Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Roads and Routes: Badlands National Park
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DelawareDead

Wilmington DE

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Posted: 10/11/18 02:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hello everyone! New to the forum and to RVing. I have been doing a lot of reading so far and it has been very helpful.

My family (myself, wife, 20 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter) are going cross country next summer to spend a week in Yellowstone. On our way out, we are staying three nights in Custer State Park (Legion Lake Campground). My plan is spend our first day doing Mount Rushmore and the surrounding area. Then the second day to make the drive over to Badlands NP for the day.

My question is what is the best route (most scenic) to head over to BNP and than what are the best to do's/must see places in BNP. I am the type that loves to get off the beaten path so I hoping that you kind folks may have some suggestions.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

Rich


Rich
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enblethen

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Posted: 10/11/18 02:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would suggest going to Badlands on way west.
Turn off on SD 240 and do loop coming back to I-90 near Wall, SD. Spend an hour or two at Wall. interesting little town.
Then proceed west to Rapid City and Mt. Rushmore/ Custer State park. Take TV over the Eye of the Needles Highway. A real experience. Not fit for trailers. Good road just narrow and numerous turns.


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azrving

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Posted: 10/11/18 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Id also stop on the way west. We drove through but didnt spend much time at BL. There is a boondocking spot on the east side of the highway before entering the park. Wasta has an overnight spot with electricity and dump station for $10 along with a military museum. We also also stayed at Legion lake. I dont remember the site number but it was on the left in back by the loop. Two or three sites back there have some shade. The deer would wander in but so do the buffalo so pay attention when exiting your rig. There was firewood behind the loop and hiking trails out back.

Sylvan lake is beautiful and has a swimming area and island rock. Between Legion lake and the wildlife loop there is a side detour up to the tower with a view for miles. Also try to make it to Crazy Horse. Its just me but when I go back it wont be for the BL, it will be in the Black Hills.

We were riding our bicycles around the dead little town of Wasta when I started chewing the fat with a local sitting on his porch. I asked about all the closed up motels etc and he said do you see that crumbling road right over there, it's the old Black and Yellow highway. It was the route from Chicago to the BH and Yellowstone before the freeway went in. The guy said he used to ride his Harley to Strugis every year and retired from a big place in Mich and figured why not move out there so he found that little pole barn house for $17K and sits out on his porch.

I went 79 to 36 to 16A to Legion lake and didnt tow anywhere in there. I did help guide a lady through one of the tunnels and take pictures for her but it was a crazy tight fit. [emoticon] I gotta get back out to Legion Lake, it's a beautiful area. To me it just had a great feeling.

* This post was edited 10/11/18 05:45pm by azrving *

kknowlton

southeast Idaho, formerly IL/WI border

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Posted: 10/11/18 04:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you do decide to go to Badlands on the way to the Black Hills (which I would also recommend), the park has a dry camp, but there is also a pretty nice KOA about 8-10 miles south of the park which has hookups & shade. Good base camp for the Badlands.

RGar974417

Robesonia,Pa 19551

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Posted: 10/11/18 08:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cedar Pass Campground in the park does have electric hookups. $37 a nite or half of that with the senior pass.

kknowlton

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Posted: 10/11/18 10:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quote:

Cedar Pass Campground in the park does have electric hookups. $37 a nite or half of that with the senior pass.
Good to know. They didn't when we were there, which admittedly was quite a few years ago. [emoticon]

evanrem

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Posted: 10/12/18 05:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hit it on he way out. Stay at the NP campground or the KOA just south of the park for a night. Make sure to do the hike from the bottom straight up to the top.

Kavoom

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Posted: 10/12/18 06:42am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would also have you consider some other campgrounds in and out of the state park. Bluebell is much nicer than Legion in the park. Another good park outside of the park in Custer is Big Pines. If you like off beaten path, try the dirt roads on the wildlife loop. There are quite a few and the one that ends up back at Bluebell and passes the horse park is fun. We were just there staying in the Super 8 as we have property there and saw a campground called Fort Wellikit. It looked pretty nice. And kid friendly.

Be sure to get one of the "Black Hills Maps." They are at every checkout in most places you might shop. You can find one here. https://www.blackhillsvacations.com/plan-your-visit/black-hills-maps


As for a backway to the Badlands, you can do it. In fact, one of the side roads out of the Wildlife loop in the park heads toward 79 and then take 40 and then there is one road that will head over toward the entrance. Heading out early in the morning and doing the wildlife loop then is good and you could just head over for a nice adventure. You can't get too lost. IMHO Custer (the town) is the best base camp area. It will cost 20 bucks for a week pass in the park (per vehicle). The Black Hills is wonderful. Be sure and do Iron Mountain Road (pigtail turns0 and the Needles Highway. They are musts. Rushmore well you do have to check it off your list but once youve seen it you are done. Iron Mountain and Needles have these great tunnels that as yo go through them, you can see Rushmore from a distance. Neat.

Places to eat. Bugling Bull Custer, The Alpine Inn (real German food for lunch) in Hill City. Sylvan Lodge for a drink by the fire...well maybe not in June.

Busskipper

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Posted: 10/12/18 08:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DelawareDead wrote:

Hello everyone! New to the forum and to RVing. I have been doing a lot of reading so far and it has been very helpful.

My family (myself, wife, 20 yr old son and 18 yr old daughter) are

going cross country next summer to spend

a week in Yellowstone. On our way out, we are staying three nights in

Custer State Park (Legion Lake Campground).

My plan is spend our first day doing Mount Rushmore

and the surrounding area.

Then the second day to make the drive over to Badlands NP for the day.

My question is what is the best route (most scenic) to head over to BNP and

then what are the best to do's/must see places in BNP.

I am the type that loves to get off the beaten path so I hoping that you kind folks may have some suggestions.

Thanks in advance for your help!!

Rich


First thing I'd Suggest is to Catch the Badlands on the drive to Custer - IMHO it is a Drive through Park - and generally is seen/hiked/Photographed in a few hours - then Catch Wall Drug - while just a Tourist trap it is a Required Stop [emoticon]

Then when you get to Custer you will have more to do than Possible in a few days - Mt Rushmore - Custer SP - Jewel and Wind Caves - Needles Highway - Black Hills - Sylvan Lake...................so your time will fly by. IMHO the Best time to see Rushmore is in the Evening Ceremony.

Couple of notes - Your average Speed on the Interstate driving out will be 50 MPH and once you get to an area it drops from 35-40 MPH so plan accordingly. Bing and Google maps are not telling you the truth.

When heading to Yellowstone be sure to stop in Cody - Last chance to stock up - Wal*Mart - Not sure your time frame but it is Big and there is Just Too Much to see and do no matter how long you are there for.

If possible when Leaving YNP head south through Tetons and Out through Colorado and Catch a little of it. Flaming Gorge - Dinosaur NM - Maroon Bells - RMNP..........

Hope this is of some help.

Best of Luck,


Busskipper
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padredw

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Posted: 10/12/18 08:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very good suggestions by Busskipper (above). I heartily agree.





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