12 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States journey planner

©
Make it your trip
Drive
1
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive
2
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Keystone
Drive
4
Custer
Drive
5
Estes Park
— 1 day
Drive
6
Beaver Creek
Drive
7
Aspen
— 1 day
Drive
8
Breckenridge
— 3 nights
Drive
9
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Fly

S M T W T F S
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
1
2
3

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.
Kick off your visit on the 19th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Yellow Mounds Overlook, admire all the interesting features of Loop Road, then explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, and finally identify plant and animal life at Roberts Prairie Dog Town.

To plan Badlands National Park vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

Rochester to Badlands National Park is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and taxi. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. While traveling from Rochester, expect a bit warmer days and slightly colder nights in Badlands National Park, ranging from highs of 83°F to lows of 54°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) so you can go by car to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Scenic Drive

Rapid City

— 2 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rapid City: Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway (in Spearfish) and Deadwood (Mount Moriah Cemetery & Historic Old Town). There's more to do: visit Downtown Rapid City.

For maps, photos, and tourist information, go to the Rapid City trip itinerary builder website.

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Rapid City in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Badlands National Park in June, you will find days in Rapid City are a bit cooler (78°F), and nights are about the same (57°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can drive to Keystone.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Historic Sites · Wildlife · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Keystone

Home Of Mount Rushmore

Fewer than 400 people call Keystone home year-round, but the population explodes in summer when crowds flock to nearby Mount Rushmore.
Kick off your visit on the 22nd (Tue): take some stellar pictures from Breezy Point Picnic Area.

To find maps, reviews, photos, and more tourist information, read our Keystone tour itinerary planning app.

Keystone is just a stone's throw from Rapid City. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Rapid City in June; daily highs in Keystone reach 73°F and lows reach 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can go by car to Custer.
Highlights from your trip

Custer

Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Custer journey maker website.

Traveling by car from Keystone to Custer takes an hour. In June in Custer, expect temperatures between 73°F during the day and 48°F at night. On the 22nd (Tue), you'll travel to Estes Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Museums

Estes Park

— 1 day
More than just a convenient resting place for travelers on their way to the national park encompassing the Front Range of the Rockies, Estes Park is a popular place to visit in its own right.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback and then cruise along Peak to Peak Scenic Byway.

To find ratings, photos, where to stay, and tourist information, read Estes Park route planner.

Traveling by flight from Custer to Estes Park takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Custer in June; daily highs in Estes Park reach 87°F and lows reach 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 23rd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Beaver Creek.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors · Tours · Scenic Drive

Beaver Creek

For traveler tips, maps, more things to do, and tourist information, you can read our Beaver Creek trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Estes Park to Beaver Creek takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Estes Park in June, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Beaver Creek, with lows of 46°F. On the 23rd (Wed), you're off to Aspen.

Things to do in Beaver Creek

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Winter Sports

Aspen

— 1 day

Rocky Mountain High

Known as a ski resort town, Aspen's history goes back to its roots as a silver-mining village tucked away in an isolated valley of the Rocky Mountains.
Start off your visit on the 24th (Thu): take a memorable tour with Tours and then take a memorable drive along Independence Pass.

To see photos, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Aspen trip itinerary maker app.

You can drive from Beaver Creek to Aspen in 2 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In June, daily temperatures in Aspen can reach 79°F, while at night they dip to 43°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Thu) so you can go by car to Breckenridge.

Things to do in Aspen

Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Tours

Breckenridge

— 3 nights

Colorado's Kingdom

Founded in 1859 as part of the Gold Rush in the Rockies, Breckenridge boasts a main street lined with colorful wooden storefronts housing cafes and shops, giving the effect of a thriving western town from the 19th century.
Bring the kids along to River Rafting & Tubing and Hidee Gold Mine. Step out of Breckenridge to go to Idaho Springs and see Argo Mill and Tunnel, which is approximately 1 hour away. Next up on the itinerary: make a trip to Main Street, take a memorable drive along Boreas Pass Road, trek along Sawmill Creek Trail, and go for a walk through Fairy Forest.

For traveler tips, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Breckenridge planner.

You can drive from Aspen to Breckenridge in 2.5 hours. Another option is to take a bus. While traveling from Aspen, expect little chillier days and about the same nights in Breckenridge, ranging from highs of 60°F to lows of 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 27th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Breckenridge

Outdoors · Parks · Trails · Nature

Side Trips

Colorado Springs

— 2 nights
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.
Start off your visit on the 28th (Mon): get to know the resident critters at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, then walk around Garden of the Gods, and then deepen your knowledge of military history at United States Air Force Academy.

For ratings, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Colorado Springs travel planner.

Getting from Breckenridge to Colorado Springs by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Breckenridge in June, expect nights in Colorado Springs to be somewhat warmer, around 54°F, while days are warmer, around 84°F. You will have some time to spend on the 29th (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks · Zoos & Aquariums · Shopping · Museums

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
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.

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.