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  1. #1

    Default South Dakota and some...

    I was planning a other trip here some time back, but got postpone for later..

    Some small background info;

    I have a wife that doesnt like to fly and havent been many places, but she has finally said yes to go with me for a week to USA... whoo-hoo.. (we got kids who will stay with grand parent, so one week is all we got). It looks like this could happen first week of October.

    Want to do a fly`n drive trip as it called, we will fly into Minneapolis from Europe and drive from there.
    I feel I know what placed to see after reading about it here and other places, but have some problem get the timing right. How much time it will take and how far you can go.

    I promised my wife 1 day at Mall of America (shopping), other then that I would like to be on the road.

    I would like to go as far as Devil towers then head back. So if I could get some help making a loop in the time I have..

    Places I would like to fit in is;

    - minuteman silo
    - The wall drug store
    - Badlands
    - Mt Rushmore
    - Custer park
    - Crazy horse
    - Deadwood
    - Devils tower

    Are Devils tower to far off, or could i make all of it with out rushing it.. ?

    My ears are open for input... :)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Western/Central Massachusetts

    Default Plenty of time

    It looks like you have a pretty good plan there, and it would allow you to spend some time at each of the locations and enjoy yourself rather than rushing around. With seven days and about 1600 miles (guessing), your primary long drives are going to be in getting to and from Minneapolis for your flights.

  3. Default

    Im from Sioux Falls SD and have been to all of your stops! :) So good news! you are going to enjoy your trip. If your starting in Minneapolis Mn the Mall of America is a must (tell your wife shes right to have you stop) its a great place just to see and can I suggest floor 3 Aunties Pretzles are the BEST.

    On your was south from MN your going to want to take Interstate 90 west and stop in my neck of the woods Sioux Falls to see just that...The Sioux Falls at Falls Park. They are beautiful natural falls in a central town area, there is even a tower you can go up in to enjoy the full view. Dont forget to stop by the local Picture Me Portrait Studio to see me LOL :).

    Next you can continue on West I-90 and your next stop will be Oacoma River Valley, take a deep breath before you head down that big hill to cross that bridge, its breath-taking...have your camera ready.

    When you reach Kadoka make sure you turn left off the exit to head right into the Badlands Park Trail head. If memory serves me its $10-15 a vehicle to get in but its worth it. Youll get to see all the natural wonders that is South Dakota and get that middle of everywhere feeling. You cant compare the wonder of this view to anything! Enjoy the authentic Lakota Indian wares at the little store about half way on the trail...lots of great stories to hear there also :) At the end of your Badlands Trail drive you will head into WallDrug. Its just strait up the road! Get another camera card ready for the fun things to see and do here, there is a giant 12ft Jackalope (rabbit with horns) I know it sounds crazy but im a 28 year old young ladyy and I still get my picture take with this every in the fountians, enjoy the free icewater.

    Head back on the road to I-90, next stop is Mt Rushmore, in Keystone. You will see and want to do so much in Keystone that I cant even name them all for you, however every year I get a new BlackHills Gold ring (from my hubby) and a bag of FreshWater Taffy made right there in Keystone. When your at the monument please be careful of the white mt goats...they are everywhere! In the tourist shop enjoy a "fudge-alo" (Buffalo shapped fudge) they are very tastey!

    Not too far from Mt Rushmore is the scenic by-way that leads to Crazy Horse. Now, Im not saying that you should skip that but...there really isnt much there besides what you can clearly see from the road, seriously...Its $10 per person and we really didnt get as mush out of it as we hoped to. But again Im not telling you to skip it, it is another beautiful monument.

    So heres the tough part of your trip, Custer State PArk is a great area to drive through espically if you use the scenic by-way, but its a ways from where your currently at. The Custer State Trail (scenic by-way) lets you see some of the furry creatures that reside our state, Buffalo, Deer, Elk, Gazelles, Mt Lions ect are roaming on all sides of this drive. Oh I forgot to mention that the Buffalos and Donkeys WILL COME UP TO YOUR WINDOWS TO BEG FOOD! I had a baby buffalo steal an entire granola bar right out of my hand! It was funny but alarming that they are so un-scared of us humans.

    Deadwood is a great place to back track to for dinner (best buffett in SD) and to relax in all the casinos, drop a few bucks and have a few drinks :) There are lots of shops to see and visit, I suggest the museum towards the north of town. There are wax figures, movie memorabilia, and my personal favorite a Herbie The Love Bug!!

    After Deadwood your closer to the WY border where Devils Tower is located, you will be a bit off the beaten path but its another natural wonder to see...

    Wow, I hope Ive given you some kind of insight and or help with your trip!

    Last edited by Midwest Michael; 07-21-2010 at 06:01 AM. Reason: Removed color font

  4. #4


    Thank you Nikkers, you gave me a lot of good info..
    (if this trip comes to life and we have time, maybe we can stop by and say thanks.. :) )

    Even when I say a week it gets a little shorter. One day would go to fly in, I know we would be tired after the flight so not much happens first day( not sure if we come early or late that day). An as I promised a day at MOA (I have been there once before so i know it will take at least a whole day). Not forget the last day when flying home, I guessing that it will be a late flight.

    So then I feel that I dont have any time to spare.. When planing a trip the same problem comes every time and its the "timetable"...

    How far can I get from minneapolis in one day?
    How much time does it take to drive black hills in the route Nikkers said?
    How is the weather in early october?
    Should I drop a few things?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Las Vegas, Nevada

    Default We have some routes for you!

    Various of the RTA Route Faculty of expert roadtrippers have written routes that you might consider:

    **Fargo to Jamestown, North Dakota: The Roundabout Way by Peter Thody

    **Rapid City to Deadwood, South Dakota: Mt. Rushmore Plus -- A Black Hills Sampler
    by Peter Thody

    **Rapid City to Hot Springs, South Dakota: A Trip to the Black Hills by Harry Kline

    **Pierre to the Badlands of South Dakota by Peter Thody

    Happy Planning!


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    It's possible to drive from MSP to the Badlands in one day. It's about a 10 hour drive if you take the Interstates.

  7. #7


    Thanks for the links Mark, I will check them out..

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    It's possible to drive from MSP to the Badlands in one day. It's about a 10 hour drive if you take the Interstates.
    Should be doable taking one day of hard driving to get there and we could have a more relaxed trip after that..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default a few more

    I agree that you should be able to do everything you've talked about no problem on your timeline.

    One thing to remember that will be in your favor is that a lot of the places you're visiting don't have to take a full day. Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, Minuteman Missle are all things which will take a few hours, not necessarily a full day. Even the National Parks service says that the average visit to the Badlands is only a few hours, although that like most places is an area where you certainly could spend more time.

    A couple additions to the great ideas you've already been given:

    If you're planning to spend your first day at the mall anyway, you might consider holding off on renting a car for the first day. There is light rail that goes directly from the airport to MoA (it also goes to downtown Minneapolis, but that's the other direction) and of course plenty of hotels are right in that area too.

    Going to Sioux Falls, I prefer to take US-169 to MN-60 joining I-90 at Worthington, MN. Its a little shorter and is 4 lanes most of the way, so I found it was usually a little bit faster than taking I-35 to I-90 (but its not a huge difference).

    In Sioux Falls, if you've arrived at lunchtime (which would make sense if you leave MSP in the morning) in addition to taking a break at the Falls, you could grab a burger at the Hamburger Inn in downtown SF. That was always my favorite greasy lunch spot when I lived there (with the caveat that I haven't been there in almost 10 years and as with any restaurant its possible that ownership/quality/etc may have changed since then)

    No one mentioned the Corn Palace yet, but that's another quick tourist stop to consider.

    The crossing of the Missouri River on I-90, as previously mentioned, is a very scenic point. There is also an interstate rest area here that provides an excellent overlook of the valley.

    Since this is a loop, you could consider going north to Teddy Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota, and then shoot across North Dakota on I-94 for the trip back to MSP. You could make that drive in another long day of about 10 hours.

  9. #9


    I am making a map now and I changed my route as you said Michael from minneapolis to Wormingthon. Looked like a more interesting route and I didnt loose any time on it. I know about the corn palace but i skipped it to save some time.

    Did read in some other trip journals about the crossing of the river and that it should be very scenic, so will have that in mind when drinving.

    Going all the way up I-94 I think will be a little to far out (I made a promise that we only would do one hard day driving and then try to slow down a little). So any other options out there..?

    The day at MoA we will do at the end of the trip, so we dont need to lug around all the "crap" we will be buying... If we are lucky we get a flight late the last day, then we could use that day at the MoA and it will free up an extra day on the road..(5 days and not 4)

    This is the map I am working on...,0.15295&z=13

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default Us-14

    For a more direct route back, you might look at taking US-14 instead of I-90. It will be a little slower, but if you want to break in into 2 days anyway, it shouldn't be any problem.

    That should give you much more of a feel for the plains - it also has a lot of connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder - with several of her "hometowns" along the way.

    One of Peter Thody's first trip reports on this site gives lots of great details of the trip across SD on US-14.

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