Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. Default Mt. Rushmore to Jackson, Wyoming

    Hi Everyone,

    In early July we will be driving from the Mt. Rushmore area to Salt Lake City. We will be doing it with one overnight (about 5-6 hours of driving each day). Do you have any recommendations for a route and place to stay that's roughly half way? Recommended sights to see along the way? How is Casper, WY? Rawlins, WY?


    Thanks in advance for any advice you might have.


    Best regards,

    Stephan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,816

    Default

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    Both Rawlins and Casper could be good places to stop, with plenty of places to stay no matter what your budget. Rawlins is a little closer to the halfway mark, but I think it depends upon what the rest of your trip might look like.

    If your time around Mt Rushmore will include the Custer and Rapid City areas, but you haven't done any exploring of the western Black Hills - places like Deadwood and Devils Tower, for example - it would make a lot of sense to include those on your first day and do less driving by spending the night in Casper.

    On the other hand, if you just want to cover miles and are limiting yourself to about 6 hours a day, then Rawlins would be a great place to stop and would get you into Salt Lake a little earlier - and give you more time to do things in that area, or keep you fresher to continue onto wherever you might be heading after that.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,303

    Default Relaxed, Scenic and Historic

    Welcome Aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As far as routing goes, I'd suggest that you consider using some secondary roads since you're in no great hurry. Some of these are scenic in their own right, but also get you away from the main roads and Interstates which tend to get all the traffic in these sparsely populated areas. Specifically I'd recommend US-16 west out of the Rapid City area to just west of New Castle WY. Then switch over to WY-450 through Thunder Basin National Grassland. Jog right on WY-59 to WY-387 west to Midwest WY where you can continue on WY-387 or switch over to WY-259 (my preference) to connect with I-25 south.

    At Casper the easiest route to follow would be to take Exit 288B onto Poplar Street (WY-220 west) and take that to US-287 south to Rawlins. Rawlins is a fair bit closer to the halfway point than Casper. Rawlins is also only about one-fourth the size of Casper, so you might find it a bit less hectic for an overnight stay. Day 2 would then just be I-80 to Salt Lake City.

    As for places to stop along the route(s) suggested above would, on Day 1, include Bessemer Bend National Historic Site at Casper, as well as Independence Rock state Historic Site, Devils Gate and Martin's Cove (all on WY-220 near the junction with US-287). Then on Day 2 consider Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, Fort Bridger State Historic Site, and possibly Devils Slide, a short detour west on I-84.

    AZBuck

  4. Default

    For a halfway stop between Mt. Rushmore and Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Wyoming is a good bet. It's about 5 hours from Mt. Rushmore and another 5 hours to Salt Lake City. Cheyenne has plenty of accommodation options and you can check out places like the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens or the Wyoming State Capitol. Rawlins is an alternative, but it's smaller with fewer amenities. Consider Cheyenne for a smoother trip.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RadiantRiddle View Post
    For a halfway stop between Mt. Rushmore and Salt Lake City, Cheyenne, Wyoming is a good bet. It's about 5 hours from Mt. Rushmore and another 5 hours to Salt Lake City. Cheyenne has plenty of accommodation options and you can check out places like the Cheyenne Botanic Gardens or the Wyoming State Capitol. Rawlins is an alternative, but it's smaller with fewer amenities. Consider Cheyenne for a smoother trip.
    Thank you all for your replies. Just to give you a little more information about our itinerary...

    On July 7th we will be driving to the Devil's Tower area from Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone and staying overnight there. Depending on when we arrive in the Devil's Tower area, I was planning to explore the area (hike, picnic, etc) on July 7th or July 8th. On July 8th we will drive to the Mt. Rushmore area and stay overnight there. Again, depending on the arrival time, I was planning to see Mt. Rushmore on July 8th or the morning of July 9th.

    What I have to plan now is starting the drive back to Salt Lake City. We will fly out of Salt Lake City on July 11th. So, I was planning to drive roughly halfway. Of course, if there is a recommended stop, I can change that to be longer/shorter for either day. On July 10th we would drive to Salt Lake City and then fly out the morning of the 11th.

    Given that, thank you in advance for any other suggestions...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    12,676

    Default The Wyoming State Capital Building is magnificent

    Quote Originally Posted by RadiantRiddle View Post
    or the Wyoming State Capitol. Consider Cheyenne for a smoother trip.
    I second a vote to visit the Wyoming State Capitol. They have recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation and the self-tour is really cool.


    Mark

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    10,303

    Default If...

    If you can devote two full days to the Rapid City to Salt Lake City portion of your drive, then I would again offer the route and stops that I suggested above. With anything other than two full days, you're going to have to cut stuff out. I would strongly recommend that you arrive in SLC the evening before your flight is scheduled to depart. I've heard too many horror stories of people expecting to drive to an airport from even 50-100 miles away and, due to traffic, weather or mechanical issues, missing their flights.

    As for the drive from Yellowstone to Rapid City, that's going to be a fairly full day of driving at a little over 400 miles no matter which route you take. So for the same reasons (scenery, interesting stops, off-Interstate) as my suggestions for Rapid City to SLC, for this earlier leg I'd recommend using US-14 and US-14A between Cody and Sheridan and finally I-90. The sights along this route are mostly historic in nature, such as the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark, and the Fort Phil Kearny Historic Site .

    AZBuck
    Last edited by AZBuck; 06-14-2024 at 12:09 PM.

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Sedenquist View Post
    I second a vote to visit the Wyoming State Capitol. They have recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation and the self-tour is really cool.


    Mark
    Thank you all again for your suggestions.

    I am now thinking that we will visit friends in Brighton, CO for one evening since we will be in the area relatively. It seems to be about 5.5-6 hours from Mt. Rushmore to Brighton, CO and about 7.5-8 hours from Brighton to Salt Lake City.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Central Missouri
    Posts
    5,905

    Default Be careful with electronic maps!

    You just mentioned it taking 5-6 hours to go from Mt Rushmore to Brighton CO. It's around 375 miles, which is more like a 6-8 hour trip. You'll have some two-lane roads, which means slower anyway, but you get stuck behind an 18-wheeler and you may not be able to pass easily.

    Same with Brighton to Salt Lake City. It's over 500 miles. I would realistically clock that at around 10 hours. That's if you're going to go back up to I-80. If you're going to take I-70 to US-6 to I-15, add another 50 miles. But it's a beautiful trip, through Glenwood Canyon and the "hanging freeway". I'd add another hour -- say, 11 hours. Maybe even 12, because you may want to stop at a lot of the scenic rest areas through the mountainous area.

    When my husband and I plan our trips, we figure we'll average about 50-55 mph. That's with stops for a meal, fuel, and rest areas. It does not include any stops for sightseeing.


    Donna

  10. Default

    Hi Donna,

    Thank you. We will probably try to leave early each day and budget enough time for sight-seeing along the way. I think we will go up via I-80. Would you say that route is scenic? Any places you recommend stopping by?

Similar Threads

  1. Ohio to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, Mt Rushmore, etc
    By jennydee in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-26-2014, 04:56 AM
  2. Missouri to Jackson Hole Wyoming. Which way to go and what to see.
    By jstephens in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-22-2010, 04:44 PM
  3. NYC --> Jackson Hole, Wyoming
    By Jsilv in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-06-2004, 05:12 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •