10 days in North Dakota & South Dakota Itinerary

10 days in North Dakota & South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States itinerary planner
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Make it your trip
Fly to Bismarck, Drive to Medora
1
Medora
— 4 nights
Drive
2
Watford City
— 1 night
Drive
3
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Fly

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Medora — 4 nights

Medora is a city in Billings County, North Dakota, United States. Step off the beaten path and head to South Unit and Badlands Overlook. Take a break from the city and head to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and Maah Daah Hey Trail. Step out of Medora with an excursion to Medicine Rocks State Park in Ekalaka--about 1h 55 min away. The adventure continues: take an in-depth tour of Harold Schafer Heritage Center and examine the collection at Billings County Court House Museum.

For more things to do, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Medora travel route planner.

New York City to Medora is an approximately 10-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and car; or drive; or do a combination of train, bus, and car. Traveling from New York City to Medora, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from New York City in May, Medora is slightly colder at night with lows of 38°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can travel to Watford City.
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Parks · Nature · Museums · Trails
Side Trips

Watford City — 1 night

Watford City, founded in 1914, is a city in and the county seat of McKenzie County, North Dakota, United States. On the 26th (Thu), take in the dramatic natural features at Cannonball Concretions Pullout and then hike along Caprock-Coulee Trail.

Make your Watford City itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.

You can drive from Medora to Watford City in 1.5 hours. Traveling from Medora to Watford City, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect a daytime high around 66°F in May, and nighttime lows around 40°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Thu) early enough to travel to Custer.
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Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
Side Trip

Custer — 2 nights

Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
On the 27th (Fri), appreciate the history behind Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then contemplate the waterfront views at Horse Thief Lake, and then trek along Little Devil's Tower Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Sat): trek along Cathedral Spires Hiking Trail and then admire the majestic nature at Custer State Park.

To find maps, reviews, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Custer itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Watford City to Custer in 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Watford City in May, expect nights in Custer to be about the same, around 37°F, while days are little chillier, around 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 29th (Sun) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.
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Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors
Side Trip

Badlands National Park — 1 night

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.
On the 29th (Sun), explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Conata Basin Overlook.

To find ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, refer to the Badlands National Park trip planner.

Traveling by car from Custer to Badlands National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. When traveling from Custer in May, plan for a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Badlands National Park: temperatures range from 70°F by day to 42°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 30th (Mon) to allow time for the flight back home.
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Nature · Parks
Side Trip

North Dakota travel guide

4.5
National Parks · History Museums · Performances
Geographic Center of the North American Continent
A primarily rural state, North Dakota is the ancient home of the Lakota tribe. Norwegian settlers once made up the European population, and one of the state's major attractions is the Norsk Høstfest, the largest Norwegian festival in the United States. The vast plains and never-ending sky inspire the many orchestras that call the state home. The spirituality of the music is second only to the spirituality of the people, as the state has the nation's highest percentage of churchgoing residents. The state's open fields are conducive to fishing, hunting, and winter activities.
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South Dakota travel guide

4.3
National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.
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