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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,160

    Default Yes! Highly recommended.

    Can't but agree - Alt US14 is a spectacular drive. You will pass the Bighorn Canyon (wild horses and big horn sheep) and the Medicine Wheel, definitely worth the short walk up there. If crossing over these high plains early or late in the day, the wildlife is prolific. This is where, on my first trip, I saw my first moose. He stood right in front of my vehicle which was not going anywhere until he decided to move. To this day I have no idea whence he suddenly appeared. I was so awe-struck that I did not think to reach for my camera, hence do not have any proof to back up this experience.

    Lifey

  2. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    Have you checked the current rules for taking a dog into Canada? I've done it a few times and it is possible, but you have to travel with a complete set of veterinary records. And there will be (highly likely) a delay at the border while they confirm that records are accurate.

    Mark
    I checked and it was just a rabies vaccine certificate.

  3. Default

    Thanks all for the suggestions- I am looking at mapping alternate routes now.

  4. #14

    Default

    When you do set your itinerary, don't overlook the two very scenic drives in the Black Hills near Mount Rushmore, Iron Mountain Road (SD87) and Needles Road (US16A) both with good views of Mt Rushmore and great scenery of their own. They rival that alternate route through Wyoming above, and will give you your 'peek' at the monument and then some.

  5. Default

    Thank you all for the advice. I am now looking at this itinerary, although I need to look at the scenic highways recommended. This has only one day over 600 miles, though I put it as our first day so that we are still fresh- and all on interstates we are familiar with. (The times I have below are estimated drive times, not travel time.)

    This plan does mean I lose my rest day at the end of the trip- we have to go straight to work the next day :(

    Day 1: Iowa City to Badlands National Park-area (645 miles, 9 hours) - find hotel/campsite near area
    Day 2: Badlands National Park scenic drive (stopping for lots of photographs!) to Custer State Park (117 miles, 2 hours)- camping at CSP
    Day 3: Day at Custer State Park- camping at CSP
    Day 4: Custer State Park to Bozeman Montana (500 miles, 8 hours) -need to find hotel/campsite
    Day 5: Bozeman Montana to Glacier National Park (288 miles, 5 hours) -hotel?
    Day 6: Day at Glacier National Park - hotel?
    Day 7: Glacier National Park to Jasper National Park; camping at JNP
    Day 8-9 Jasper National Park- camping at JNP
    Day 10: Jasper to Canmore (200 miles, 4 hours + lots of photo stops)- hotel
    Day 11-13 Banff National Park- hotel
    Day 14: Banff National Park to Moose Jaw, SK (504 miles, 7.5 hours)- hotel or campsite
    Day 15: Moose Jaw, SK to Fargo ND (533 miles, 8.5 hours) - hotel or campsite
    Day 16: Fargo to Iowa City (500 miles, 8 hrs)

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,944

    Default

    There is no way you can drive 645 miles in 9 hours. That's going to be a 12 hour day.

    You also need to recalculate the drive times for the other days, they look like they are from a computer program and are not even close to realistic.

  7. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by glc View Post
    There is no way you can drive 645 miles in 9 hours. That's going to be a 12 hour day.

    You also need to recalculate the drive times for the other days, they look like they are from a computer program and are not even close to realistic.
    I've found google maps to be very realistic on drive time for all the other cross country drives I've done before. I am not expecting that to be total trip time, obviously we'd have to stop for gas and be delayed for construction. That drive is completely on interstate; it's an easy drive; even with 12 hours, we'll be there before dinner. I'd expect 9 hours of driving to actually take 11 or so hours of daytime to complete.
    We don't stop for meals.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    5,475

    Default

    As I have done a portion of your trip, a year and a half ago, I can give you some realistic ideas about drive times:

    Day 2: Badlands National Park scenic drive (stopping for lots of photographs!) to Custer State Park (117 miles, 2 hours)- camping at CSP
    Day 3: Day at Custer State Park- camping at CSP
    Day 4: Custer State Park to Bozeman Montana (500 miles, 8 hours) -need to find hotel/campsite
    On our 2014 summer trip, we drove from Badlands to Custer State Park. While it was 117 miles, it was definitely closer to 3 hours to drive it. We had also calculated 2 hours, but didn't plan for heavy traffic on one highway, getting behind a very slow RV on 36 (which is extremely likely, given the area), nor rain. BTW, on 36 it is always a possibility that you will come across a bison crossing the highway, so drive the speed limit OR LESS -- less if it happens to be raining.

    Custer to Bozeman - We went from Custer (city) to Billings. It took at least an hour to get from Custer (city) back up to I-90, using US-385/US-85 through Lead and Deadwood. (It might have been faster to use US-16 and go up to Rapid City.) We took a side-trip to Devil's Tower, which used up a couple of hours, and stopped for another couple of hours at Little Bighorn. We pulled into Billings 12 hours after we left Custer. So call that 8 hours of actual driving. Bozeman is another 2 hours down the freeway, about 135 miles. BTW, we did not stop for meals at all that day, believe it or not. We grabbed a couple of things from a convenience market (unusual for us!) while getting fuel, for breakfast, and had lunch from our cooler while going down the road.

    Day 10: Jasper to Canmore (200 miles, 4 hours + lots of photo stops)- hotel
    This drive is likely to take ALL DAY. I've been fortunate enough to have been able to visit this area twice in my life - once with my parents as a college kid, once as an adult with my own kids in tow. You will stop LOTS, you will stop OFTEN, and be sure to stop at the Athabasca Glacier area.


    Donna

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