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Killer223

Road Trip.

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So the wife want's to go to Mt. Rushmore over the Xmass week and maybe into new years. give or take...

will be leaving From Flagstaff, AZ. headed up through the rez through Moab, then grand junction, then idk really.

Anyhow. anyone have any must see spots kinda on the way.? can go up and head home almost any way we want.. have just over 12 days for the trip.

Will be in the 08 mega, Wife, youngest son, (12) and a dog, older (17) year old son doesn't want to go. (glad i have home surveillance cameras).  running barefoot though the passes unless someones tells me i should get some chains. 

So What say everyone?

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Might have to time it and get together with @Me78569 at least meet up with each other. I can say without a doubt this winter is going be weird. I've got no snow and weather has been warm reaching the 50s the last few days. Nowhere near like winter time. I'll have to say that you might be fine with running barefoot for now. I know other that direction into Wyoming it does get rather crazy for snow. I would say pack the chains along if you don't use them you can just return them. 

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Plan on spending 3-4 days minimum or more if you can in the Black Hills.There is soooo much to see and do there it is mind boggling. Mt Rushmore is just one small stop.

 

That time of year beware of the weather which is very unpredictable inside the hills, it has its own weather pattern and you can see a foot of snow very unexpectedly, the temps are a lot more mild than the areas surrounding it but the snow can pile on real quick.

 

My list of do not miss things.

 

1 - Mt Rushmore, I would do this crazy horse and Hill city in a single day all close to each other.

 

2 - Crazy horse Monument, excellent stop lots of history and things to see plan on several hours at least. It is very close to Rushmore could do them both in a day. Very close to Hill City.

 

3 - Hot springs is nice place to stop and the mammoth dig sight and museum is interesting its on the south end of the hills.

 

4 - A drive through Spearfish canyon is a must and I do not know if you are traveling with camper or not they have a beautiful lodge there and is also on the snowmobile trail head into the hills trail system My wife and I stay here and rent sleds there every few years. They offer complimentary Shuttle bus from the lodge to Dead wood every couple hours on holidays and special occasions too.

 

5 - Spend a day in Deadwood and Leads, tons off history there and lots to see and do, New Years night would be a fun time to be there just to people watch. My wife and I spent one new years there and it was quite fun, we didn't even drink as watching the crowds was enough entertainment.

 

6 - You can swing through Rapid City it is on the NE side of the hills and a fair sized city and is easy to get to any spot in the hills within an hour to hour give or take. Take a drive to lake pactola, not sure if there is much to do or see in winter time though but a short drive from Rapid City.

 

7 - Hill City has a ton of things to see and do as well. I highly recommend eating at the Alpine Inn there, authentic German food. Has a great natural history museum as well.

 

8 - If you like Ski slopes there are two south of Deadwood leads, One it Terry Peak the bigger one and the other is Deer Mountain the smaller one both very close to each other.

 

9 - depending on your route to and around the hills Devils tower is in Wyo just west of Spearfish and hour or so.

 

Like I say this is just the best of what the hills has to offer, most things will be closed in the winter but as you drive around the hills you will see that a full week in this very small area would not be enough time to do it justice. thats not even touching on the internal hills stream trout fishing, hiking, rock hounding, gold panning , off roading ect.

 

Edited by Wild and Free
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20 hours ago, Me78569 said:

If you have not driven this yet I recommend this path  Both areas circled are beautiful

 

rush.PNG

would love to take this rout, but wife wants' to see Eisenhower Tunnel. So maybe on the way home we can head through these areas.

@Wild and Free  you are awesome!! thank you so much for the info. will look into most of it. i'm not sure we will ski while away from home. I'm not really sure why she waited to go here now, i wanted to do this trip during the height of the fall color change. but well i've learned not to argue.

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lol right!!! i know it's just a tunnel, but when you've been married long as i have. you know when to pick your battles. this isn't one of them.

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3 hours ago, Me78569 said:




after the tunnel you can head up 40 to 34 through winter park, granby then estes park

Just keep in mind that us 34 granby to Estes park is closed, November through Memorial Day, at 13000 ft. Elevation it’s not feasible to keep that road open in the winter. You could stil access Estes park in the winter by staying on 40 through winter park and nedarland I believe, then from Estes you would just go east through Loveland to I 25. 

 

The town of estas park would be a nice place to visit durring the holidays, usually decorated up nice, and you could even check out the Stanley hotel while their ( from the movie the shining with jack Nicholson )  

 

If your traveling on I 70 you will hit the hanging lakes tunnel in the Glenwood Canyon, a lot more scenic than the Eisenhower with nice rest areas and such. 

Edited by 01cummins4ever

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Well i think i'ma change the oil and fuel filters tomorrow, might as well get my winter grade oil in. take in get tires rotated (son works for discount tire) :wink:. need to put a new T-stat in the 04, i drove 36 miles today and it never got above 158. so yeah that kinda sucks.

 

i'm get my new wipers installed. and well.. wait till wife say's lets go. !!!

 

Thanks for all the info everyone.

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Looks like fun!!!

 

Definitely take at least one set of chains, if not 2. 

 

It's VERY rare to need chains on the interstate in these trucks, but it's better to have em and not need em than the other way around. 

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20 minutes ago, AH64ID said:

Looks like fun!!!

 

Definitely take at least one set of chains, if not 2. 

 

It's VERY rare to need chains on the interstate in these trucks, but it's better to have em and not need em than the other way around. 

Wyoming does have chain laws that are posted along the roads when needed, South Dakota, North Dakota and Montana do not have requirements to use them.

http://www.tirechainsrus.com/tire-chains-laws.html

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31 minutes ago, AH64ID said:

Wyoming will only require them if you're not AWD/4WD and don't have M&S/all weather tires. 

They must have tweaked the laws since I lived there while going to college. At that time in 92-93 they had no fault laws where if the chain laws were enacted and you were involved in an accident and did not have chains on you were the party cited with the incident no matter if you were at fault or not. Us techers made some good coin at the truck stops in Laramie when the chain laws were in effect. After class and if on a weekend several of us would team up in pairs and charge 25 bucks an axle per truck and we had trucks lined up, could do about 5-6 axles an hour. Paid for the beer fund lol.

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Well the trip was awesome. We headed out of Flag on the 23'rd. spent the first night in Rifle. was nice drive through Moab. steady speed of 70 everywhere i could. then headed up over the Vail pass, and on up to Rapid city. for the night. Santa came for my son, even dropped off a small 2 foot tree and a few presents. Christmas day was darn right COLD, woke up to -18, then we had a heat wave up to -3. the heater in our room broke Christmas night, Son thinks he (santa) needed a step when crawling out the window and broke it!! he's 12 people. 

Drove though to see the Mt Rushmore. what an amazing site for sure. just WOW. then on down around to a few other towns i can't really remember. and headed back to hotel for another night. did i mention it was cold? -6 when we went in for the night. next day we went to dead wood, and a few other places i can't think of. wife was chatting my ear off. i do know we scoped out some cool placed to try and camp in the coming year. so next trip i'll be dragging my 5th wheel with me. 

headed to Devil tower next. then down to rifle again. spent the night there and drove to Ourey and Silverton, (wife's favorite places). stayed at Best Western in Cortez, best beds of the whole trip. then this morning headed home.

i gotta say, the leveled truck is SOOO much better crossing the res than a stock ride height. truck did average of about 19 mpg. some tanks were very low, having to warm up in -3 to -15 was not fun.and some little over. have lots of dashcam video, and awesome memories.  overall i had an awesome time. very highly recommend the trip for anyone thinking. and us being there on christmas, NO ONE AROUND!!! we were the only humans we saw. saw lots of White tail, and a few mully's. 2 elk. several close encounters with Bald Eagles. 

great trip. thanks for everyone's trip advise. 

mpg.jpg

Edited by Killer223
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Glad you had good trip and all went well

Seems different taking a trip up north in the winter, usually my winter time trips take me to southern Arizona,  T shirt weather 

 

I bet the trip home through ouray and silverton was a little unusual this time of year with the lack of snow. It don’t take much to close that road due to avalanches.

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We are just getting into the cold right now The next couple days our highs will be double digits below zero for 2-3 days over the weekend. The Black hills area is always the warm spot in the area, its widely joked about but true that lots of North Dakotans move "South" to the Black hills for retirement and for the warmer climate  lol.

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i should add, i didn't even worry about my fuel gelling. i purchased at major places, Sams Club, and Mavericks. even the one morning when it was -18, truck fired right up. 

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3 hours ago, Killer223 said:

Christmas day was darn right COLD, woke up to -18, then we had a heat wave up to -3. the heater in our room broke Christmas night, Son thinks he needed a step when crawling out the window and broke it!! he's 12 people. 

Things like this are what makes for fun memories in the years to come.

 

Glad you had a fun, safe trip.

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This was on my 2010 Hemi EVIC display Wednesday morning on my way to work. Supposed to see the same temps the next 2-3 nights with some wind to boot. Talking -50 and colder wind chills.

 

392B2DB9-C3F5-4818-9D4F-8D070A931D0D.jpeg

Edited by Wild and Free

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