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  1. Default Michigan to badlands, mt rushmore, yellowstone,

    Hey all,
    Like the name implies I am really new at road trippin' and have never rv'd or camped (if you count rv'ing camping)!! At this point we are discussing renting a RV and hitting the badlands, yellowstone, mt rushmore. (those are the only things on the list at this point.) Our plans are real tentative because I have no idea where to begin. Thus, I welcome any suggestions on how to try to plan such a thing. I have asked for tourist info from the states we would travel through; and i have been getting info on renting RV's. We are thinking the trip would be either late spring or early fall 2007. Can people who have done such a trip give me any pointers??

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default A great resource for RV Rental Advice!

    Quote Originally Posted by newbie2006
    Like the name implies I am really new at road trippin' and have never rv'd or camped (if you count rv'ing camping)!!
    Some of us do... Welcome to the Great American RoadTrip Forum! There are several articles here that deal RVs and the RV lifestyle. The first one you ought to read, discusses the types of RVs that can be rented and the second is a MUST-TAKE-WITH-YOU-WHEN-YOU-PICK-UP-YOUR-RENTAL. First-time rv renters have posted several threads on this Forum. Look at the bottom of most page for related threads and use the search utility above. You are going to have a blast!


  3. #3


    There is so much to see around the Mount Rushmore area you will not be disappointed. If you have the opportunity check out Needles highway (Custer State Park) although there is a vehicle size limit for that road because of the small tunnels carved into the rock. The sights along Needles highway are fantastic unfortunately if you have an RV you may want to skip this road. Deadwood and Sturgis are also worth checking out. Also one of my favorite spots to go would be Devils Tower, In WY. It is about 50 or 60 miles from Deadwood on the way towards Yellowstone. Here is an excerpt from my journal about Devils tower.

    Those who don’t know what devils tower is, well, even the scientists aren’t sure either, but I guess the consciences is, that it was an old volcano that over time, the lava hardened and the mountain around it washed away. It stands almost vertical with a flat top that rises 1,267 feet above the twisting Belle Fourche River. We did not see any while we were there but many rock climbers are drawn to it. Theodore Roosevelt was responsible for Devils Tower becoming the nation's first national monument. There were only a few other cars with approximately only 5 or 6 other people in the whole park while we were there. That’s all we saw anyway.
    There are many of what I think were falcons that nested in it at the top. We ate some of our wedding cake while there as we watched Devils Tower change in the light. What a fantastic sight at sunset! There was an enchantingly strange attraction I had to it. While the sun was bright the tower was reddish orange then as the sun began to set it slowly changed to an eerie green, almost like a corroding copper color. It was truly mesmerizing! I had perhaps the most tranquil feelings throughout the whole trip while I was there. Devils Tower was also in the movie “Close encounters of the third kind” So one would assume that Steven Spielberg had the same feelings as me about Devils Tower. Devils Tower is a place I would definitely want to visit again.

  4. Default its rather odd that i just made the same trip!

    In June my best friend and i had a few weeks to kill before we started our job in Georgia after college. We decided to take the scenic route from Detroit to the Columbus, GA area and ended up driving about 8500 miles to get there-all the way West, down through CA, and back across the southwest/south. the very first day we went from Detroit (at about 6AM) all the way to the badlands, SD. A very interesting day to say the least.
    First, we had a rule for our road trip that we would not eat fast food the entire time (we did it). so the point of telling you that is that there are all sorts of farmer's fruit stands along highways that you should sample if you care to. I showed up at one in southwest michigan about two hours before the first michigan cherries of the season were due to arrive, much to my dismay.
    Anyways, we ended up driving through some freak storm in south dakota that had winds so powerful it ripped the tonneau cover right off of my pickup... also interesting to note, if you drive the minnesota to badlands stretch in one day, while it is still light, try to count the number of signs you see for Wall Drugstore in Wall, SD. it passes the time and some of the signs are pretty amusing.
    So we arrived in Interior, SD (population 67) at about 1AM and somehow there was a bar open called the Wagon Wheel. I highly recommend stopping in there. That first day we did about 1100 miles, and a drink was nice afterwards before we camped out for the night.
    the next couple days were spent going to rushmore (you can see it from the road without paying to get in, trust me) and yellowstone....which was a great park.
    If i could give you one recommendation, it would be to go all the way to Oregon, see Crater Lake, and camp out by the Umqua Hot Springs nearby. By far the best part of the country for me.
    Oh yes, and in case you need something else to do along the way, go to Wall Drugs, its obscenely entertaining. and if you play the liscense plate game youll rack up about 15 new ones at Wall....
    Enjoy your trip, im a bit jealous that mine is over and yours is starting
    P.S. We camped almost every night under the stars with just a sleeping bag...i highly recommend you do the same as much as possible, the smaller state parks and forests are just as beautiful as the larger ones with almost no visitors....they make perfect places to hike and camp along the way.

  5. #5


    In addition to the above suggested sites to see, I would include the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD; pulling over at the rest area near Chamberlain, SD for a magnificent view of the Missouri River; (if you have children) the prarie dog ranch near the entrance to the Badlands; Crazy Horse monument (still being sculpted) near Custer, SD south of Mt. Rushmore; the Grand Tetons south of Yellowstone; and Jackson, WY, especially the elk antler arches at the corners of the park in the middle of town.

    So much to see, so little time. Enjoy and savor every possible minute!
    Last edited by dfreeman40; 09-04-2006 at 10:02 PM.

  6. #6

    Default South Dakota Stops

    One other spot not mentioned too often in South Dakota, if this is of interest to anyone, is the Pioneer Auto Museum in Murdo. They have something for everyone from the last motorcycle owned by elvis presley to a pioneer town recreation, not to mention all the cool old cars, trucks, tractors and other interesting pieces of the past. The town is also the last stop before leaving the central time zone heading west, in case that kind of thing interests anyone.

    The rest stop in Chamberlain is a great place to get out of the car, turn the kids loose for an hour, maybe more, and have a picnic lunch on the grounds. The town of Chamberlain and the town across the river, Oacoma(sp?) offer lots of other neat attractions. Each time I get through there I head off the interstate and drive through Chamberlain and cross the old two lane bride which one can see to the north of the interstate. I dont know why, but it is just a little change of pace and sometimes a sit down meal at one of the many eating establishments located in the Missouri River Valley.

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