Stop 1: Wind Cave National Park
National Park offers several guided tours to the cave at affordable prices ($12). Timing is very convenient and it was very easy to purchase tickets at the visitor center. We arrived at 11am and were in the cave at 11:30 🙂 I can’t say that this is one of the most beautiful caves I’ve ever seen, but it is very big and people are still surveying it. We spent ~ an hour in the cave.
Buffalos are everywhere, sometimes they decide to cross a road in front of you very slowly 🙂
Stop 2: Badlands National Park
Badlands surprised us in a very nice way: the territory of these unique pinnacles formations and prairies is massive! There are several view points along the scenic road and many different hiking trails which will lead you among the prairies or will give you an opportunity to walk on their tops.
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Day 10 (skipping Day 9 as it was a long drive to Denver via Nebraska and Kansas)
Stop 1: Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Finally it was warm enough and we were able to use our convertible car as designed 🙂 We lowered the roof and drove through Theodore Roosevelt National Park.
These little cuties are our new obsession! They are so funny so we spent at least half an hour staring at them.
And some more wild life!
Stop 2: Mount Rushmore
We went to see Mount Rushmore at 9pm to observe the lightening ceremony. There are a lot of negative reviews about this place, but I think it is cool. I enjoyed visiting the museum and reading historical information. Considering how much efforts it took to build this monument places like this must be appreciated.
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Flight: Orange County, SNA –> Salt Lake City; Denver, DEN –> Orange County, SNA
Duration: 10 days
Starting point: Salt Lake City, UT
States: UT, ID, WY, MT, ND, SD, NE, KS, CO
Budget for 2 people: $1953 ($22.5* flight, $500 car rental, $700 hotels, $300 gas, $330 food, $100 other)
- Day 0: flight from Orange County, SNA to Salt Lake City, SLC; night walk in the downtown
- Day 1: explore Salt Lake City, UT; drive to Jackson, WY via Idaho Falls, ID (300 mi, 5 h)
- Day 2: explore Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park; stay in Jackson, WY
- Day 3: continue exploring Yellowstone; drive to Hungry Horse, MT (550 mi, 10 h)