11 days in Denver, Black Hills & Badlands & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

11 days in Denver, Black Hills & Badlands & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

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11 days in Denver, Black Hills & Badlands & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

Start: San Diego
Fly:  4​h 15​min
1
Denver
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
2
Keystone
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
Yellowstone National Park
— 5 nights
Drive + Fly:  7​h
End: San Diego

3
nights
Denver

Denver ©
Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
Do some cultural sightseeing at Denver Union Station and Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Deepen your sense of the past at sights like 16th Street Mall and Trinity United Methodist Church. Step out of Denver to go to Colorado Springs and see Garden of the Gods, which is approximately 1h 30 min away. There's much more to do: shop like a local with Denver Botanic Gardens, see the interesting displays at Molly Brown House Museum, explore the world behind art at Denver Art Museum, and meet the residents at Denver Zoo.

To see traveler tips, ratings, photos, and tourist information, read our Denver trip itinerary site .

San Diego to Denver is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone changes from Pacific Standard Time (PST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. When traveling from San Diego in March, plan for a bit cooler days and colder nights in Denver: temperatures range from 55°F by day to 29°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Thu) so you can travel to Keystone.

Things to do in Denver

Historic Sites Museums Parks

Side Trip

Garden of the Gods
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
Denver Union Station ©
Denver Union Station
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens

1
night
Keystone

Keystone ©
Fewer than 400 people call Keystone home year-round, but the population explodes in summer when crowds flock to nearby Mount Rushmore.
On the 27th (Fri), go deep underground at Big Thunder Gold Mine, then explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and then trek along Presidential Trail.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Keystone trip maker tool .

Getting from Denver to Keystone by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and car; or drive. Traveling from Denver in March, things will get little chillier in Keystone: highs are around 46°F and lows about 22°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Fri) early enough to travel to Yellowstone National Park.

Things to do in Keystone

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Presidential Trail ©
Presidential Trail
Big Thunder Gold Mine ©
Big Thunder Gold Mine

5
nights
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park ©
An exceptionally diverse landscape and varied wildlife have made Yellowstone National Park one of America's most popular parks.
Visit Beaver Ponds Loop Trail and S Rim Trail for their historical value. Take a break from the city and head to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Elephant Back Mountain. Take a break from Yellowstone National Park with a short trip to Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park, about 1h 30 min away. Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Lamar Valley, take in the natural beauty of Old Faithful, explore the striking landscape of Old Gardiner Road, and contemplate the geological forces at Monument Geyser Basin.

For maps, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, go to the Yellowstone National Park day trip site .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Keystone to Yellowstone National Park takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and car. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Keystone in March; daily highs in Yellowstone National Park reach 36°F and lows reach 10°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Wed) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Grand Teton
Highlights from your plan
Grand Teton ©
Grand Teton
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ©
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Old Faithful ©
Old Faithful

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