Adventure Van Travels – Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park

Whew! What a day. We woke up to beautiful weather in Badlands National Park and packed up quickly in order to get on the road.

We stopped one last time at Wall Drug for donuts and 5 cent coffee and headed towards Mt. Rushmore. But not before stopping in the Travelers Chapel to say a quick prayer for a safe journey.    We had some chores that needed to get done along the way. The cooler needed ice, we needed to make a grocery run, and we had to pick up towels since we had only remembered to pack one single towel. Let’s just say that showering last night was interesting with one towel between 5 girls. 

Once we made it to Mt. Rushmore, I found a parking space in the RV section that was easy to pull into. We walked the path that leads to various viewpoints of the monument and spent time in the Visitors Center learning about it. It was hot and very sunny and I should have put on sunscreen because I was feeling prickly and irritable by the time we left.      From Mt. Rushmore, we made the short drive to see Crazy Horse being built nearby. We didn’t have time to visit the park, but you can easily see the monument from the road.

From there, it was only about 40 minutes or so to Blue Bell Campground in Custer State Park where we stayed the night. A beautiful campground, with shady and spacious sites, I would happily stay here again. Since we were all tired, we spent a couple of hours drinking iced coffee, relaxing in hammocks we hung and reading.   A few hours later, feeling rested and happy, we decided to drive the Wildlife Loop around the park before dinner. Not only is the scenery along this loop stop you in your tracks gorgeous, we were blessed to see deer, bison, pronghorn, an eagle and very curious burros.     Once back at camp we made fish and vegetables on the campsite grill and Naomi made grilled bananas with marshmallows and chocolate. So freaking good. 

It was dark by the time we finished cleaning dinner up, so getting ourselves ready for bed was a little chaotic. We all agreed that we will clean up our gear a bit tomorrow when we wake up since things are suddenly getting disorganized. 5 people in a van can do that to you. 😉

We are planning to hike a bit tomorrow here in Custer State Park before heading on to Devil’s Tower. 

Looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. As always, happy travels!

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I love to plan family travel adventures with our four kids. Encouraging time in nature, National Parks travel, backpacking and hiking are my passions and I love to write about them.

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