Driving from the south and the Denver Area:
Travel Interstate 25 north to WY Hi-way 26 and turn east. Travel 14.5 miles towards Guernsey to Lucinda Rollins Road and turn south. Visit the Oregon Trail Ruts (https://www.nps.gov/oreg/planyourvisit/site7.htm) to see deep cuts into the rock made by the wagons of our forefathers as they traveled west. Then continue on to Register Cliff Monument (https://www.wyohistory.org/encyclopedia/register-cliff)where the settlers stopped and wrote their names on the cliffs where they spent the night. Are your ancestor’s names written here?
Deep Cuts from Wagons of long ago.
Return to Guernsey and take Hi-way 270 north for 40 miles to Hi-way 18 / 20 and turn east to Lusk, WY. From Lusk, it is an easy and lovely 130-mile drive to Lead.
The 80-mile drive from Lusk to Newcastle will take you through some high desert-plains. After you leave Newcastle, you are really beginning into the Black Hills area and from here it is about 50 miles to Lead. You will find yourself winding around curves, up hills and down, and entering a more forested terrain. As you enter into South Dakota you will begin to see more and more Ponderosa Pines and be able to identify the Black Hills.
Driving from Western Nebraska:
Catch US Hi-way 385 and travel north. At the southern end of the Black Hills you will enter the town of Hot Springs – and yes, they do have hot springs for you to enjoy. But, the one thing you should indulge in is the Mammoth site (http://www.mammothsite.org/). At this active dig site is the largest concentration of mammoth remains in the world! Their current mammoth count is 61, with 58 Colombian and three woolly mammoths.
Many Mammoths have been found at this site.
As you continue north towards Lead you will pass Pactola Reservoir. Built in the mid-1950’s, it is a man-made reservoir on Rapid Creek and is the largest reservoir in the Black Hills. This is a great place to stop and relax on your trip to Dakota Spur Hotel. Then, it’s back into your car (or on your bike) and in less than an hour, you will be checked in to your room at the Dakota Spur Hotel.