24 hours in Black Hills NF

In between Badlands National Park and heading to the Beartooth Highway, my friend, Sara, and I were lucky to spend 24(ish) hours in Black Hills National Forest. Was it enough time? Definitely not. Did we make the most of the 24 hours? Yep! Here are the top 5 things I feel everyone should see while in the Black Hills with limited time.

5. Mt. Rushmore

I debated putting this on the list. Is it something you should see in your lifetime, yes. Did I think it was cool, eh. Personally, I felt that we could have spent that time more wisely, but when in the Black Hills for the first time, you go to Mt. Rushmore.

4. Sylvan Lake

Jumbo rocks and water, what’s NOT to love? We did not get to explore as much of the lake as we would’ve like for two reasons: There was a wedding in progress by the lake (#goals) and we had limited sunlight left. I definitely want to spend more time here when I come back to the Black Hills, on my Harley, of course.

3. Needles Highway

Holy Moly, what a drive! We took the drive up Needles Highway during sunset. I am sure the drive is still amazing with gorgeous views during anytime of the day, but when you go at golden hour, and the sun is hitting the rocks….that is something you can not beat! We had to park the Jeep several times because the views were too amazing to continue driving. You also get to drive through some awesome (and narrow!) tunnels!

2. Devil’s Tower

Okay, so technically, this is not part of the Black Hills, but if you are going to be in the area, this is a MUST. You are driving along a nice countryside in Wyoming, and then all of a sudden, BOOM, Devil’s Tower. You may have to wait a few minutes to get in due to limited parking at the base of the tower, but it is worth the wait. Once you do get in, there is an area where you can stop on the way (you must) and see prairie dogs. If you read my previous post about the Badlands, you will know ya girl loves some prairie dogs. Anyway, back on topic here, go to Devil’s Tower. There is a nature walk that goes around the whole tower so you can see the Tower from many different view points. In my opinion, the best view is when you pull off to see the prairie dogs. If you are feeling super adventurous, you can obtain a permit and climb the tower.

1. Crazy Horse Memorial

A lot of people may disagree with me, or maybe not, but we had the BEST time visiting Crazy Horse Memorial and seeing history being made. We did arrive a little late in the afternoon and missed the bus that takes you all the way to the memorial, bummer! We did get to take a short ride closer to the memorial, however, and hear the history of its beginning and future plans. After the bus ride, we toured the museums on site. After walking around for a while, we were beginning to leave when we received the best news ever: if you come back before nightfall (times vary throughout the year), you could re-enter the site and watch a Legends in Light Laser Show which is projected on the Crazy Horse Memorial mountain side. I wish I had pictures that could serve the laser show justice! I am glad I don’t though, so you can see it with your own eyes! Fun fact: They have the largest lasers used in the laser-show industry. If you would like more information on the Legends in Light Laser Show, here is a link to their website, it also gives approximate times when the show will start throughout the year: https://crazyhorsememorial.org/visit/special-events/legends-in-light-laser-show

Honorable Mentions

  • Dinner at Hitchrail Bar and Restaurant in Pringle
  • Sturgis
  • Scenic US – 16 (Biker’s paradise)

Just a Jeepin’

During the summer of 2018, my best friend, Sara, and I took a 3 week road trip of a life time. We drove in a 4 door Jeep from Tennessee to South Dakota to Wyoming to Montana and then back down to Wyoming. We were able to visit 4 National Parks, 3 National Forests, 2 National Monuments, and many more spectacular places. I will give a brief overview of where all we went, and have more detailed blogs in the near future of each location we visited.

Our first stop after two LONG days of driving was Badlands National Park. I was extremely excited about Badlands National Park. I personally feel that the Badlands do not get enough credit. C’mon guys, look at the views!

Door/Notch Trailheads parking area
© Savannah Hamlet

Next, we headed to the Black Hills National Forest. We only had one night in the Black Hills, so we made the most of it. Within 24 hours, we saw Mt. Rushmore, drove the Needles Highway at sunset, saw a laser show at Crazy Horse (SO COOL), visited Sylvan Lake, visited Sturgis (our dads, both bikers, were extremely jealous), AND went to Devil’s Tower. Needless to say, we had a blast and saw A LOT.

Sylvan Lake at sunset
© Savannah Hamlet

After a couple of days of exploring the Badlands and Black Hills, we were Montana bound! We took a scenic route through Bighorn National Forest, and stayed in a charming small town, Greybull, WY. We then took the Beartooth Highway and stayed the night in Bozeman. I know, weird, but it was the only way we could drive the highways and not have to backtrack.

Shell Falls between Bighorn National Forest and Greybull
© Savannah Hamlet

After leaving Bozeman, we took a long, rainy drive to Glacier. We stayed an entire week in Glacier and WOW WOW WOW. If you have never visited Glacier, cancel your current travel plans and go, now!

Two Medicine Lake at Glacier National Park
© Savannah Hamlet

The last week of our trip, we visited Yellowstone and Grant Tetons National Park. I have nothing to say about Yellowstone, you will see a whole blog about Yellowstone later on. Grand Tetons were GORGEOUS. Just fab, y’all. 10/10 would recommend.

Grand Teton National Park
© Savannah Hamlet

This post really does not serve a purpose except to set up the next few blogs I post about each location. You at least got to see some awesome pictures taken with an iPhone, pretty impressive for a phone, huh?