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TRNP/Medora Itinerary

Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
512 posts
319 reviews
TRNP/Medora Itinerary

We decided to add on a visit to ND and TRNP before heading home from our SD road trip. As it stands, we will drive up on a Thursday from Spearfish, SD, which Google Maps tells me is about a 3.5 hour drive. We would plan to arrive in Medora around lunch time.

We have the rest of Thursday and all day Friday in ND before leaving early early Sat. morning (probably 5-6 AM) to start the long drive back to IL.

Our interests are mainly hiking and scenic driving/wildlife viewing. So my question is: Are we better off exploring the South Unit on Thursday (we'll have half a day) and then dedicating all day Friday to driving up to the North Unit? Or do you think we'll have more hiking options in the South Unit and should plan our full day for there?

My second question is on lodging. I am torn between the luxury that comes with a higher price tag of Rough Riders vs. smaller, less frills but much cheaper Amble Inn. We will be coming off of several nights in different cabins, which I love, but are no-frills, so a more luxurious lodge might be nice, but just debating whether the much higher price tag (about $100 more a night) is "worth it." Has anyone personally stayed at Amble Inn and Rough Riders and can compare the two?

3 replies to this topic
Rockford, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,441 posts
215 reviews
1. Re: TRNP/Medora Itinerary

I can't really help on the lodging, as I haven't stayed at either place, but I do see the appeal of staying somewhere a little nicer after having stayed in cabins earlier in the trip.

I would tour the South Unit when you arrive mid-day on Thursday. You will already have done some driving that day and since the South Unit is closer, it might be less tiring. Then first thing Friday morning, head up to the North Unit. Then if there is anything you missed in the South Unit, you can do that later in the day on Friday.

Hope that helps!

Happy Travels!

North Dakota
Level Contributor
52 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: TRNP/Medora Itinerary

Agree with RoadTripfrom IL. I like the south unit for wildlife viewing early and late in the day and the north unit for the hiking. However if you are road weary you would find enough to do in the south unit and around Medora for a day and a half. Also can’t help with lodging, sorry. Maybe there are TA reviews?

Hope you enjoy ND.

Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
512 posts
319 reviews
3. Re: TRNP/Medora Itinerary

Thanks for the advice!

Amble Inn only has 4-5 reviews on TA (probably because it's just a pretty small place). We are leaning towards that because our accommodations in Custer State Park are going to be much pricier than we had originally planned.

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