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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Planning a trip to the Black Hills area in early to May 2023. Have never been to this area so not sure how much time to allow for what we want to do. Things on our list to visit are:
Deadwood
Sturgis
Rushmore
Crazy Horse
Custer Park
Devils Tower (maybe)
Anything Else?

How many days would you suggest to see the above. We were thinking of Rapid City as a base or should we consider an alternative. We'll be making a round trip from Omaha, NE and plan to take 2 days to get to Rapid City with some time spent in the Badlands.
 

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I plan to go through this area in mid July; look for postings from the trip. I will try to remember to PM you with any suggestions. You'll be close enough to check out Wall Drug Store (east of Rapid City, just off I-90).

Ride Safe,
Jeff
 
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I'd go after Labor Day. Timelines depends on if you like tourist traps. IMO, 3 days minimum is what you'd need.

There is nothing in Sturgis any time of year except during the rally, so that'll take you about 10 minutes.
Deadwood depends on how much you walk and window shop.
Rushmore is at least an hour, but probably 3, to walk around.
Custer State Park is a couple hours to ride thru.
I thought Devils Tower was cool to walk around, and it took a few hours.

As for a base of operations, I'd look at Keystone instead of Rapid City.
 

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Badlands NP and Wall Drug. Miuteman Missle silo north of Badlands NP is a pretty cool place to visit. US Hwy. 16 west between Buffalo and Worland, Wy is worth your time. Needles Hwy is awesome. Go to Devil's Tower early if you can. Rapid City as a base would probably work well. I think 4 days would be enough time to do all that. Sounds like a great trip.
 
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I would suggest staying in Custer, Keystone, or Deadwood if you want the Black Hills experience, Keystone or Spearfish for a small town feel. If you have the time, and like to stop and smell the roses (or buffalo droppings), I'd recommend 4 days. Custer state park would be a full day, especially if you do the wildlife loop too. Wind Cave, Keystone, Rushmore and Crazy horse would be another full day. Deadwood, Spearfish canyon, and out to Devils tower would be day 3, Wall drug, Badlands, dinner in Sturgis would be day 4. Sturgis is a small town with a couple big (empty) bike bars when it is not rally time.
My timelines would be dawn to before dusk, lots of wildlife up there so I am parked before the sun goes down. Deadwood was the most fun nightlife I found, but others may have better ideas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the quick responses. Exactly what I was looking for.

Appreciate the suggested itinerary. From what I've read, agree on 10min in Sturgis. It's more of a been there done that visit. Wall Drug is new to me, will have to look that up.

Will check out lodging in Keystone.
 

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If no lodging in Keystone check Hill City. It's about 13 miles from Keystone, has motels and VRBO's and may be cheaper on the wallet.
Agree with rooster shooter that 4 days should do it.
 

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Badlands is the my favorite thing out that way. Feels like you're on Mars. We were in the Badlands on the second week of October, there was nobody but us, really added to the Mars experience. :alien:

Devil's Tower is pretty neat as well.

I like Deadwood alot, a must see if you're remotely interested in wild west history.
 
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Dinosaur Park in Rapid City. Maybe you need to be in a certain frame of mind to enjoy this place, but I found it to be an interesting and relaxing stop and the kids in the family loved to post cards I mailed. The gift shop has a little grill and a deck that overlooks pretty much everything as it seems this is the highest point around.

Google maps pretty much sums it up; "Kitschy 1930s cement dinosaurs star at this 20-acre park on a hill with city & prairie views." Nice place to chill. I happened to arrive in the midst of a certain motorcycle rally and it was a nice respite from the commotion.
 

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Planning a trip to the Black Hills area in early to mid September. Have never been to this area so not sure how much time to allow for what we want to do. Things on our list to visit are:
Deadwood
Sturgis
Rushmore
Crazy Horse
Custer Park
Devils Tower (maybe)
Anything Else?

How many days would you suggest to see the above. We were thinking of Rapid City as a base or should we consider an alternative. We'll be making a round trip from Omaha, NE and plan to take 2 days to get to Rapid City with some time spent in the Badlands.
Rapid City is a great base. Recommend the Alex Johnson Hotel highly. Great place plus close to lots of good things. 4-6 days in the area will allow you ride and visit most everything nearby. Don't forgot to ride Iron Mountain road. For Sturgis there are excellent one-page maps available everywhere. Get yourself one and it will guide you to all things good. Have fun, it's great up there, especially after Rally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Well it seems schedules and plans are fluid. Certain events now make this trip difficult in September. So now looking to do this in May next year. Probably later in the month of May. Figuring weather will be cooler, and we prefer colder to hot weather riding. At least my wife does. Big plus is that I’ll be retired by then, so will not be limited to a time schedule.

So same trip but now done in late May. Does that change any travel or road dynamics.
 

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Aaaaaaaaa man, enjoy that trip, wife and I went in 03 (Sturgis) and it was beautiful, even with the 1000's of motorcycles, present, BUT your going when it's quiet, even better! (i'm jealous)

Ronnie
6/22/22
 

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Went in June last year....stayed at a Airbnb in Spearfish. A really great trip, not a lot of tourists yet in May/early June. Visited all those places you mentioned. Initially booked for 4 days but we extended an additional 3. The Mornings I had Spearfish Canyon Road to myself then off to wherever. It was definitely cool in the morning. The ride to Devils Tower is a super nice ride....not a lot of twisties but the views were awesome. Deadwood was fun. Sturgis was a quick drive through. Would love to do it again.
 
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