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garmp

St Louis, MO

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Posted: 03/26/20 03:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The travel club we belong to is having the annual reunion/rally in Spearfish, SD in mid Sept. Being from St. Louis, MO we'd like to take in a number of states before arriving at the reunion. We've never been to that part of the country and want "color our map in", so to speak.
Thoughts at this time are to trek to Colorado's north eastern corner, North Sterling SP, to Custer State Park Blue Bell Campground, some where near/in Devils Tower/Black Hills area, to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and then to Spearfish. After that head back home, spending 2-3 nights per location.
We generally prefer, State, COE, Federal or even county parks. Private parks if we must. Issue being that a lot of parks we'd like to stay don't have electricty, which for us is a must.
Any thoughts, suggestions, hints or just opinions?
Really pretty much open and have plenty of time to plan, just that this lock down should at least be sort of productive.
Also looking for sites, history & eateries.

thanks


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agesilaus

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Posted: 03/26/20 04:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You really don't need to spend 3 days at Devils Tower, maybe overnight if you want to catch the early morning light for photography. But the Tower itself is an hour or so to walk around the it, there is a prairie dog town that you may want to visit, I think that's near the cg and that's about it. The site isn't that large. There is a very pricey KOA right outside the gate and there is a National Grassland which I assume has camping not too far away.

Little Big Horn is about the same, 3 or 4 hours if you take your time. I actually enjoyed it more than I expected but there is a drive thru the battleground, the sites where soldiers were killed are marked, and there are some presentations and Ranger walks. And that's all.

I'd add Badlands to my list and slot a couple of hours for Wall Drugs for some maximum tourista kirsch. The Minuteman site isn't work the time since they dropped the silo tours. Custer SP is worth a day or two by itself and there are two national caves in the area. And lastly there is a Mammoth Dig site just to the south. And of course Rushmore which I find underwhelming.


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jfkmk

NJ

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Posted: 03/26/20 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

agesilaus wrote:

You really don't need to spend 3 days at Devils Tower, maybe overnight if you want to catch the early morning light for photography. But the Tower itself is an hour or so to walk around the it, there is a prairie dog town that you may want to visit, I think that's near the cg and that's about it. The site isn't that large. There is a very pricey KOA right outside the gate and there is a National Grassland which I assume has camping not too far away.

Little Big Horn is about the same, 3 or 4 hours if you take your time. I actually enjoyed it more than I expected but there is a drive thru the battleground, the sites where soldiers were killed are marked, and there are some presentations and Ranger walks. And that's all.

I'd add Badlands to my list and slot a couple of hours for Wall Drugs for some maximum tourista kirsch. The Minuteman site isn't work the time since they dropped the silo tours. Custer SP is worth a day or two by itself and there are two national caves in the area. And lastly there is a Mammoth Dig site just to the south. And of course Rushmore which I find underwhelming.

Having visited this area last summer, I completely agree. We didn’t get to Little Big Horn, so I can’t comment on that, but we did enjoy the Minuteman site. Bear in mind a Wind Cave has been closed for a while due to an inoperable elevator.

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree with seeing the Badlands. While there cross the interstate and take the tour at the Minuteman Missile site. A lot of history and really cool to see. They take you down in the original silo in the elevator to see the control room. You can then see the missiles down the road in their silos. It does not take that long and well worth the time. That is a beautiful area.
If you are in Hill City in the evening eat at the Alpine Inn Hotel Steakhouse. Very reasonable and all they serve is filet mignon. The only choice you have is regular size or large. The deserts are to die for but get there early.
Crazy Horse & The Needles are worth your time. You can see the Needles at the north end of Custer SP.


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agesilaus

North Florida

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So Minuteman must have restarted the tours, they stopped them for several years. I'm glad to hear it and it makes going worth the trip, just to see that door to the control room downstairs.
I've never heard of the Needles in the Black Hills I'll have to check them out next time. Crazy Horse seems to be variable, some like it and some do not.

Thom02099

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Posted: 03/26/20 07:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For North Sterling State Park, H E R E - NSSP is the camping info you'll need. Keep in mind that all State Parks in Colorado are now reservation only, so you will need to plan ahead. There should be no problem getting spaces for your group there, and there are electric sites available. I've not stayed at this SP, but have at a similar SP at Jackson Lake further west from North Sterling. Not an abundance of things to do there, the link will provide information on what is available.


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hornet28

Muskegon

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Posted: 03/26/20 08:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

While in Spearfish drive Spearfish Canyon. I don't know if markers would still be there but much of Dances With Wolfs was filmed in the canyon and the site was marked years ago. Back in the late 90's Costner had a lodge/bar nearby





TexasShadow

Spring Branch, TX USA

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Posted: 03/26/20 09:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sidney, NE is a good place to restock your groceries, etc. before going north into tourist country. And we like shopping at Cabelas, too. There is a nice rv park at Cabelas. Custer State Park, IMO, is as good or better than any National Park. It is well run and has great scenery and the scenic drives are well worth your time.
Rushmore...not so much, but that's just us. Same in Devil's Tower...good for a one night stay. Buffalo WY has two or three rv parks in town that are good, but you could go on up to Ranchester WY and stay at a little mom and pop rv place in town and then take your toad up the mountain to Burgess Junction and the Medicine Wheel. It's a beautiful drive. You can get a sandwich, etc at Burgess Junction or take a picnic lunch and have it up at Medicine Wheel.


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Bionic Man

Colorado

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Posted: 03/27/20 10:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We use North Sterling State Park most weekends in June, and some in July/August, depending on the water situation. Mid September the park will not be busy at all.

Colorado State Parks are reservation only now, but in September (assuming not Labor Day weekend) you can just show up and call for the sites when you get there.

All that said, I would ask why you'd add this as a stop? Without a boat, there really isn't much to do. There are a couple of trails (not many) and an archery range. Depending on our water year, there could be very little water in the res.

If you want to see Colorado, go further West into the mountains. Mid September in the mountains is my favorite time of year.


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garmp

St Louis, MO

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Posted: 03/27/20 10:35am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Bionic, we chose this park, although it's not set in stone yet, because we want to camp in Colorado and really don't want to venture to far in. We only drive 3, or 4 hours tops, a day and coming from Nebraska, this seems to be about the only park I can find that isn't too far off our path that has electric. Secondly both the DW & myself have respiratory issues and don't want to get in to too high elevations.
Totally open to suggestions. We would like to spend a day or two, or more, in Colorado, Wyoming and Montana each, before heading to our rally in Spearfish for a week.
thanks

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