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Denver to Keystone to Cody

Essex, Vermont
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10 posts
2 reviews
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Denver to Keystone to Cody

I would appreciate your help planning a rough plan for one part of our trip. We are an active couple who will be arriving to Denver in mid-August. We spend the night in Denver visiting friends and leave early the next morning (a Monday) for Keystone to see Mount Rushmore. We realize there is ALOT more to see in this area though and do wish we had more time to tour the area. We would like to make the most of the time we do have but within reason. The drive is 6 hours (without stops though) so we think we will arrive in the area early afternoon. We would like to see Rushmore during the day and then do the evening light show at 8pm. What else, if anything can we see that day? Should we do the Needles Highway? Custer State Park? Interesting hikes? Or just do a hike at Mount Rushmore? On our way out the next day to Cody, which way is best to go? Through Spearfish? Should we take the time to detour to Devil's Tower? We stay in Cody for the night (in a sheepherder's wagon) and then can take the whole next day to make our way to Silver Gate. 5 nights in YNP and 3 nights in GTNP. 3 more nights in Denver at the end for a wedding. We have booked all accommodations except the night near Mount Rushmore. Suggestions and advice?

Mentioned in this post
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Colorado
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The Rushmore Hotel & Suites
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Needles Highway
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Custer State Park
Custer State Park
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3 replies to this topic
Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
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6,292 posts
61 reviews
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1. Re: Denver to Keystone to Cody

With the drive you will have, and also the limited time, I would focus on seeing Rushmore and driving Iron Mountain from south to north for the best views of Rushmore. The drive is part of Custer State Park.

You can plan to stay in Keystone. I would recommend Rushmore Express or Roosevelt Inn. Since you will be very busy, I'd opt for Roosevelt Inn. The rooms are cheaper.

You can do Spearfish Canyon and Devil's Tower enroute to Cody. It will be a long day, but feasible. Your early days sound like a lot of driving. The good news is that you have a lot of days to spend.

Mentioned in this post
The Rushmore Hotel & Suites
The Rushmore Hotel...
934 Reviews
Rapid City, SD
Custer State Park
Custer State Park
4,904 Reviews
Custer, SD
Roosevelt Inn
Roosevelt Inn
96 Reviews
Keystone, SD
Cody
Cody
Wyoming
Essex, Vermont
Level Contributor
10 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: Denver to Keystone to Cody

Thank you so much for that advice. If we decided not to see Rushmore, would you instead recommend another night in Cody before heading to Yellowstone?

Mentioned in this post
The Rushmore Hotel & Suites
The Rushmore Hotel...
934 Reviews
Rapid City, SD
Cody
Cody
Wyoming
Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
6,292 posts
61 reviews
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3. Re: Denver to Keystone to Cody

Absolutely. If you decide to skip the Black Hills area, adding a night in Cody is easy. When we visited Cody while on a Yellowstone trip, we spent 2 nights. You really need a full day to see the Buffalo Bill Complex. It's huge, and the museums are first rate, comparable to the Smithsonian. There's also the rodeo if you enjoy that type of attraction. There's plenty to do.

Mentioned in this post
The Black Hills
The Black Hills
South Dakota
Cody
Cody
Wyoming
Buffalo
Buffalo
New York
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