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Posted: 8/3/2009 1:48:19 PM EST
OK, the wife and I are planning our first big road trip since 1990. We decided to head to the Badlands, Black Hills area. We're doing the National Park deal, but what are the cool out of the way spots? We are tent camping, so are there any good back country camping areas?
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 5:54:45 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/3/2009 6:00:03 PM EST by APDSWAT]
Somewhere out west there is an old missle silo facility you can see. I cant remember the name or where its at. Hopefully someone on here can remember.

ETA: did some googling and found it. http://www.nps.gov/mimi/
Link Posted: 8/3/2009 7:58:17 PM EST
Its near Wall, worth a stop if you like Military Stuff.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:38:40 AM EST
Yes, the missile silo is one thing I plan on seeing. We would like to find some nice out of the way places to primitive camp though.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 7:08:35 AM EST
Pretty much anywhere in Black Hills National Forest is open for camping, although in the SD portions of it, fires are not allowed unless you are in an established campground according to the forest service website. There are a few places along the trail up to Harney Peak where you can drop off of the trail and make your way into the middle of nowhere to find a camping spot. Whether or not you camp there, the Harney Peak hike is one I definitely recommend, plan on it taking at least 4 hours to get to the top and back. While you're up there, the Needles Hwy is a cool drive and will take you down into Custer State Park if you follow it the whole way.

Spearfish Canyon is a nice drive, especially if you come in late summer or early fall. Roughlock and Bridal Veil falls are cool to stop and see when you're driving through the canyon. The missle silo by Wall is a cool tour, and the museum at Ellsworth AFB is worth a stop too. On Hwy 85 south of Lead and Deadwood there is a road that will take you to the top of Terry Peak, which is kinda neat too. You can see the huge Homestake Gold Mine in Lead from up there. Deadwood is a cool place to stop and wander around, theres plenty of casinos if you feel like trying your luck, and lots of cool historical stuff to see.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but for the time being here's a few pictures to enjoy...

From the top of Harney Peak..







Cathedral Spires along the Needles Hwy.


There are definitely Mt. Lions in the area, and they aren't as afraid of people as some would think. These prints were fresh, and right next to the hiking trail that is busy all day long....


Sheridan Lake
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 11:34:00 AM EST
You could take Hwy 44 or U.S. Route 18, both offer small town sites and areas to camp.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 12:20:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By SDeadeye:
Pretty much anywhere in Black Hills National Forest is open for camping, although in the SD portions of it, fires are not allowed unless you are in an established campground according to the forest service website. There are a few places along the trail up to Harney Peak where you can drop off of the trail and make your way into the middle of nowhere to find a camping spot. Whether or not you camp there, the Harney Peak hike is one I definitely recommend, plan on it taking at least 4 hours to get to the top and back. While you're up there, the Needles Hwy is a cool drive and will take you down into Custer State Park if you follow it the whole way.

Spearfish Canyon is a nice drive, especially if you come in late summer or early fall. Roughlock and Bridal Veil falls are cool to stop and see when you're driving through the canyon. The missle silo by Wall is a cool tour, and the museum at Ellsworth AFB is worth a stop too. On Hwy 85 south of Lead and Deadwood there is a road that will take you to the top of Terry Peak, which is kinda neat too. You can see the huge Homestake Gold Mine in Lead from up there. Deadwood is a cool place to stop and wander around, theres plenty of casinos if you feel like trying your luck, and lots of cool historical stuff to see.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but for the time being here's a few pictures to enjoy...

From the top of Harney Peak..

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/hughes4501/IMG_2649.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/hughes4501/IMG_2738.jpg

http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/hughes4501/IMG_2616.jpg

Cathedral Spires along the Needles Hwy.
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/hughes4501/IMG_2760.jpg

There are definitely Mt. Lions in the area, and they aren't as afraid of people as some would think. These prints were fresh, and right next to the hiking trail that is busy all day long....
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/hughes4501/IMG_2754.jpg

Sheridan Lake
http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g125/hughes4501/SANY2016.jpg


OK! That's some of the info I'm looking for!
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 12:25:00 PM EST
We are going in mid September, what kind of temperature range and weather can I expect?
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 5:50:08 PM EST
anything

could be hot as hell or it could snow on you. figure 70's during the day low 50's at night. at altitude anything goes.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 6:17:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By Surtr:
anything

could be hot as hell or it could snow on you. figure 70's during the day low 50's at night. at altitude anything goes.


With as cool as this year has been, I would think it would be cooler than that. Also plan for wet weather, almost a sure thing. On thing for sure, as Surtr says, it could be hot as hell or cold.
Link Posted: 8/4/2009 6:59:04 PM EST
Mid September I would say the weather will be beautiful. Expect temps at night to dip into the 40's down low or 30's up at 5K+ feet. Be prepared for snow although I doubt we'll get any until mid October. Daytime temps "should" be in the 60's and 70's. Anything goes though, this is South Dakota after all.

I forgot in my last post, and I'm sure you know already, but Mt. Rushmore is a sure bet to stop when you're in the area. Hwy 16A from Keystone is a real nice drive too, and will be awesome in early fall. It will take you into Custer State Park also. If you come more towards the end of Sept. you'll be here for the Custer State Park Buffalo Roundup. It's pretty cool to see, and there's plenty of other things going on at the same time.
Buffalo Roundup Link


One of the "Pigtail Bridges" along hwy 16A


And one of the many one lane tunnels on the hwy, that frame Mt. Rushmore.


A little snow isn't all bad, it really makes the hills look beautiful and usually doesn't stick around long until Oct. or Nov.


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