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Old 05-08-2012, 12:02 PM
 
1,162 posts, read 974,788 times
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Default Please comment on our vacation plan - roads and campgrounds

Hi,
Were taking a 11 day RV trip to South Dakota this year and I would like to get some feedback on our plan. In particular are the roads OK for a 30 ft RV? I am choosing them based on our planning software but would like to know if anyone has better suggestions for routes and camping areas based on local knowledge. We do not tow a car so will be doing all sightseeing from the 30 ft RV or on foot. We do travel with 2 dogs so like to do alot of hiking. We prefer to stay in state parks or national parks. We seldom stay in an RV park or commercial campground.

Were driving up from Denver (I-25) with our first stop planned for Glendo State Park in WY. We are open to other suggestions for halfway points. Is this park worth a stay or will we take one look and want to keep going? The on-line reviews are not favorable but they are 2009 and older.

From there were looking at taking US-20 then US-18 into South Dakota. How is this road?

Are there better options for the Denver to South Dakota run?

We would like to visit Wind Cave National Park and Mammoth Site (taking 385 between the two) so are planning to stay at Elk Mountain Campground the second night.

After that we are headed to Jewel Cave so planning to stay at Bismarck Lake Campground for the third night. Taking 87 between the two

We then plan on seeing Crazy Horse Monument (385 again) on our way to the Horse Thief Lake Campground (the National Forest one, not the commercial one). This is on 87 headed toward needles highway. Is there any problem getting to this campground with a 30 ft RV if one comes down from the north off of 385? From there we will see Mount Rushmore (244).

For the 5th night were planning on Sheridan Lake via 16 and 385 from Mount Rushmore.

For the 6th night were planning on Pactola Campground. There appear to be two entrances to this. One from the south and one from the east on Custer Gulch rd/Forest Service Rd 258. Any reason not to take either one with a 29 ft RV?

For the 7th night we will drive to Devil's Tower and stay at the Belle Fourche River campground. This is a bit tentative as they don't allow dogs on the trails there so it would just be a long drive up and back for a look at the tower. We could easily be talked out of this part of the trip and spend extra time in the Black Hills. Currently planning 385 to 85 to 90W to 14 to 24.

From Devil's tower we would head over to the Minuteman Missile Site (taking 90) and spend the 8th night at the Badlands National Park Campground (Cedar Pass Campground). (90 to 240).

You might have noticed I said a 11 day trip so we have two spare nights to stay over at a place we like.

There are a couple of options on the way home but I've tentatively identified Chadron State Park in Nebraska as a good stopping over spot. 44 to 18 to 391 to 27 to 20 to get there. From there taking 385 to 80 to 25S and home.

Does anyone had a suggestion of what would be good between the Badlands and Denver Colorado?

Anyone have any must see camping spots that you think are better than what we've chosen? Any we shouldn't stay at? Any must see sights that were skipping? I'm thinking of making reservations where we can so that we don't have to rush to get a site. But trying to trade that off with staying over at some place we really like for an extra night so it is a tough decision.

Thanks for any assistance!
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:13 PM
dpf
 
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My suggestion is to go to rv.net and ask your questions about traveling with a motorhome. There are a host of seasoned RV'ers who frequent that sight and they will give you much more insight. Have fun on your trip.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Hot Springs
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Excellant suggestion. The only thing I can add is that the state highways you mentioned are all two lane or more, paved asphalt. You should have no problem with the thirty ft RV.

uh
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:19 AM
 
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Needles in an rv might not be the best idea. The rest of your plan sounds great.
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Old 05-09-2012, 12:14 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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I've been all over the hills pulling a 35 ft 5th wheel and I had absolutely no problems.

The only question I have is where you mentioned that campground on the way to the Needles highway. I am not familiar with it, but stay away from the needles highway. You can drive it, but there is no clearance and you'll end up with a pop up motorhome.
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:22 PM
 
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Thank everyone for the input! I did post a similar thread on iRV2.com and got some good suggestions that helped me come up with this itinerary. Maybe I will try the other site also.

Thanks for the info on the roadways. I think I will do a google map fly over on getting to the Horse Thief Lake Campground. Google map is showing a Horse Thief Lake on the way to Mt. Rushmore on 244. It also shows the commercial Horse Thief Campground on Needles Hwy so I may have mixed up the two when planning my route. I don't want to inadvertently end up on Needles Hwy as I like my RV configured as it is. :-)
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Custer, SD
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In case no one has mentioned it, it's an excellent idea to have reservations for your stop at Jewel Cave. Otherwise, you may find yourself waiting a while to get on a tour. Remember to allow enough time in your itinerary to get to the park at least 30 minutes before your scheduled tour time!
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Old 05-09-2012, 02:55 PM
 
1,162 posts, read 974,788 times
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Default Thanks - I didn't know

Thanks, I didn't know I would need reservations. I will make those in advance. Does Wind Cave need reservations also? What about things like the Minuteman missile site and the Mammoth site?
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:05 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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Belle Fourche River Campground at Devils Tower is one of our favorite little campgrounds that we frequent a couple times each summer. It's usually quiet, although sometimes there will be a large group of climbers sitting around a campfire until 10 p.m. or so, but they've never been obnoxiously loud. They do have a campground host or two that probably help to keep it quiet. Here are some pictures I took there a couple years ago.


From our campsite



From the north (?) end of the campground, just through a small gate:



From the south (?) end of the campground on the road entering it


That little pull-off to the left is where you self-register. Across the road from it is the entrance to the first of the two campsite loops. Each loop has roughly 20 campsites. Another 50 yards or so past that is an outdoor amphitheater where they have programs during the summer, Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:19 PM
 
18,321 posts, read 13,849,832 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
Belle Fourche River Campground at Devils Tower is one of our favorite little campgrounds that we frequent a couple times each summer. It's usually quiet, although sometimes there will be a large group of climbers sitting around a campfire until 10 p.m. or so, but they've never been obnoxiously loud. They do have a campground host or two that probably help to keep it quiet. Here are some pictures I took there a couple years ago.


From our campsite



From the north (?) end of the campground, just through a small gate:



From the south (?) end of the campground on the road entering it


That little pull-off to the left is where you self-register. Across the road from it is the entrance to the first of the two campsite loops. Each loop has roughly 20 campsites. Another 50 yards or so past that is an outdoor amphitheater where they have programs during the summer, Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
Here was our last visit a couple weeks ago.





We did do the walk around in the snow. Was a nice adventure.
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