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Mt.Rushmore

fort dodge, United...
Level Contributor
13 posts
6 reviews
Mt.Rushmore

Is Mt rushmore closer to Keystone or Hill City If staying in both towns. Is it better to do the scenic route from custer while staying at Hill city or Keystone? Is Iron mountain road and needles hwy the same road or close to each other if not which is better still confused on these routes. We have a truck.This is a stupid question but do you have to put a pickup in a certain gear to drive big hills or mountains? Thanks!

4 replies to this topic
Wickenburg, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,027 posts
1. Re: Mt.Rushmore

Keystone is closest to Mt. Rushmore, about 2 miles.

Iron Mountain Rd. and Needles Highway are two different roads. Takes Needles south and Iron Mountain north.

Yes, you have to put a truck in lower gears to climb hills etc., unless it's an automatic. And you are supposed to come down the hill in the same gear as you went up in, especially if you're pulling a trailer. Time to break out the owner's manual.

Edited: 15 June 2018, 07:22
Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
Level Contributor
6,392 posts
61 reviews
2. Re: Mt.Rushmore

Here's a link to some maps that will help you put this in perspective.

http://www.blackhillsbadlands.com/maps

If you click download, you will be able to see a great map of the area with all roads identified.

You are asking which is better between the Needles and Iron Mt Rd. They are both equally great and need to be experienced. As Road Runner mentioned, driving direction is key, particularly when driving IMR.

fort dodge, United...
Level Contributor
13 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Mt.Rushmore

I have reported some things about our trip to the black hills area on the Keystone forum so I wanted to thank the Hill city people too. We stayed 3 days in Hill city, the people there are so nice, helpful and informative! We stopped at the visitor center and had a lovely conversation with a lady there! I am so sorry I don't remember her name if I don't write people's names down I forget easily. One route she told us about that was fun to drive was the Old Hill City road right beside our hotel to keystone. It was very pretty and we saw a lot of deer along the road. The big rocks were really coolI don't know why I was so worried about routes and roads, everything was very easy to navigate. I wrote a lot about Iron Mountain Road and Needles Highway on the Keystone forum. Some of our favorite places to eat were Desperados and the Alpine Inn. The fish and country fried steak were delicious at Desperados and the staff were great! We went to the Alpine Inn 20 years ago it was the same great place! loved the atmosphere, food and especially the desserts! We didn't need those but it was after all vacation! I had the german white chocolate mousse so good lots of caramel that soaked into the cake, coconut, pecans yum! My husband had the cheesecake great too! I think every dessert there looked fabulous! Of course the wait staff there did wonderful especially for as many people that eat there! We ate at the Hill City Café and the staff there were fantastic also! Our waitress was so quirkey and funny entertaining us! The other waitresses answered some questions about the town and were very interesting and informative telling us about some of the history and giving us booklets to read more. Such great, caring, nice people there, putting up with all of the tourists daily and treating everyone kindly! We were much more impressed with people from hill city, when asked questions they didn't just say" I don't know I'm from Rapid City" which we heard alot in Keystone. We had fun mining at Wade's gold Mill, they made us feel at home like we were family! One of my favorite places to go are the rock shops, we bought some new specimens to put in our pond at home very pretty! Wanted to take a big boulder home from the hills but I don't think we could exactly get one into our truck much less drive home 10 hours! Where's a forklift when you need one? On the way to Hill city we took a 3 hour drive through the badlands so beautiful! This is a must do every time you go to the black hills! We also went to reptile gardens, thought that would be bigger, neat alligators, felt sorry for the tiny habitats they lived in! The dinosaur museum was cool my grandkids would have loved that! Bear country was so fun! If I remember right the last time we went there 20 years ago the bears were behind fences and just the other animals were out. This time they were out in the open wandering around, so fun don't miss it! Thanks Hill City we had a great time! I forgot to mention Mt Rushmore, of course this is a must do every time so much to see!

Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
33,178 posts
6,438 reviews
4. Re: Mt.Rushmore

Nice trip and trip report.

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