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route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Netherlands
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route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Dear all,

Busy planning my september routings.

I saw a few possible routes from Hot Springs to Kystone.

Since it is a short drive, i want to visit Wind cave NP and Custer State Park on the way.

Now Mapquest does not really point me at entrance roads, and as far as I can see it would be wise to take the I-87 to Blue Bell?

Other question: will both parks be different enough for us to visit? We are fond of wildlife and nature/scenic drives, but no overkill. We are not hikers.

Your help is (again) much appreciated!

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Custer State park has the wildlife loop- here is a link to park info-

…sd.gov/state-parks/…default.aspx

Also look at the map and info on Black Hills travel guide at-

www.travelsd.com

DE is excellent and I am sure can give you more route info.

Custer, South Dakota
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2. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Today, there is a wildfire burning in this area and roads are closed. Talk to local authorities before heading out.

Custer, South Dakota
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3. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Today, there is a wildfire burning in this area and roads are closed. Talk to local authorities before heading out.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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4. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Hi,

Do you plan on touring Wind Cave itself? That is truly the main attraction of the park.

The national park joins the Wildlife Loop in Custer SP. We have seen bison at Wind Cave, but by far, we have seen more animals in Custer SP. The drive in Wind Cave seemed pretty short to me, so I think it could be easily combined with the Wildlife Loop even if you don't tour the cave.

As for your route, you could do a few different things. You could certainly pick up Rt. 87 and head to Blue Bell to continue to the Needles. Or, if you prefer, you can take 87 and drive around the Wildlife Loop and head up to Iron Mt. Rd to Rushmore. It's important to drive Iron Mt Rd from south to north to get the best views. To me, your route would be dependent on your other day's plans.

Do you have an itinerary you are willing to post?

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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5. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Dutch,

Since you are heading out in September, it looks like you will be ok.

Lisa, thanks for posting this information. It will be useful to travelers who will be there now and in the upcoming days.

Netherlands
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6. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

In short, this is my itinerary from Denver:

07sep Denver 2 nights

09sep drive to Estest Park, stay 1 night

10sep drive to Hot Springs visit Mammoth site stay 1 night

11sep drive to Keystone (on the way see either or both WindCave and Custer (as for caves, if that is all there is to see i think i will skip that one; just want to seel wildlife on the way to Keystone); stay 2 nights in Hill City, we blocked time to go to Badlands.

13sep drive to Sheridan on our way to Yellowstone..

Apple Valley...
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7. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

Are you traveling with children? A co-worker of my friend visited and thought that the Mammoth site was very much geared towards children but I have not been there myself...

Apple Valley...
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8. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

For wildlife primarily, I wish I would have had time to visit the Wild Horse Sanctuary although its a tad pricier.

Pitman, New Jersey
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9. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

I agree that based on your description of yourselves, you'd probably enjoy the Horse Sanctuary more than the Mammoth Site. There are some programs there that are geared strictly to children, but if you have interest in prehistoric animals, I think you'd still possibly enjoy it.

On 9/11, I'd drive the Wildlife Loop early in the a.m. and then head up Iron Mt Rd to Rushmore. You can slowly make your way to Hill City. If you enjoy wildlife, you might like a short trip over to Bear Country, or even the Reptile Gardens, which is Roadside Americana at its finest.

On the next day, you can spend your time on Sylvan Lake, Needles Hwy and Crazy Horse. Jewel Cave would also be a possibility if you are interested in caves.

Let us know if you have additional questions.

Apple Valley...
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10. Re: route from Hot Springs to Keystone

My friend and I very much enjoyed Bear Country USA (drive through wildlife park, like a zoo). We did not have any kids with us but it was a good experience to see the animals so close. There were a LOT of bears! Also, we never saw any sheep or goats while in the state park so it was nice to see them in this setting.