12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip planner

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Route & dates

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Salt Lake City
Fly:  4 h
1
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive:  1 h
2
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  4 h 30 min
3
Sioux Falls
— 4 nights
Fly:  7 h
End: Salt Lake City

4
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Family-friendly places like Bear Country USA and Reptile Gardens will thrill your kids. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rapid City: Elk Mountain Nature Trail (in Wind Cave National Park), Keystone (Breezy Point Picnic Area, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, & more) and Custer (Needles Eye Tunnel, Sylvan Lake, & more). There's lots more to do: get in on the family fun at Rushmore Tramway Adventures, get curious at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, learn about winemaking at Firehouse Wine Cellars, and get your game on at Cosmos Mystery Area.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, you can read our Rapid City online travel planner .

Salt Lake City to Rapid City is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Salt Lake City in July; daily highs in Rapid City reach 85°F and lows reach 62°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 7th (Tue) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Keystone, Elk Mountain Nature Trail, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Bear Country USA ©
Bear Country USA
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Sylvan Lake ©
Sylvan Lake

3
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.
Badlands National Park is known for scenic drive, nature, trails, wildlife, and historic sites. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: cruise along Loop Road, explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, explore the striking landscape of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, and get great views at Yellow Mounds Overlook.

To see photos, more things to do, where to stay, and more tourist information, read Badlands National Park online vacation planner .

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Badlands National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. When traveling from Rapid City in July, plan for somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Badlands National Park: temperatures range from 91°F by day to 60°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Fri) so you can drive to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Wall, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park

4
nights
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls ©
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Kids will appreciate attractions like Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie and Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial. Get out of town with these interesting Sioux Falls side-trips: Corn Palace (in Mitchell) and Redlin Art Center (in Watertown). And it doesn't end there: stroll around Falls Park, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral, hike along SculptureWalk Sioux Falls, and stroll through Sioux Falls Bike Trails.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, refer to the Sioux Falls day trip site .

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Sioux Falls in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and flight; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time is 1 hour. Traveling from Badlands National Park in July, you will find days in Sioux Falls are little chillier (83°F), and nights are about the same (62°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks Historic Sites Outdoors

Side Trips

De Smet, Corn Palace, Redlin Art Center
Highlights from your plan
Escapades Escape Rooms ©
Escapades Escape Rooms

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