12 days in South Dakota & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in South Dakota & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

Start: Jackson
Fly + Taxi:  6​h 15​min
1
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
2
Keystone
— 2 nights
Fly + Drive:  6​h 15​min
3
Yellowstone National Park
— 7 nights
Drive + Fly:  7​h 45​min
End: Jackson

2
nights
Badlands National Park

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.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): take in the dramatic natural features at Bigfoot Pass Overlook. On your second day here, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park and then admire all the interesting features of Loop Road.

To see traveler tips, other places to visit, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park online tour itinerary planner .

Jackson to Badlands National Park is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also do a combination of car, flight, and taxi; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Jackson to Badlands National Park is minus 1 hour. Expect little chillier weather when traveling from Jackson in April: highs in Badlands National Park hover around 58°F, while lows dip to 30°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can drive to Keystone.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Wall Drug, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park

2
nights
Keystone

Keystone ©
Fewer than 400 people call Keystone home year-round, but the population explodes in summer when crowds flock to nearby Mount Rushmore.
Start off your visit on the 17th (Fri): get engrossed in the history at Civilian Conservation Corps Museum of South Dakota, appreciate the history behind Crazy Horse Memorial, and then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. On the 18th (Sat), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take some stellar pictures from Breezy Point Picnic Area, explore the activities along Sylvan Lake, and then cruise along Wildlife Loop Road.

To see other places to visit, ratings, reviews, and more tourist information, read our Keystone trip planner.

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Keystone in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. When traveling from Badlands National Park in April, plan for a bit cooler days in Keystone, with highs around 50°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 27°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 18th (Sat) early enough to travel to Yellowstone National Park.

Things to do in Keystone

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum of South Dakota, Crazy Horse Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Crazy Horse Memorial ©
Crazy Horse Memorial
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road

7
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.
Spend the 25th (Sat) exploring nature at Yellowstone National Park. The adventure continues: explore the stunning scenery at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, take in the natural beauty of Grand Prismatic Spring, contemplate the waterfront views at Yellowstone Lake, and take an unorthodox tour of Palette Spring.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Yellowstone National Park using our trip planner.

Do a combination of flight and car from Keystone to Yellowstone National Park in 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and car. Plan for slightly colder temperatures traveling from Keystone in April, with highs in Yellowstone National Park at 42°F and lows at 17°F. On the 25th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ©
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Old Faithful ©
Old Faithful
Yellowstone Lake ©
Yellowstone Lake

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