I'm roadtripping from Canada with spouse and 4 and 8 year old boys. We're trying to be quick and cheap (picnic lunches, outdoor exploring). We're fast movers and early risers.
Staying in Rapid City: taking in Watiki Waterpark (Jun31 8am to noon) then driving out to the Reptile Gardens (if time allows) and on to Mt Rushmore for a look then back to Watiki for an evening swim. I'm looking for tips to visit Mt Rushmore. parking, beating the rush, can you get take away lunch at carvers or sandwiches at the gift shop or should i pack a cooler? would it be better at 1pm or at 4pm? can you recommend walking the path clockwise or counterclockwise? if you rushed through, how long would the loop take?
The next day, we're hoping to hike Little Devils Tower path (morning) and have lunch, maybe a swim at Sylvan lake. I'm wondering again about the restaurant. it looks fancy. but we'll be hiking and swimming. is there take out sandwiches? will parking be tough?
After lunch we're off to Spearfish.
I understand rushing isn't everyone's cup of tea, but we like to maximize our touring with our limited vacation time. thanks in advance for your help!