12 days in United States Itinerary

12 days in United States Itinerary

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Route & dates

12 days in United States Itinerary

Start: Washington DC
Fly:  6​h 45​min
1
Rapid City
— 1 night
Fly + Drive:  6​h
2
Yellowstone National Park
— 1 night
+2
Drive + Fly + bus:  8​h 45​min
3
South Lake Tahoe
— 1 night
Drive:  11​h 45​min
4
Grand Canyon National Park
— 3 nights
bus + Fly:  6​h 45​min
5
Denver
— 1 night
Fly:  6​h
End: Washington DC

1
night
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
On the 2nd (Sun), explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park and then wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon): immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park, explore and take pictures at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA, and finally do a tasting at Firehouse Wine Cellars.

For where to stay, photos, maps, and more tourist information, use the Rapid City trip builder site .

Washington DC to Rapid City is an approximately 7-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Traveling from Washington DC to Rapid City, you'll gain 2 hours due to the time zone difference. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Washington DC in June: high temperatures in Rapid City hover around 78°F and lows are around 57°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Mon) so you can travel to Yellowstone National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

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

1
night
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.
On the 4th (Tue), make a trip to Artist Point, take in breathtaking views at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and then take in breathtaking views at S Rim Trail. On the 5th (Wed), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the natural beauty of Upper Geyser Basin, witness a stunning natural landmark at Grand Prismatic Spring, witness a stunning natural landmark at Solitary Geyser, then take in the natural beauty of Old Faithful, and finally witness a stunning natural landmark at Castle Geyser.

To find traveler tips, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, refer to the Yellowstone National Park holiday planning app .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Rapid City to Yellowstone National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and car. Traveling from Rapid City in June, expect nights in Yellowstone National Park to be colder, around 34°F, while days are a bit cooler, around 66°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 5th (Wed) so you can travel to South Lake Tahoe.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks Nature Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
Artist Point ©
Artist Point
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ©
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Old Faithful ©
Old Faithful

1
night
South Lake Tahoe

South Lake Tahoe ©
High in the Sierra Nevada mountains on the shore of one of America’s most scenic lakes, South Lake Tahoe captures the spirit of the outdoors and serves as a hub for tourism activities surrounding the lake.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): kick back and relax at Meeks Bay Beach, kick back and relax at Baldwin Beach, and then kick back and relax at Pope Beach. Here are some ideas for day two: enjoy the sand and surf at Kiva Beach and then tour the pleasant surroundings at El Dorado Beach.

For more things to do, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read South Lake Tahoe day trip planning app .

Do a combination of car, flight, and bus from Yellowstone National Park to South Lake Tahoe in 9 hours. Alternatively, you can drive. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Pacific Standard Time (PST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Yellowstone National Park in June; daily highs in South Lake Tahoe reach 77°F and lows reach 41°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in South Lake Tahoe

Outdoors Beaches Parks

Side Trip

Meeks Bay Beach
Highlights from your plan
El Dorado Beach ©
El Dorado Beach
Pope Beach ©
Pope Beach
Kiva Beach ©
Kiva Beach

3
nights
Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park ©
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
Appreciate the collections at Kolb Studio and Yavapai Geology Museum. Escape the urban bustle at Hopi House and Bright Angel Trail. There's still lots to do: tour the pleasant surroundings at Rim Trail, take in breathtaking views at Yavapai Point, take an in-depth tour of Bright Angel History Room, and browse the exhibits of Tusayan Museum.

To find reviews, traveler tips, photos, and more tourist information, read our Grand Canyon National Park route builder website .

You can drive from South Lake Tahoe to Grand Canyon National Park in 12 hours. Traveling from South Lake Tahoe to Grand Canyon National Park, you'll lose 1 hour due to the time zone difference. While traveling from South Lake Tahoe, expect somewhat warmer days and about the same nights in Grand Canyon National Park, ranging from highs of 85°F to lows of 42°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Tue) early enough to travel to Denver.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks Outdoors Trails
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon South Rim ©
Grand Canyon South Rim
Bright Angel Trail ©
Bright Angel Trail
Rim Trail ©
Rim Trail

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Wed): look and learn at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, take in nature's colorful creations at Denver Botanic Gardens, then admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, and finally wander the streets of 16th Street Mall. Here are some ideas for day two: stop by Penzeys Spices and then let the river carry you with a rafting and tubing tour.

For maps, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, read our Denver day trip planning website .

Getting from Grand Canyon National Park to Denver by combination of bus and flight takes about 7 hours. Other options: drive. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Denver when traveling from Grand Canyon National Park in June, with lows around 55°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 13th (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Denver

Museums Shopping Tours

Side Trips

Penzeys Spices, River Rafting & Tubing
Highlights from your plan
Denver Botanic Gardens ©
Denver Botanic Gardens
River Rafting & Tubing
Denver Museum of Nature & Science ©
Denver Museum of Nature & Science

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