My husband and I are looking to plan a road trip next summer with two of our friends (four of us total) from Indianapolis to Jackson Hole. We're planning on going through South Dakota to spend a day at the Badlands and Black Hills. Ideally we'd like to spend about 6 days in JH to allow us plenty of time in Grand Teton National Park as well as a day in Yellowstone.
It's been something I've always wanted to do, but I've never taken a long distance trip like this before, so I'm not positive on what to expect. I'd like to have an idea on how long we should anticipate it to take us to get to our first destination, knowing that we will be making bathroom/gas stops along the way. I'm not sure yet how much we'll be wanting to stop outside of bathroom/food/gas breaks until we get into the Badlands/Black Hills area either.
It looks like from where we are to the Badlands it's about 1000 miles, then another 550 or so from the Badlands to where we'd be staying in JH. We'd have four people able to drive. Would it be unreasonable to think we could get to the Badlands early day 2 and spend the rest of the day there? Or even be close to there by the end of day 1? Could we feasibly make this trip in 3 days, knowing that most of day 2 would be spent not making mileage progress on our trip/making very little progress or should we plan on 4 days? I obviously don't want to push it in terms of safety, nor do I want it to be a miserable trip. We still have a year to plan if all goes well, so I want to make sure we know what to expect and have an approximation of how much time we need or if we need to tailor what we want to do to in order to have a fun trip, not a rushed stressful trip. Any advice or tips are greatly appreciated!