10 days in Colorado & South Dakota Itinerary

10 days in Colorado & South Dakota Itinerary

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Route & dates

10 days in Colorado & South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Springfield
Fly:  4​h 45​min
1
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h 15​min
2
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Fruita
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
taxi + Fly:  5​h
5
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 30​min
6
De Smet
— 1 day
Drive:  9​h 30​min
End: Springfield


Learn more about your trip

2
nights
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
Stunning Garden of the Gods Park scenery, blue skies and the glory of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain have attracted visitors to Colorado Springs for more than a century.
When in Colorado Springs, make a side trip to see River Rafting & Tubing in Canon City, approximately 1h 25 min away. And it doesn't end there: stroll around Garden of the Gods, take in the pleasant sights at Pikes Peak, delve into the distant past at Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and get in on the family fun at North Pole - Santa's Workshop.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Colorado Springs day trip planning app .

Springfield to Colorado Springs is an approximately 5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Springfield to Colorado Springs. Traveling from Springfield in August, Colorado Springs is little chillier at night with lows of 56°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 4th (Sun) so you can drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Outdoors Tours

Side Trips

Manitou Cliff Dwellings, North Pole - Santa's Workshop, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
River Rafting & Tubing
Pike's Peak - America's Mountain ©

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. Kick off your visit on the 5th (Mon): identify plant and animal life at Chalk Cliff Fish Hatchery, then see a world frozen in time at Winfield, and then get a new perspective on things with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

To find photos, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Buena Vista trip itinerary maker app .

You can drive from Colorado Springs to Buena Vista in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Colorado Springs in August; daily highs in Buena Vista reach 77°F and lows reach 47°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Mon) early enough to travel to Fruita.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Tours Outdoors Adventure

Side Trip

Chalk Cliff Fish Hatchery
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Chalk Cliff Fish Hatchery ©
Chalk Cliff Fish Hatchery

1
night
Fruita

Fruita ©
The City of Fruita is a Home Rule Municipality located in western Mesa County, Colorado, United States. On the 6th (Tue), pause for some photo ops at Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial, take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Colorado National Monument, and then admire nature's extreme beauty at North Fruita Desert.

For more things to do, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Fruita online vacation builder .

Traveling by car from Buena Vista to Fruita takes 4 hours. In August, Fruita is somewhat warmer than Buena Vista - with highs of 89°F and lows of 61°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Tue) to allow time to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Fruita

Parks Nature Wildlife
Highlights from your plan
Colorado National Monument ©
Colorado National Monument
North Fruita Desert ©
North Fruita Desert
Western Slope Vietnam War Memorial ©

1
night
Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park ©
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
Kick off your visit on the 7th (Wed): explore the ancient world of Spruce Tree House, explore the ancient world of Long House, then steep yourself in history at Balcony House, and finally explore the ancient world of Cliff Palace.

To find reviews, photos, where to stay, and more tourist information, use the Mesa Verde National Park trip maker app .

You can drive from Fruita to Mesa Verde National Park in 4.5 hours. Traveling from Fruita in August, Mesa Verde National Park is little chillier at night with lows of 53°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Long House ©
Long House
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Balcony House ©
Balcony House

3
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Mount Moriah Cemetery and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site will appeal to history buffs. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rapid City: Custer (Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, & more), Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone) and Badlands National Park (Loop Road & Yellow Mounds Overlook).

To find ratings, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, read Rapid City trip itinerary maker app .

You can do a combination of taxi and flight from Mesa Verde National Park to Rapid City in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or drive. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in August since evenings lows in Rapid City dip to 60°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Custer, Badlands National Park, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Mount Moriah Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park
Loop Road ©
Loop Road

1
day
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): stroll the grounds of De Smet Cemetery and then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie.

To find maps, more things to do, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our De Smet online trip itinerary planner .

You can drive from Rapid City to De Smet in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. In August, daily temperatures in De Smet can reach 82°F, while at night they dip to 59°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 11th (Sun) to allow time for travel back home.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

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