM..
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buehler445 View Post
For the wife and I's anniversary, we are heading up to Mt Rushmore. I figured I'd leverage the knowledge of the Planet to maximize the value of the trip.

Basically, what are the best things to do up there? (Other than see the faces) Are there any must sees?

What about places to stay? Should I try to get close, or stay in Rapid City? The stuff close there is probably unbelievably expensive, no?

What about other stuff in the area?

Any must visit places to eat? I'm a pretty big fan of food. (Yes, I know NAPA can supply me with Antifreeze)

Any advice would be appreciated.
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I love the Black Hills. Mt. Rushmore is cool, but Custer State Park is the jewel of the area. There are four resorts in the park, two of which I have stayed at. My personal favorite is Sylvan Lake Lodge - you can get a cabin or stay in the lodge itself (all of the resorts have cabins). Sylvan Lake is my favorite place on earth.

There are plenty of places to stay in Custer, as well. And unlike Yellowstone, which is isolated and ran by one government contracted company, business competition in the Black Hills keeps prices reasonable.

Do NOT stay in Rapid City. Too far away from everything.

Places to go:

Sylvan Lake
Needles Highway
Harney Peak (highest mountain at 7224 feet - tough hike, but if I can get my fat ass up there, so can you).
Deadwood (northern part of the area, but fun and worth the drive). Eat at Jake's Restaurant in the Midnight Star which is owned by Kevin Costner. Great food.
Devil's Tower (in Wyoming, far away but also worth the drive).
Several caves, including Wind and Jewel.
Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park - lots of critters, although you will quickly tire of the buffalo. You can take jeep rides out of the State Game Lodge and horseback rides out of Blue Bell Lodge.
And finally, despite all the stupid signs that will make you think it is some stupid tourist trap, definitely check out the Cosmos Mystery Area.

Any other questions I'll be happy to answer.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:05 PM   #5
CoMoChief CoMoChief is offline
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Horseback riding in that part of the country is awesome. Forgot what ranch me and my dad went to. But it was free riding, meaning there wasn't really a trail with a lead rider or anything. The guy owned a shit ton of land up in the mountains and we rode wherever we wanted to go. Thats how you really learn how to ride a horse if you havent ever done it before.

Badlands are badass.

When I was a kid I actually met the last lone survivor that helped build Mt Rushmore. He was 90 something I think, very elderly man, told stories of building it by the lookout area. Kinda cool.

I think there is a zoo there as well. I'm not sure....havent been there in a long time.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:16 PM   #6
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Badlands- plan on spending at least a few hours.
Crazy Horse- a couple of hours. It's very entertaining watch the movie.
Mt. Rushmore-disappointment for me. Go see it so you can say you did then don't ever go back.
Wall Drug...interesting and disappointing after seeing signs for it for 200 miles!
Deadwood looked fun however didn't spend anytime there.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:22 PM   #7
Iowanian Iowanian is offline
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Jewel cave is in the area, and It was worth the time to walk through it...i
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:24 PM   #8
Jenson71 Jenson71 is offline
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Maybe on your way you can go to Yankton, where I used to live, and the Corn Palace.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:30 PM   #9
Raised On Riots Raised On Riots is offline
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Maybe on your way you can go to Yankton, where I used to live, and the Corn Palace.
Is that just north of "Strokinville"?
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:31 PM   #10
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:32 PM   #11
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Just got back there from a trip a couple of weeks back with the fam. We stayed in Hill City, which is just a few minutes from Rushmore, I don't know where she found the deals at, but my sister managed to book rooms there at the Best Western for under $90 a night.

Rapid City is a good 30 minute drive from Rushmore, so I wouldn't stay there.

If you go to Rushmore, go closer to evening and watch the lighting ceremony (the ceremony itself wasn't great, but Rushmore at night is pretty cool). I'd suggest going through Custer state park, travel Iron Mountain Hwy and Needles Hwy. And certainly drive through the Badlands.

Oh, and I thought Crazyhorse was a waste of money... granted we had a car of 8 people, it cost us $27 to get in, and then they wanted more for the bus tour that might actually give you a decent view...
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:39 PM   #12
Jenson71 Jenson71 is offline
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Is that just north of "Strokinville"?
South. The Strokinville Monkeys. We'd spank those Monkeys every year in football.
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Old 07-13-2009, 12:44 PM   #13
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South. The Strokinville Monkeys. We'd spank those Monkeys every year in football.
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:10 PM   #14
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:12 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by frazod View Post
I love the Black Hills. Mt. Rushmore is cool, but Custer State Park is the jewel of the area. There are four resorts in the park, two of which I have stayed at. My personal favorite is Sylvan Lake Lodge - you can get a cabin or stay in the lodge itself (all of the resorts have cabins). Sylvan Lake is my favorite place on earth.

There are plenty of places to stay in Custer, as well. And unlike Yellowstone, which is isolated and ran by one government contracted company, business competition in the Black Hills keeps prices reasonable.

Do NOT stay in Rapid City. Too far away from everything.

Places to go:

Sylvan Lake
Needles Highway
Harney Peak (highest mountain at 7224 feet - tough hike, but if I can get my fat ass up there, so can you).
Deadwood (northern part of the area, but fun and worth the drive). Eat at Jake's Restaurant in the Midnight Star which is owned by Kevin Costner. Great food.
Devil's Tower (in Wyoming, far away but also worth the drive).
Several caves, including Wind and Jewel.
Wildlife Loop in Custer State Park - lots of critters, although you will quickly tire of the buffalo. You can take jeep rides out of the State Game Lodge and horseback rides out of Blue Bell Lodge.
And finally, despite all the stupid signs that will make you think it is some stupid tourist trap, definitely check out the Cosmos Mystery Area.

Any other questions I'll be happy to answer.
Pretty much all of this, except for the Cosmos Mystery Area. That was a complete sham. There's also a cool maze thing outside Rapid City but I don't have time to look it up right now.
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