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Thread: Summer trip

  1. #1

    Default Summer trip

    Hi-
    The wife and I like to do diff road trips end of Aug. last year did the Cali coast in 10 days.

    I am in NYC so we are looking to fly to South Dakota, see Mt Rushmore and anything else you can recommend. Then we want to drive to the Grand Canyon where we will fly home from there. We are look to do this in 8 to 10 days. Can anyone recommend an itinerary to see/stop/stay along the way?

    Thank you in advance
    Michele

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,117

    Default Yes, But Ten Days is Really Only Six

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You can have a wonderful week seeing everything there is in the Rapid City area and make the drive down to Flagstaff to visit the Grand Canyon. Just realize that in order to do that, you'll spend a day flying west, two days driving between your two destinations, and a day flying home so that if you budget ten days for the trip, you'll really only have six days on which you can actually 'stop and smell the roses'. And even that assumes that you'll book more expensive open-jaw airline tickets along with what could be a very expensive one-way car rental. So to be honest, I'd probably do this as a 'local' RoadTrip out of Rapid City.

    Among the many natural wonders in the more-or-less immediate vicinity of Rapid City, some of the best are Mount Rushmore. Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, Devils Tower and the Crazy Horse Memorial. A bit farther east there are plenty of parks along the Missouri River in South Dakota including Fort Pierre Chouteau National Historic Landmark, LaFramboise Island Nature Area and Farm Island Recreation Area.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-09-2021 at 11:10 AM. Reason: Fixed Links

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,727

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    I've got to say, this seems like kind of a strange plan. There's certainly plenty to do in between South Dakota and Northern Arizona, but it's actually a case where there is so much to do, they would generally fit better as separate trips.

    For example, Flying into Denver, driving up to the Badlands, exploring the Black Hills (there's so much more than just Mt Rushmore), head over to Devils Tower, then start working your way down through Wyoming to Rocky Mountain National Park, and back to Denver would be a great 10 day loop. Alternatively, a loop around the Grand Canyon that includes some of Utah's Mighty 5 National Parks, Monument Valley, and or any of the other great attractions in the 4 corners region would also include far more options than you could fit into 10 days.

    Which isn't to say you couldn't drive between those two places and pick a few things from each areas, not to mention some of the other things in Colorado and Wyoming in the middle, but it might be more efficient in both time and money to do a trip focused on one or the other.

  4. #4

    Default

    Got it thank you. Everywhere I looked it said people did 2 separate trips. I was hoping we can do it like we did cali. Flew into SFO drove down to San Diego and home from LAX. we stopped along the way and stay and saw different things . It was truly amazing. I sense this is diff. If you had to chose one of the 2 loops which would you chose?
    Also you said you could drive between the two, so what would you chose in Colordo and Wyoming to see if you did do that?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,117

    Default Six of One...

    There really is no right answer to your question as to which loop to choose. What I, or anyone else, would choose has no bearing on what you should choose. Just look at what's available to you on either loop. I've already given you several sites around Rapid City. Note that there is at least one direct, non-stop flight available daily from Newark to Rapid City.

    By the same token, I'm sure there are non-stop flights from New York to Phoenix as well. A loop RoadTrip out of Phoenix might include, besides the Grand Canyon, Oak Creek Canyon, Walnut Canyon National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, Wupatki National Monument and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument. Even some of the 'Mighty Five' national parks in Utah would be within range, such as Zion and Bryce Canyon.

    Your call. But quite frankly I would not try to do both the Rapid City area and the Grand Canyon area. As noted previously, you'd be spending roughly half your time just getting to and from places.

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-09-2021 at 04:32 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,727

    Default

    Keep in mind, you're talking significantly longer distances than your California trip. Mt Rushmore to the Grand Canyon is more than 1000 miles - SFO to SD is about 500, and that's just talking point to point distances. Unlike California, neither Mt. Rushmore nor Grand Canyon are close to a major airport. Denver is the closest major airport to Mt. Rushmore and that's almost 400 miles away. Phoenix is the closest to the Grand Canyon and that's still about 250 miles. You can fly to Rapid City or Flagstaff, but the prices for airfare and car rental are likely going to be much higher, and you'll certainly be having longer flights due to layovers if you go that route.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,680

    Default

    Chiming in here...

    If you are having trouble deciding which trip to make when, other than rock-paper-scissors, you could start making phone calls or doing research online for air schedules and fares.

    The other thing to consider these days are RENTAL CARS. Several online articles I've read have spoken about the shortage of rental cars and the need to book THOSE first, and *then* the airfare. You can reserve a car without the need to pay for it in advance. Not so with the airfare. If you book and pay for your airfare, and then you can't get a rental car, you are stuck with useless airline tickets.


    Donna

  8. #8

    Default

    Completely agree with Donna on this one: Look at several airport locations to do a circle route from, such as Rapid City, Denver, Salt Lake City, Billings, and Bozeman and see what car rental availability and pricing is running. I think Bozeman is a new "opportunity" for flying in close to Yellowstone. You could also check some one-way drop-off but check for fees and being charged per mile. All those areas can be wonderful but consider your interests... mountains, canyons, wildlife, hiking, camping, scenic drives, museums, history...

  9. #9

    Default

    Thanks everyone!!

  10. Default

    This is an oversimplification, but the South Dakota trip is generally in treed areas while the Grand Canyon and Utah National Parks are in barren desert. Both trips would be great but very different experiences. What are you in the mood for?

    Also consider flying into Las Vegas. Perhaps you’ll find a rental car there.

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