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  1. Default Chicago to Jackson WY and back. 3 days each way.

    May I please have suggestions for stopovers and sights? Family of 6 (3 teens and a 10 year old plus mom and dad). Catching a bicycling trip with Backroads in Jackson (Yellowstone and Grand Tetons) then driving back home to Chicago. Allowing for 3 days driving each way. Driving a 99 Suburban. We want to include Mt Rushmore. Where should we stay each night? What things should we stop to visit? We like interesting food and unusual sights.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    9,271

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    Welcome!

    Chicago to Jackson via fastest route (mostly Interstates except in Wyoming, I-80 to US-191) is 1400 miles and is a 2.5 day drive. Going via Rushmore (I-90 to Rapid City) makes it a full 3 day drive with very little time to actually spend there. However, the Rushmore area would make sense for an overnight stop - with Sioux Falls being the other overnight. You can make it from Rushmore to Jackson via a few different routes in 1 day, but it will be a quite long day.

    If you want to sightsee on this trip, I'd advise you to add a day at either or both ends.

  3. Default Rushmore Jackson Chicago

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    Welcome!

    Chicago to Jackson via fastest route (mostly Interstates except in Wyoming, I-80 to US-191) is 1400 miles and is a 2.5 day drive. Going via Rushmore (I-90 to Rapid City) makes it a full 3 day drive with very little time to actually spend there. However, the Rushmore area would make sense for an overnight stop - with Sioux Falls being the other overnight. You can make it from Rushmore to Jackson via a few different routes in 1 day, but it will be a quite long day.

    If you want to sightsee on this trip, I'd advise you to add a day at either or both ends.
    -----
    OK. Thanks for the advice. Sounds good for the way out - I'll stop at Sioux Falls then Rushmore.

    For the return, I'll take the Southerly route via US-191 and I80. Where would you suggest I stop over and try to combine any sites with the stop over? I could leave at 3 PM on Sunday - then drive to Rock Springs I80 in about 3+ houre. Then I'd have thee days to get to Chicago. Would that give me some flexibility?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,064

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    If you can give yourself 3.5 days heading back, then I'd save South Dakota for that drive. You could do Chicago to Jackson via SD in 3 days, and squeeze in a stop for Rushmore, but you really wouldn't have time for any of the many other attractions. If you use the extra half day, then you could also include a little time at places like Devil's Tower, Custer State Park, Jewel or Wind Cave, and the Badlands.

    Heading out, if you stick to the more direct route, you could look at overnight stops around Lincoln and Laramie. The RTA Map Center should help you find lots of extra stops, but here are a few ideas along I-80.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
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    If you take I-80 on the way out like Michael suggested, the most direct route to Rushmore from Jackson is US-189 to Moran Junction, US-26 to Shoshoni, US-20/I-25 to Lusk, US-85 to Newcastle, US-16 to Custer, then US-16/SD-244 to Rushmore/Keystone. If you leave Jackson at 3pm, 3.5 hours would get you to Riverton. You would be looking at 7 hours or so from there to Rushmore. It's at least a day and a half from there to Chicago via I-90. There is limited lodging in Keystone and tons in Rapid City. If you leave in the morning, you would have time to stop at Wall Drug and drive the Badlands Loop on the way. You would need to make it to Sioux Falls for the night to have a reasonable day to get back to Chicago. If time permits, you could stop in Mitchell to see the Corn Palace.

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