Virginia to Mt Rushmore 2022 - 4th of July

rosieposie7

Member
Jun 11, 2020
31
We are taking a week or more traveling to Mt Rushmore to hopefully gain a great experience of Mt Rushmore for the 4th of July. Any tips/suggestions or other random things that maybe useful to know? Like I read somewhere that they actually do the fireworks show on July 3rd? maybe I read that wrong. I booked the KOA nearby, and scheduled the Ft Hays Chuckwagon Supper. Suggestions/Ideas greatly appreciated.
 

GalsofEscape

Super Active Member
Nov 26, 2013
1,095
Maryland
have you traveled long distance with your camper before?
we took about 4 days just to get to the area from Md. (overnight stops in Ohio, Moline, and Sioux falls) - we planned each stop to get too the campground early enough so the kids could swim and run off energy, so we were only planning on 300 -350 miles/day max...
 

Wingo

Active Member
Jul 9, 2013
107
There probably won't be fireworks at Mt Rushmore. Since it's federal, the Biden administration has refused South Dakota from having a display the last two years. It had been allowed under the Trump admin. It also can get dry there, so it might not happen for that reason also.
I love the Black Hills, you will have a great time and there is a ton to do. If you like to hike, I recommend going up Harney/Black Elk peak. It's a pretty easy walk, and at the top is an old fire observation "castle". Also at the base spend some time at Sylvan Lake and drive the needles hwy. I can go on and on, but it's a great place to go.
 
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gladecreekwy

Super Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
1,735
Jackson Wyoming
I don’t think they are going to have fireworks this year. Out here these days there’s a 50% chance fire danger cancels them. It’s a beautiful area. Are you going to check out Deadwood?
 

rosieposie7

Member
Jun 11, 2020
31
have you traveled long distance with your camper before?
we took about 4 days just to get to the area from Md. (overnight stops in Ohio, Moline, and Sioux falls) - we planned each stop to get too the campground early enough so the kids could swim and run off energy, so we were only planning on 300 -350 miles/day max...
Yes. We love the long trips. We have gone to Disney and all the way up to Maine/Canada border.
 

rosieposie7

Member
Jun 11, 2020
31
I don’t think they are going to have fireworks this year. Out here these days there’s a 50% chance fire danger cancels them. It’s a beautiful area. Are you going to check out Deadwood?
Never been, and my husband loves all things Americana (he is a brit). I'll check out Deadwood.
 

Wingo

Active Member
Jul 9, 2013
107
I agree Deadwood is a must go, and while you are up in that area head over to Spearfish too and check out bridal veil falls. The historic fish hatchery over there is fun for kids, you can feed the trout there and tour the place. If you want to go to the middle point of north America north a bit of Spearfish is Belle Fourche. If you like Laura Ingalls Wilder books, on the way west north of Mitchell SD is De Smet SD where you can go in the actual house they lived in on the shores of silver lake, the surveyors house. Ok, I'm really done this time I promise.
 

rosieposie7

Member
Jun 11, 2020
31
I agree Deadwood is a must go, and while you are up in that area head over to Spearfish too and check out bridal veil falls. The historic fish hatchery over there is fun for kids, you can feed the trout there and tour the place. If you want to go to the middle point of north America north a bit of Spearfish is Belle Fourche. If you like Laura Ingalls Wilder books, on the way west north of Mitchell SD is De Smet SD where you can go in the actual house they lived in on the shores of silver lake, the surveyors house. Ok, I'm really done this time I promise.
exactly what I was looking for. Great ideas.
 

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
2,058
Houghton, MI
I agree Deadwood is a must go, and while you are up in that area head over to Spearfish too and check out bridal veil falls. The historic fish hatchery over there is fun for kids, you can feed the trout there and tour the place. If you want to go to the middle point of north America north a bit of Spearfish is Belle Fourche. If you like Laura Ingalls Wilder books, on the way west north of Mitchell SD is De Smet SD where you can go in the actual house they lived in on the shores of silver lake, the surveyors house. Ok, I'm really done this time I promise.
Silver lake is more of a swap or water hole, than a lake. [:D] The Wilder girls were on it playing and sliding across it, of course over the winter months and when they got to its other side, they looked up to seen two gray wolves sitting on a hill, watching them. Not sure what years they lived in DeSmet but that date would marked the end of the gray wolves in that area. Was that 1890? I grew up about 20 miles NE of there.
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
My "tip" would be to experience as much of the Black Hills as you can... it's so much more than just Mount Rushmore. Custer State Park really should be a National Park IMHO... the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road are spectacular, as is the wildlife viewing throughout the park. The falls in Spearfish Canyon are beautiful as well. We loved the 1880 train, as well as some of the kitschy places in Rapid City (Dinosaur Park, Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, etc).

That said being at Rushmore on the 4th of July would be awesome. Hopefully they won't turn it into a political rally this time (from either party)
 

rosieposie7

Member
Jun 11, 2020
31
My "tip" would be to experience as much of the Black Hills as you can... it's so much more than just Mount Rushmore. Custer State Park really should be a National Park IMHO... the Needles Highway and Iron Mountain Road are spectacular, as is the wildlife viewing throughout the park. The falls in Spearfish Canyon are beautiful as well. We loved the 1880 train, as well as some of the kitschy places in Rapid City (Dinosaur Park, Reptile Gardens, Bear Country, etc).

That said being at Rushmore on the 4th of July would be awesome. Hopefully they won't turn it into a political rally this time (from either party)
Nice tips. Thanks. That's very useful.

Agreed, we are not politically bias, from either side, so I'm hoping that this is a good year to experience for the first time without any dominance. That is a good, "something to think about".
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,488
Northern Virginia
Just wanted to say have fun, make lots of memories. My parents made that exact trip when we were kids and although I hated being stuck in the car between my brothers for hours I was fascinated by the drive and the different geography between VA and there but I was absolutely spell bound from the Badlands. Seeing mt Rushmore was cool but didn't hold my interest like the Badlands did. Of course that was from a 13 yo point of view. Funny thing enough it was also during the 4th. However , not sure what happened or why but the only fireworks we saw were personal ones in a parking lot.
 

Lug_Nut

Active Member
May 29, 2016
243
Mt. Wachusett area, MA
have you traveled long distance with your camper before?
we took about 4 days just to get to the area from Md. (overnight stops in Ohio, Moline, and Sioux falls) - we planned each stop to get too the campground early enough so the kids could swim and run off energy, so we were only planning on 300 -350 miles/day max...
Long distance with the camper? Not this camper and not this car.

I'll be staying at Camp Driveway and driving interstate loops around the home so as to get information on how the car and trailer tows, car reliability (back on the road after 10+ years), all while staying within roadside assistance tow distance. But if it all goes well, my plan is to go to Sturgis the last two weeks of July. The SOC 2022 event in Sturgis and Deadwood is 21th through 24th. My current thoughts are overnights in Erie, Rockford, Sioux Falls motels before camping at Pactola Lake. Camp site is already booked and confirmed, motels not yet.
I'll have a few days after to see sights before having to re-trace my route back to central MA.
The tips on what to do in the area is serendipitous for me as well.
 

Wingo

Active Member
Jul 9, 2013
107
Silver lake is more of a swap or water hole, than a lake. [:D] The Wilder girls were on it playing and sliding across it, of course over the winter months and when they got to its other side, they looked up to seen two gray wolves sitting on a hill, watching them. Not sure what years they lived in DeSmet but that date would marked the end of the gray wolves in that area. Was that 1890? I grew up about 20 miles NE of there.
It's been a few years since I read the books, I don't really remember. I do remember vividly how she talked up the surveyors house, and how huge it was, and the big pantry stocked with all the food. For one it was surreal to actually walk around in that very house, and on the other hand how small the place was vs it's description.
 

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
2,058
Houghton, MI
It's been a few years since I read the books, I don't really remember. I do remember vividly how she talked up the surveyors house, and how huge it was, and the big pantry stocked with all the food. For one it was surreal to actually walk around in that very house, and on the other hand how small the place was vs it's description.
But when you are a kid, everything seems HUGE! I liked the books because they were a reasonable description of the hash lives that homesteaders lived. Now that I think of it, they must have been in DeSmet in 1880 because she spoke of a hash winter. Lots and lots of people died duing that winter
 

rosieposie7

Member
Jun 11, 2020
31
I don’t think they are going to have fireworks this year. Out here these days there’s a 50% chance fire danger cancels them. It’s a beautiful area. Are you going to check out Deadwood?
I just looked on the website, and it did state no fireworks for the 4th at Mt rushmore. What a pity. I'll look out for Deadwood, just not loving the hour extra drive to see the town from our campsite at the KOA.
 

PopUpSteve

Administrator
Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
20,850
Southeastern PA
South of Mt Rushmore is the town of Hot Springs. Hit the Mammoth site.

Don't forget Devils Tower. I was not impressed with Deadwood, kind of a tourist trap if you ask me and parking was a pain.

So mush to see in that area.

Have a safe trip and take photo for us.
 

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
2,058
Houghton, MI
The hills are nice and neat to see, although during tourist season might be a less so. I resided in the southern hills for a few years, below Custer state park and I meet my spousal unit in the northern hills in Spearfish canyon X years ago. Gee, that was a while ago. Here is us with our buddy in the northern hills. Kent and gang (DL).jpg
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
I just looked on the website, and it did state no fireworks for the 4th at Mt rushmore. What a pity. I'll look out for Deadwood, just not loving the hour extra drive to see the town from our campsite at the KOA.

Honestly there are a lot of things worth driving to in the Black Hills... it's one reason my dad loved that area and now I do too: you can set up a 'base camp' and go out in various directions. A day trip to Devil's Tower is well worth it too, although it's further than an hour...

Are you staying at Rushmore/Palmer Gulch KOA? We split our time between one of the Custer SP campgrounds and there due to availability. That KOA is both the most expensive, and smallest campsite I've ever had... but they had a lot of stuff to do and the kids enjoyed it (honestly we all did, even though I'm not used to being sandwiched between Class A's, and it was muddy and they wouldn't let me park in a place where I didn't have to stand in a puddle getting in/out...)

Can't beat the location though. If you want to splurge, they have horseback riding which we did on my son's birthday.
 




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