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Thread: Mt Rushmore area questions!

  1. #1
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Ash Grove, MO

    Question Mt Rushmore area questions!

    What can you tell me about the the area around Mt Rushmore? The Badlands? Crazy Horse memorial? Highway 16a? Needles Highway? Custer State Park? Wall Drug?

    Got any good 'side trips'?

    How about Mom and Pop motels around the area? Looks like the town of Custer would be a good place to stay?

    Our plan would be to arrive in the area on a Wednesday afternoon, find a motel, ride and see the 'stuff' on Thursday, stay Thursday night, then head to other destinations on Friday. Can we see Rushmore, Custer State Park, and the Badlands in one day? Or do we need a day each for them?

    This is for next year, but half the fun is planning the trip!
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Craftsbury, Vermont
    If you are more into riding than dismounting at every scenic spot, yes, you can pass through everything in a full day. But you'd miss a lot. When Barley and I passed thru on the way to the Rally last month we planned a day and a half and it was still too short. Of course Barley threatened the entire prairie dog community in the Badlands with bodily harm, then tried to pick a fight with the largest bull buffalo on the planet, so we cut out the Wildlife Loop altogether.

    Must see the Badlands loop from Interior to Wall. If you are comfortable riding on well maintained dirt roads I'd recommend the dirt road from Badlands to Scenic SD, then continue south to BIA 2 and turn west there. Depending on which dirt road you take from that point you'll either end up just east of Rushmore or just east of Hot Springs. The latter will leave you well positioned for the Wildlife Loop in the southern section. Up north Rushmore is a must, though the touristy stuff was a real turn off for me. I enjoyed more private views from the top of Iron Mtn, which is a must see IMO. Google Peter Norbert Highway. I don't think he was a motorcyclist, but he sure knew what motorcyclists love in roads! The Needles Highway is also on my Must See List.

    Don't know if you're a morning person, but if you get a late start expect delays from cruisers and RVs on many of these roads. If you're a photographer, the early morning and late afternoon light does wondrous things to the Badlands and Rushmore.

    '12 R1200GSA for solo rides
    '10 R1200GSA with Hannigan dual sport sidecar for rides with Tulliver

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    In the state of Misery for now.
    This is the best time of year to visit. Summer peak is over, and the temps have moderated. I loved it there.

    See Mount Rushmore in the evening so you can see the lighting ceremony. Impressive. The badlands is a must see, allow at least 1/2 day, one full day is easy if you take some of the hiking trails, and they are worth it. Ride into Sturgis to see it empty, and there will be GREAT leftover tee shirt deals everywhere, get them for your friends or whatever. Then there is the devils tower, a great ride. And the parks, Spearfish canyon etc. I could spend a week easy and miss much. But be sure to time rushmore for the afternoon to get the lighting ceremony. It was excellent.


  4. #4
    No longer a member here
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    A great place to stay is in Keystone, right at the bottom of Mt Rushmore. Check the Roosevelt Inn for availability. Other small motels there. The Powderhouse Lodge has Buffalo steak on the menu. Ride Iron Mountain Road. This is the one where you see Mt Rusmore through the tunnels carved into the rocks. The Alpine Inn in Hill City serves a great lunch. Take a day side trip to Devil's tower in Wyoming. Cross directly into Montana from there and have lunch in a small bar in Alzada. You can buy Road Kill Stew in a can.

  5. #5
    Wind Cave national park is great. Take a cave tour.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell

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