10 days in Black Hills & Badlands, Arches National Park & Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary

10 days in Black Hills & Badlands, Arches National Park & Rocky Mountain National Park Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary builder

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Drive
1
Badlands National Park
— Few hours
Drive
2
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Arches National Park
— 4 nights
Drive
4
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
Drive

S M T W T F S
27
28
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30
1
2
3
4
5
6
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10

few
hours
Badlands National Park

Although Badlands National Park's name might not be the most inviting, its landscape of pinnacles, eroded buttes, spires, and an expansive, pristine mixed-grass prairie remain enticing.
Your day by day itinerary now includes White River Valley Overlook, Bigfoot Pass Overlook and Panorama Point Overlook. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Thu): explore the striking landscape at Bigfoot Pass Overlook, then explore the striking landscape at White River Valley Overlook, then explore the striking landscape of Burns Basin Overlook, and finally explore the wealth of natural beauty at Panorama Point Overlook.

For where to stay, traveler tips, photos, and tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park attractions planner.

Minneapolis to Badlands National Park is an approximately 9-hour car ride. You can also fly; or drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Minneapolis in October, plan for slightly colder nights in Badlands National Park, with lows around 36°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) so you can drive to Custer.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature

2
nights
Custer

Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
To find photos, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Custer itinerary maker app.

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Custer in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. While traveling from Badlands National Park, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Custer, ranging from highs of 57°F to lows of 34°F. You will have some time to spend on the 3rd (Sat) before leaving for Arches National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Side Trips

4
nights
Arches National Park

A Red Rock Wonderland

Mother Nature kept reaching for red when she painted Arches National Park's 2,000 sandstone arches, resulting in one of the country's more distinctly shaped and colored landscapes.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Colorado National Monument. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Arches National Park Scenic Drive and Broken Arch. Take a break from the city and head to Sand Dune Arch and Skyline Arch. The adventure continues: take in the dramatic natural features at Tower of Babel, get great views at Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint, and trek along Double Arch.

To find where to stay, more things to do, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Arches National Park online trip itinerary maker.

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Custer to Arches National Park takes 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Custer in October; daily highs in Arches National Park reach 71°F and lows reach 42°F. You will have some time to spend on the 7th (Wed) before leaving for Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Arches National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Outdoors

Side Trip

3
nights
Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
You've now added Estes Cone Hike to your itinerary. Visiting Many Parks Curve Overlook and Hallett Peak will get you outdoors. Discover out-of-the-way places like Upper Beaver Meadows Trailhead and Chasm Falls.

For more things to do, maps, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Rocky Mountain National Park trip planner.

Getting from Arches National Park to Rocky Mountain National Park by car takes about 8 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight, bus, and car; or do a combination of car and train. October in Rocky Mountain National Park sees daily highs of 69°F and lows of 39°F at night. You'll have a few hours on the 10th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling home.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature