What to see between ND and WA?
August 10, 2005 9:21 PM   Subscribe

What's worth visiting between North Dakota and Washington State?

A friend of mine is departing from Winnipeg and driving back to Vancouver, BC, starting Sunday. He plans to take between 5-8 days and drive westward through the United States, beginning with North Dakota (with a detour to South Dakota to check out Mt. Rushmore). What other places between the Dakotas and Washington should he check out?

In case it affects your answer: he's traveling alone, is in his early 30's, and interested in pretty much everything. He's also fairly well-traveled throughout Europe and Canada.
posted by justonegirl to Travel & Transportation (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yellowstone! It is the best place in the country for seeing big wild animals up close. The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls, Montana is very good. I love Spokane, and recommend the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture there. Route 20 over the Cascades is spectacular.
posted by LarryC at 9:29 PM on August 10, 2005

Yellowstone seconded. In addition to more elk than you can shake a stick at*, seeing geothermal features like this or this in person should absolutely not be missed.

* Note: shaking sticks at wildlife may be hazardous to your health.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:40 PM on August 10, 2005

Dugout Dick's ice cave motels, about 20 miles south of Salmon, Idaho, might be an amazing/interesting place to stay the night if he's up for rustic living.
posted by soviet sleepover at 9:42 PM on August 10, 2005

Mt. Rushmore isn't that interesting. I would recommend Custer State Park, Wind Cave, and Harney Peak instead, or in addition to Mt. Rushmore.

Custer State Park has beautiful scenery and lots of wildlife - especially bison!

Wind Cave has some amazing and rare formations. Lots of "boxwork" - there is even a room called The Post Office for this reason ... little square formations that look like PO boxes.

Harney Peak is where Black Elk supposedly had his visions. Actually, it's adjacent to Custer State Park and the scenery is amazing. You can take a hike up to an old watch tower and frolic among the mountains. I highly recommend it.
posted by Ostara at 10:22 PM on August 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

North Dakota:

* The North Dakota Badlands. Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The loop drive through of the south unit only takes about an hour and there's all sorts of touristy crap to do in adjacent Medora.

* If he takes US85 to get to the Black Hills, stop in Amidon, ND, the smallest county seat in the country. There's a great steakhouse there called "Georgia's and the Owl".
posted by nathan_teske at 11:16 PM on August 10, 2005

I'd recommend a stop in Glacier National Park. At the very least, drive across the park on the Going-To-The-Sun Road.
posted by pitchblende at 11:30 PM on August 10, 2005 [1 favorite]

Craters of the Moon national park in Idaho.
posted by princelyfox at 11:47 PM on August 10, 2005

Devil's Tower in North-east Wyoming.
posted by cardboard at 9:36 AM on August 11, 2005

2nd votes for Glacier, Custer State Park, and Devil's Tower.
posted by vito90 at 9:49 AM on August 11, 2005

I'll second nathan_teske's recommendation of Theodore Roosevelt Nat'l Park.
posted by SomePerlGeek at 10:16 AM on August 11, 2005

After reading this comment in the recent cross-country thread, I want to visit Butte, Montana.

And Wind Cave was great.
posted by Rash at 10:28 AM on August 11, 2005

The reproduction of Stonehenge on the edge of the Columbia River Gorge. And all the waterfalls along the way.
posted by Sara Anne at 11:35 AM on August 11, 2005

Lewis & Clark Caverns in Montana is pretty cool, if you like caves. The Charles M. Russell museum in Helena is also nice, provided you're a fan of Mr. Russell's works.

But most of all, the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. One of the best dinosaur specimen collections anywhere.
posted by caution live frogs at 1:49 PM on August 11, 2005

A trip to Yellowstone is not complete if you don't also visit The Grand Tetons.
posted by pmbuko at 2:43 PM on August 11, 2005

The Grand Tetons weigh in higher on the scale for me than Yellowstone. Some other great locales: Glacier NP, Lake Flathead, Bozeman, Livingston, Missoula, Couer d'Alene.
posted by ozziemaland at 4:58 PM on August 11, 2005

I've always had fun at Silverwood Amusement Park in Idaho.
posted by Jazz Hands at 5:02 PM on August 11, 2005

3rd Glacier National Park
posted by coolsara at 5:05 PM on August 11, 2005

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