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Help me plan our trip - The Dakotas

alesis
Explorer
Explorer
Hello again!
The time of year has arrived that I'm starting to plan our long camping trip. We have 10 or 11 days in the beginning of July.

We're National Park junkees, so we want to visit Theodore Roosevelt NP in ND and Badlands NP in SD.

I'd like input on full hookup campground near each locations, as well as suggestions for must do day trips up to 2 hours from each CG.

We're an active family that love hiking, scenic drives, adventurous activities, historical sites and typical touristy shopping and such. We have kids that are 11, 15 and 17.

Any suggestions are appreciated!
Jerry

TV : 2021 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecoboost Max Tow
TT : 2015 Crossroads Sunset Trail Reserve 32BH
Weigh Safe True Tow hitch system

http://community.webshots.com/user/detroitfd
18 REPLIES 18

RickLight
Explorer III
Explorer III
Last summer there wasn't a Rushmore light show.
They showed a movie that was nice, but could have been seen anywhere.

Watch the NPS sight for changes.
Rick,

2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
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Mayor30
Explorer
Explorer
If you're National Park Junkies, try staying in the National Park campgrounds for a day or 2. I have found it to be a better experience than driving into the parks every day. The Ranger programs at some of them are fantastic. At Assateague NP, the kids learned how to clam during the day, and went to a ranger program on the beach with a campfire at night. At Yellowstone we could walk outside our camper and see buffalo. One day a mother grizzly and 3 cubs walked across the road right in front of us.As far as things to do, on the Custer State Park Wildlife Loop you will see wild burros walk right up to your car.You will see buffalo and prairie dog towns.Make sure you visit the visitor centers and watch the videos. We also enjoyed the Cosmos and Bear Country USA.Mt Rushmore. Go inside or to a ranger program. If you go at night,they have a light show.

dieseltruckdriv
Explorer II
Explorer II
Nodaker wrote:
Medora, ND is the community at the entrance of Theodore Roosevelt NP South Unit. 2 campgrounds, Medora Campground and Red Trail, both are basically ok. Lots of hiking trails in the National Park. There's also a north unit of the NP about 70 miles north of Medora. It's a bit more remote and less traveled than the south unit. Again, several hiking trails and variety of wildlife.

There's lots to do in Medora but a don't miss is the Medora Musical. It's a professional musical variety show in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. While it has a different theme every year, it is always patriotic and tells of Theodore Roosevelt's time in the Badlands.

PS: The ND Badlands are more scenic and dynamic than the SD Badlands 🙂

We prefer the north unit in general.

And, no the SD badlands are more scenic. 😉
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Nodaker
Explorer
Explorer
Medora, ND is the community at the entrance of Theodore Roosevelt NP South Unit. 2 campgrounds, Medora Campground and Red Trail, both are basically ok. Lots of hiking trails in the National Park. There's also a north unit of the NP about 70 miles north of Medora. It's a bit more remote and less traveled than the south unit. Again, several hiking trails and variety of wildlife.

There's lots to do in Medora but a don't miss is the Medora Musical. It's a professional musical variety show in a beautiful outdoor amphitheater. While it has a different theme every year, it is always patriotic and tells of Theodore Roosevelt's time in the Badlands.

PS: The ND Badlands are more scenic and dynamic than the SD Badlands 🙂
Nodaker
2017 Newmar Bay Star 3113
2011 Chev Colorado dinghy

RickLight
Explorer III
Explorer III
+1 on Badlands, Wind Cave and Devils Tower.
Mammoth Site in Hot Springs sounds touristy but is fascinating!

The list of simply good things in that area is too long to post.

We preferred the north unit of TRNP, but the petrified forest area is nice.
Rick,

2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
2015 Ford F350 CC SB Lariat Powerstroke
PullRite Superglide

vermilye
Explorer
Explorer
If you haven't been, it is worth a hop into Wyoming to visit Devils Tower. There is a dry campground in the monument or a KOA just outside at the entrance.

docsouce
Explorer II
Explorer II
Yeah but think of the meal we'd get. Road kill pheasant stew!! Excellent. Cooked it right on my grill!!!! LoL
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Veebyes
Explorer II
Explorer II
Thinking outside of your comfort zone box for a night or two, try dry camping at The Towers boondocking area just north of the Badlands north gate.

Plenty of sites right on the edge of the canyon. Bighorn sheep walk right past every evening. Miles from anywhere. Spectacular views right outside the door. A magical place unlike any fast food styled FHU campground that you have ever been in.
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hornet28
Explorer
Explorer
docsouce, watch out for pheasants on the Enchanted Highway you wouldn't want to hit one they are huge

BarabooBob
Explorer III
Explorer III
We really liked Wind Cave and Jewel Cave. You need to get reservations to get on a tour.
The Wildlife Loop, Needles Highway, and the hike to Black Elk Peak (formerly Harney Peak) are worthwhile in the Black Hills.
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djcjc
Explorer
Explorer
Decent campground at Wall drug leave the rig there and drive the badlands go way to spend a day, Corn palace is nice to see and nice campground just on the west side of Mitchell right off the interstate. Depending how far west you are going when we stayed in Deadwood made a day trip to Devils tower pretty neat to see.

alesis
Explorer
Explorer
Good suggestions y’all, thanks! Keep ‘em comin!
Jerry

TV : 2021 Ford F-150 3.5 Ecoboost Max Tow
TT : 2015 Crossroads Sunset Trail Reserve 32BH
Weigh Safe True Tow hitch system

http://community.webshots.com/user/detroitfd

RetiredRealtorR
Explorer
Explorer
Spend some time in Custer SP if you can. Wall Drug is a waste of time, IMO.
. . . never confuse education with intelligence, nor motion with progress

Crowe
Explorer
Explorer
For touristy stuff try visiting Keystone, SD and Bear Country USA. Some may recommend Wall Drug-I was there in 1984 then again about 15 years ago and didn't like how it changed.

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be

Douglas Adams

[purple]RV-less for now but our spirits are still on the open road. [/purple]

docsouce
Explorer II
Explorer II
This summer we will be running west on US 12 through the Dakota's. A couple of stops I'm looking forward to is the Shadehill Recreation area in Shadehill SD. Supposed to be a nice camp. While there we are going to visit Lemmon which has a petrified wood park and museum and some neat shops. Next is the Enchanted Highway between Regent ND and Gladstone ND. Regent has a good overnight campground. Then on to Teddy Roosevelt NP. I'm thinking of staying in Bowman at the Twin Butte Campground. Supposed to be OK and a good home base if the campgrounds near the NP are full. As mentioned Medora ND looks like a good spot too. There is a Medora Musical every night, looks like fun cowboy stuff!! We are going to be there in mid August or so, our RV has Mass. Plates. Hope we into each other.
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Just right for the two of us!