12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota tour planner

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Route & dates

12 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Ada
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  11​h 45​min
1
Hot Springs
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Rapid City
— 5 nights
Drive:  2​h
3
Philip
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 15​min
4
De Smet
— 1 night
Drive:  11​h 15​min
End: Ada

1
night
Hot Springs

Hot Springs ©
Hot Springs is a city in Fall River County, South Dakota, United States. On the 18th (Sat), explore the fascinating underground world of Wind Cave National Park, cruise along Wildlife Loop Road, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs. On your second day here, Head underground at Jewel Cave National Monument and then trek along Elk Mountain Nature Trail.

To see traveler tips, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, go to the Hot Springs online attractions planner .

Ada to Hot Springs is an approximately 14-hour car ride. The time zone difference when traveling from Ada to Hot Springs is minus 1 hour. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Ada in May: highs in Hot Springs hover around 59°F, while lows dip to 37°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can drive to Rapid City.

Things to do in Hot Springs

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Wind Cave National Park
Highlights from your plan
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road
Jewel Cave National Monument ©
Jewel Cave National Monument

5
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Get outdoors at Bear Country USA and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Your inner history buff will appreciate Mount Moriah Cemetery and Historic Old Town. Change things up with these side-trips from Rapid City: Presidential Trail (in Keystone), Hill City (Warrior's Work & Ben West Gallery & Insideout) and Custer (Sylvan Lake, Custer State Park, & more). The adventure continues: meet the residents at Reptile Gardens, stop by Christmas Village Store, experience rural life at Old MacDonald's Farm, and steep yourself in history at Adams House.

You can plan Rapid City trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

Drive from Hot Springs to Rapid City in 1.5 hours. Prepare for somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Hot Springs in May: high temperatures in Rapid City hover around 65°F and lows are around 45°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 24th (Fri) so you can travel to Philip.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Custer, Deadwood, Hill City, Keystone
Highlights from your plan
Bear Country USA ©
Bear Country USA
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park

2
nights
Philip

Philip ©
Philip is a city in Haakon County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 25th (Sat): take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, then cruise along Loop Road, and then explore the galleries of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Keep things going the next day: explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park.

To see ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read our Philip trip planner .

Drive from Rapid City to Philip in 1.5 hours. In May, daily temperatures in Philip can reach 70°F, while at night they dip to 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sun) so you can travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Philip

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trips

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

1
night
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 27th (Mon): stroll the grounds of De Smet Cemetery, then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, then contemplate the long history of Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, and finally get engrossed in the history at De Smet Depot Museum.

Plan trip to De Smet with our itinerary maker to find out where to go and what to do.

Drive from Philip to De Smet in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST) is 1 hour. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in May, and nighttime lows around 45°F. On the 28th (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

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