One of my favorite rides in the Black Hills. I need day no more. Good ride it and enjoy. Pig tails... read more
Hi Erin! Oh wow! That IS a lot of driving time! I might recommend that you do part of the Badlands Loop Road as you head in towards Rapid City / Custer State Park - since the Badlands are east of Mt. Rushmore. Or... More
Hi Erin! Oh wow! That IS a lot of driving time! I might recommend that you do part of the Badlands Loop Road as you head in towards Rapid City / Custer State Park - since the Badlands are east of Mt. Rushmore. Or alternatively you could pick up the Badlands on your way back to Michigan depending on your route. We did Mt Rushmore in the morning and Badlands in the afternoon and it was a lot of driving for one day! All 3 driving loops in/through Custer State Park take about an hour each (depending on traffic and how many burros or other animals might decide to block the road for awhile!) Based on the east-facing orientation of Mt. Rushmore, we found morning to be the best time to see it as far as photographs/light. If that matters to your family, you could leave Sylvan Lake on Hwy 87 towards Hill City and then go east on Hwy 244 to Mt. Rushmore. And then after you are done there, take Iron Mountain Road scenic drive to Playhouse Road to cut over to Needles Hwy Road towards Sylvan Lake/Hill City. That way you would get in the most interesting parks of both scenic drives and come back to Sylvan Lake also (probably still need to plan on about 2 hours for the drive from Mt. Rushmore back to Sylvan Lake). You could also leave Mt. Rushmore and take Iron Mtn Road all the way to the Custer Park east entrance. Then take Hwy 36/16A west to where the Needles Hwy starts. That would allow you to stop at the visitor center (restrooms!) and see a little of the Wildlife Loop Road as well. It will just be more driving time. Hope that helps a little!