BEST OF THE WILD WEST
The best of the Wild West! You will start in Colorado and travel through Wyoming, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah, seeing where history was made. Meet heroes and heroines such as Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill Cody, Indian Chief, Crazy Horse and visit breathtaking Mount Rushmore!
127 miles – 2 – 3 hours
Head north out of the city and gradually realize you are heading into different territory. Approaching Cheyenne, you will find it very much a Victorian town with red brick buildings along a wide main street. You may want to consider staying at the Terry Bison Ranch Resort or the WYO Campground for this evening.
278 miles – 4 – 5 hours
Travel into Nebraska via Scott’s Bluff National Monument and Chimney Rock on the way to Hot Springs, South Dakota. Both were welcoming navigation landmarks along the wagon trails to the west. As you come into Hot Springs, do look out for ‘Evans Plunge’ or one of the other freshwater, naturally heated, swimming pools that give the town it’s name. We suggest KOA Hot Springs tonight.
66 miles – 1 hr 30 min. plus stopping time
Quite soon you will enter Wind Cave National Park by the south entrance and, as you leave through the north entrance, you come straight upon Custer State Park. A highlight may well be a herd of buffalo in the road! In both parks you’ll want to stop along the way. Exit to the town of Custer then go north to the highlight of your day: Crazy Horse Memorial – the world’s biggest sculpture which is over 60 years in the making. Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear launched the Crazy Horse Memorial in 1948. The memorial’s mission is to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians. For this evening you may want to consider staying at Rushmore Shadows Resort in Rapid City or Heartland RV Park & Cabins in Hermosa.
First point of call today is 6 miles away – the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Linger for a while before moving on to Deadwood; the whole town is a protected National Historic landmark. Look out for the Old Franklin Hotel and, if you walk the back streets, some lovely original Victorian houses. Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane lie close in the town cemetery. Next on your route should be the breathtaking falls ofSpearfish Canyon before crossing back into Wyoming and advancing to Devils Tower 59 miles further on. It has a mighty status: President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower the first national monument in 1906. We suggest you stay at the Devils Tower KOA.
Stop at Keyhole State Park and then continue northwest to Peter D’s Wyoming RV Park, your suggested home for tonight. You may want to get there quite early for you are only one hour’s drive from the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. You’ll find other relics of the Indian wars near Sheridan, including the Fort Phil Kearny State Historic Site and the Fetterman Battlefield. There’s plenty to do at the campground too.
Drive through the Big Horn National Forest to the town of Cody. Try to arrive by lunchtime at thePonderosa Campground then spend a pleasant afternoon at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Before he was 30, Buffalo Bill Cody rode for the Pony Express, scouted for the US Army, hunted buffalo, guided royalty on big game hunting trips, fought in the Civil War and starred on the American stage! The Buffalo Bill Center houses five unique museums including the Buffalo Bill Museum, the world class Whitney Gallery of Western Art, the Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History. Every day in June through August, the best cowboys and cowgirls from across the nation come to Cody to win big money and compete amongst the best. This is a great rodeo to watch, full of fun and excitement and tough competition in bull riding, bareback, calf roping and steer wrestling. Tickets can be purchased at your campground.
54 miles – 65 minutes
It’s a memorable drive to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Established in 1872, this is America’s first National Park. You could spend days here and we suggest you look at this and other websites to find out everything there is to see and do. You might drive through the park to the West Yellowstone entrance where just outside you will find the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park and Cabins. Here you will have full hook ups and can drive into the park at your leisure.
65 miles – 1 hr. 30 min. plus stopping time
Shortly after leaving Yellowstone you will enter Grand Teton National Park, drive alongside Jackson Lake with the splendor of the Grand Tetons to your right. Get on the road early because you’ll want to stop along the way and also spend time in Jackson Hole before arriving at our suggested campground. The Virginian RV Resort is open May 1st through October 15th, depending on the weather – so this really is a summer trip. You will be close to the National Elk Refuge and the town of Jackson.
Drive several miles through Teton National Forest, then across the Wyoming Range past the Great Divide Basin to your left before arriving at Rock Springs. Turn on Route 80 towards Green River and the Rock Springs/Green River KOA which is situated between the 2 towns. Just beyond the campground is the spectacular Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area.
You’ll be heading east back towards Denver, with Rawlins as a rest stop to break what would otherwise be a long journey across Southern Wyoming’s ‘Red Desert‘. Your suggested campground for the night is RV World Campground.
Continue driving west and, after about 100 miles, stop at the old western town of Laramie. There are towns, villages, and ranches along the route. Manor RV Park is nearby to Rocky Mountain National Park, a 400 square mile preserve of forests, meadows, tundra and mountains. Take a quick drive through or spend the day exploring the many mountain lakes and ponds. There are elk, deer, big horn sheep, moose and the occasional bald eagle to watch out for, which makes this well worth a visit.
Return your motorhome back by 11:00am, filled with gas.