Start your road trip from Boise, Idaho, to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Idaho's wonderful state capital, which is home to attractive parks, museums, shopping, and dining opportunities. The Boise River Greenbelt is a favorite of locals and visitors alike and provides hiking and cycling trails along the river and picnicking sites. Contemporary art lovers can visit the Boise Art Museum, and animal lovers can visit the Zoo Boise, Aquarium of Boise, or World Center for Birds of Prey. Visitors to Boise will also find a great farmers market. The Capital City Public Market is located in downtown Boise and runs Saturdays from April to October, and at the Grove Plaza during the holiday season. Families can also enjoy the Discovery Centre of Idaho, an interactive science center.
Your RV road trip will take you across 1256 miles through Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, and South Dakota. There are numerous campgrounds, national parks, and attractions along the way for families to enjoy visiting. Take Interstate 84 to Echo, Utah, then take Interstate 80 to exit 211. From exit 211 take Highway 287 and 220 to Interstate 25, then proceed down Highway 18, 20, 44, 81, and 42 to Sioux falls South Dakota.
As you reach your destination in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, a unique attraction well worth a visit is the Butterfly House and Aquarium. Here visitors will delight in the tropical oasis that contains 800 free-flying butterflies from around the world. The attached saltwater aquarium is the only one of its kind in the Dakotas. Here you will find a “Shark and Stingray Touch Pool” that will thrill both young and old with the opportunity to touch and interact with these fascinating creatures. The aquarium exhibits hundreds of fish and coral species, in over 1000 gallons of water.
View coral reefs, anemones, and seahorses. The Pacific Tide Pool features creatures unique to the shallow pools found in tidal pools on the west coast. For details on events, programs, hours, and tickets go to Butterfly House and Aquarium. Before you leave check out the Fins and Flutters Gift Shop which carries unique souvenirs, books, educational items, and toys.
Crossing the Missouri River on Highway 44, travelers should plan a stop at the Snake Creek Recreation Area on Lake Francis Case. The recreation area occupies 695 acres on the lake, with fabulous views over the river which create a “Burning Bluffs” effect on the hills when the light hits them just right!
Visitors to the recreation area at the lake will find an excellent sandy swim beach, which is great for sunbathing, wading, swimming, and beach play. There is also a boat ramp and fish cleaning station for sport fishing enthusiasts, and fishing gear and lifejackets are available for checkout. The campground here has 115 sites for RVs up to 80 feet in length, and 10 cabins available for rent. There are some sites with electric hookups, flush toilets, showers, and an RV dump station. The campground is open year-round, and also features a playground, amphitheater, and hiking trails.
From Route 20 at Chadron, head south to the Chadron State Park on route 385. The route is well paved and appropriate for RV travel. Roads in the park have periodic speed obstacles to slow down traffic. If you are traveling with an RV unit of two vehicles you will need to slow down considerably to avoid jostling the contents of your unit.
Chadron State Park is a 972 acre wilderness and is Nebraska's oldest state park in the middle of the Nebraska National Forest. Several excellent hiking paths wind through the ponderosa pines in the state park and there's a large swimming pool, volleyball court, disc golf course, archery range, and guided horseback rides, providing plenty of fun activities for families and guests to the park and campground located here.
The Chadron State Park campground has 70 sites with electric hookups and 18 primitive sites. There are showers, an RV dump station, playground, and laundry facilities at the campground. Most sites are level, but some have sloped terrain that will require leveling for RV units.
As you pass through Casper, Wyoming, try to sync up your trip with the College National Finals Rodeo which takes place here annually in June. This is a great event for families to attend and watch exciting rodeo events by some of the best rodeo professionals in the US. The event takes place over seven days, featuring both men and women athletes vying for the chance to become a national champion in events such as bareback riding, saddle bronc, bull riding, steer wrestling, tiedown roping, barrel racing, and goat tying.
In addition to the rodeo, there is live entertainment and a trade show, as well as activities and exhibits. There is plenty of parking at the rodeo grounds, but spots are geared for passenger vehicles. RVs can camp at local RV campgrounds such as the Casper KOA and proceed in passenger vehicles to the rodeo grounds. The local KOA accommodates RVs up to 80 feet in length and has WiFi, a pool, and mini-golf course.
Looking for a great park and campground? As you head down Interstate 80, take a right and head south on Route 530 from Green River, Wyoming, to the Lucerne Campground in Ashley National Forest. The Lucerne Campground is located on the Flaming Gorge Reservoir, where campers can enjoy water sports, boating, fishing, and swimming activities. The campground has 119 sites, in six different loops. Sites in two loops have electric hookups as well as windbreaks, and three other loops have shade structures. Campsites can accommodate RVs from 24 to 65 feet in length. There are flush toilets, showers, and potable water sites, RV dump stations, as well as vault toilets. The reservoir has a marina and swim beach, marina, boat launch, and fish cleaning station.
The Ashley National Forest covers 1.3 million acres, and includes hiking on over 1000 miles of trails of varying length and terrain, and 110 miles of ATV trails. There are heavily forested areas, mountains, plateaus, and basins, and varying elevations from 6000 to 13500 feet providing plenty of excellent wilderness to explore while camping in the region. In addition to the Lucerne campground there are several other campgrounds available in the national forest.
Interstate 84 passes through Ogden, Utah, on your RV road trip journey. Visitors passing through Ogden can take in some local paleontology at the George S Eccles Dinosaur Park. This five-acre park is located on the Ogden River, and features more than 100 dinosaur replicas, a museum, and interactive hands-on activities. Families can view the collection of realistic prehistoric creatures, from creepy crawlers to fearsome predators and flying reptiles.
Dinosaur replicas are life-sized and based on actual fossil skeletons, many of which were discovered in the Utah region, which is rich with prehistoric fossil finds. Many of the sculptures are brought to life by robotics, state of the art sound systems, and rich artistic details. You can also view actual dinosaur skeletons on site. Guided tours and events are held regularly. Check out Dinosaur Park for more details on hours, prices, and schedule events. RV campers will find RV camping at nearby Echo State Park, which is located on a reservoir and provides swimming, boating, and fishing.
As you pass by Twin Falls, Idaho, take a quick detour for a thrilling adventure at Zip the Snake. This ziplining attraction is located in the Snake River Canyon, at Centennial Park. It consists of four zip lines through the canyon, and your zip lining experience includes information from guides on the history, geology, and wildlife in the Snake River Plain. The tour takes one to two hours, and zip lining participants should wear good shoes with closed toes. There is a ride from the staging area to the start of the zip lines, but there is a ¼ mile hike with some mild grades.
Guides provide training prior to yoru zip line experience to ensure safety and familiarize users with gear. Part of your experience includes the Perrine Line, which is a 1750 foot long, side by side zipline, on the course, that allows participants to race each other, great fun for family and friends. The maximum weight for participants is 260 pounds with a 50 pound minimum. The zip lines are open from March to September. Details can be found at Zip the Snake.
Before leaving Boise, visit a unique museum/attraction, the Old Idaho Penitentiary. This penitentiary was built in 1870 as a single cell building, housing some of the most desperate criminals in the west, and built up over subsequent years by inmates using stone from a nearby quarry to a 15 building institution. In 1773 the prison was closed, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Today the penitentiary is a museum that offers tours. Visitors can visit the solitary confinement areas, cell blocks, and the gallows. A popular display of historic arms and military memorabilia, the J. Curtis Earl Memorial Exhibit, exhibits artifacts dating back to 3500 BCE, is also located on-site.
Events and programs are available throughout the year. Learn about the “Old Pen's” interesting history, stories, and daring escapes! More information on hours, scheduled events, and tours and details, can be found at Old Idaho Penitentiary.
Arrive at your destination of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and be prepared for more interesting activities and sites. You can camp at the Sioux Falls KOA, which has electric hookups, Wi-Fi, cable, a pool, mini-golf, a dog park, bike rentals, and accommodations for RV units up to 90 feet in length.
During your Sioux Falls stay, explore the Kirby Science and Discovery Center, the Great Plains Zoo which has 1000 animals, or visit the quirky Buffalo Ridge 1880 Cowboy Town which has robotic old west figures and historic exhibits. Discover shopping and dining in Sioux Falls, entertainment, and commercial districts, and visit lovely parks in the city where you can enjoy picnics and play.