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  1. Default 2 week road trip for October

    Three ladies will be starting a 2 week road trip in Rapid City South Dakota on Sept. 30. We want to see both natural and quirky sites in South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Utah. We will be ending the trip in Salt Lake City on October 13. We love unusual foods and restaurants and fun things to do. Any suggestions for towns to stop in and things to see. We are working with a mid-range budget and want time to enjoy the trip- not drive 10 hours a day.
    Thanks- 3 Jersey Girls!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Where to Start?

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    So, two weeks in a region that contains some of the greatest scenic, historic, and geologic sites in the country. And wanting to spend most of your time actually exploring and enjoying the trip. Sounds about perfect. There are literally hundreds of possibilities and routes to connect some subset of them, but here's the one I would recommend, if only in outline form. Spend a few days in the Black Hills seeing some of the many places around Rapid City including Badlands National Park, Mount Rushmore, Wind and Jewel Caves, the Crazy Horse Memorial and Devils Tower just next door in Wyoming. Then head west on I-90 through Wyoming to Garyowen MT and the Little Bighorn National Battlefield and on to Laurel MT, From there take US-212, the Beartooth Highway (twisty and mountainous but spectacular) into Yellowstone National Park, After Yellowstone head south via the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway into Grand Teton National Park. South of the Tetons take WY-22/ID-31 west to US-26/US-20 west and Craters of the Moon National Monument.

    For a true bit of quirky, I'm going to direct you to continue west to I-84 for a bit, but then at the town of Hammett, take ID-78 to the town of Bruneau and the Bruneau Sand Dunes and Bruneau Canyon. It's the last of those that will take a bit of doing, and inquiring locally, to find. It's at the end of a long dirt road (perfectly passable). You will note signs along the road warning you to "Beware of objects falling from planes". That's because you are driving through the bombing range for nearby Homestead Air Force Base. But again, this is all perfectly safe and passable. And at the end of it you'll have a great story to tell as well as a spectacular view of a canyon that few people even know about and fewer still visit.

    When your done there head back to I-84 past Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument and through the Thousand Springs area of the Snake River to Twin Falls and pick up US-93 south. This will take you down through a fairly desolate region of northeastern Nevada (Think of all those wide open miles in the many westerns you've seen.) to US-50 east and Great Basin National Park. Back on US-50 cross into Utah and take UT-159/UT-21/UT-130 south to Cedar City and nearby Zion National Park. Also nearby, in St. George, is Brigham Young's house where he and some of his 55 wives lived. You can than take I-15 up to Salt Lake City or take UT-9 east to US-89 north and a side trip to Bryce Canyon National Park before it rejoins I-15 north.

    Now all of the above would only require about four days worth of solid driving, leaving most of your two weeks available for enjoying all the places you'll be driving to. And that four days of driving can be broken up into smaller chunks of three to four hour drives every third day (on average) which should fit with your general wishes.


  3. #3


    Aloha 3 Jersey Girls from 2 Maui Sisters. We are doing a similar trip, visiting National Parks starting on the same day! Maui to the mainland on the 30th, fly into Vegas and head right out, doing Zion, Bryce Cyn, Arches, 4 Corners, Colorado, Mt Rushmore, MT, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and leave out of Salt Lake City on the 16th. We may run in to each other. How fun...

    It helped us alot to figure the drive times/mileage between the places we wanted to go then looked at the maps adjusting the routes based on drive times. We didn't want to spend days on long drives either. Our route ended up between an avg of 2 - 5 hrs per day for driving days. We'll be staying in Yellowstone & Rocky Mt NP for a few days so less driving days...

    We also found wineries along the routes. Goggle rocks...Also the National Park websites are helpful too.

    As we learn, we'll share!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.

    Default Welcome.

    Hello cndyist and welcome to the RTA forums !

    You have a lovely trip to look forward to and thanks for sharing useful tips on your first post. Just as a word of warning, electronic maps are a good tool for planning but the drive times are usually way optimistic, usually adding 20% extra time to the [Gu]estimate gives you a more accurate time. When travelling paper maps are a must as it's not wise to rely solely on electronics on the road.

  5. Default Rapid city to Salt Lake City trip

    We have come up with a possible route for our 2 week Oct. trip. Are we way off base? Can anyone give us some crazy things to visit along the route? Any ideas for good places to stay and eat?
    Route: Rapid City SD to Regent ND to Gladstone ND to Amidon ND to Bowman ND To Custer MT to Billings MT to Bozeman MT to Butte MT to Virginia City MT to West Yellowstone MT to Idaho Falls ID to Arco ID to Bruneau ID to Twin Falls ID to Penrose Utah To Salt Lake City Utah. We will spend 2.5 days in Salt Lake City

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    South of England.


    You could drive the route in 4 full days on the road, so it's certainly a trip you can take at a relaxed pace, so if it's going to the places that appeal to you it's all good. You could easily spend 3 days in Yellowstone and the Tetons if that's on the agenda and most likely the same in the Black hills and Badlands, plus 2.5 in SLC and time soon catches up with you. Buck has given some great ideas in the post above to consider so it's a case now of you working out what you want to do along your route and how to divide the time and then work out roughly where your overnights would be to enable you to look for nice places to stay and eat and make it easier for others to recommend. And sorry, can't help with "Crazy" and not sure I understand what that entails [even though I am told I am a lot] as I just love the natural wonders.

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