Day 5 Wyoming Mt Rushmore Yellowstone Tetons 14 day trip
Rapid City, SD to Buffalo, WY Day 5
Drive Time: 4 hours
Hotel in Buffalo: The Occidental Hotel
Vore Buffalo Jump
Aladdin General Store and Belle Fourche River
Devils Tower National Monument, the nations first National Monument.
Today’s drive will skirt the northern edge of the Black Hills going through Sturgis, SD, noted for its annual, epic motorcycle rally, to the Vore Buffalo Jump and on to Aladdin, SD, where you will find the Aladdin General Store. It’s the real thing. Then take a delightful drive along the scenic Belle Fourche River (pronounced "Bell Foosh") to Devils Tower National Monument. The road then wanders slowly out of the hills to the High Prairie east of Gillette, WY. This quarter of Wyoming and part of southern Montana overlay immense deposits of clean coal and natural gas. You will see coal trains that are one and a quarter miles long and supply a majority of the fuel that provides the nation with electricity. This major plain lasts all the way to Buffalo, which lies at the foot of the Big Horn Mountains.
Directions: Take I-90 west to Wyoming. Get off at I-90 Exit 205, one mile west of the Wyoming/South Dakota border. Proceed west on the access road (formerly US Hwy 14) through the community of Beulah for about 4 miles. The Vore Site parking area is on left (south) just past a small hill.
Continue West to I-90 exit 199, Turn right, north on WY 111 to Aladdin WY and the general store. Turn west on WY 24 to Devils Tower. Continue South on WY 24 to US 14 South and then west to I-90. West on I-90 to Buffalo, WY.
The Vore Buffalo Jump is one of the most important archaeological sites of the late-prehistoric Plains Indians. Discovered during the construction of Highway I-90 in the early 1970s, the Vore site is a natural sinkhole that was used as a bison trap from about 1500 to 1800 A.D. Buffalo were driven over the edge of the sink hole as a method for the Native American tribes to procure the large quantities of meat and hides needed to survive the harsh prairie winters. Open mid -June to mid -August.
The Aladdin General Store is in almost original condition and packed with fun goodies. Worth the stop.
Devils Tower is probably best known today for its appearance in the Steven Spielberg movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. It is recorded in Plains Indian lore as a holy area. The tower protrudes 1267 feet above the river. In addition to the tower and scenery, there is a pull off where you can observe a live prairie dog village up close.
Major Activities in Buffalo, WY
Jim Gatchell Museum features displays of pioneer items, Native American artifacts, firearms and photographs depicting the early days of the West. The museum focuses on the famous Johnson County War which pitted the cattle barons against the homesteaders.
Crazy Woman Canyon, just west of town, is beautiful with a number of waterfalls.
On to Day 6
On to Alternative Day Little Bighorn National Battlefield
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