13 days in South Dakota Itinerary

13 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary builder

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Route & dates

13 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Saint Cloud
Drive:  6​h
1
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
2
Keystone
— 3 nights
Drive:  30​min
3
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
4
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  3​h 30​min
5
Mitchell
— 3 nights
Drive:  5​h 15​min
End: Saint Cloud

2
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
You've now added Jewel Cave National Monument to your itinerary. Get out of town with these interesting Custer side-trips: Mammoth Site of Hot Springs (in Hot Springs) and Wind Cave National Park (in Wind Cave National Park). There's much more to do: cruise along Wildlife Loop Road, explore and take pictures at Iron Mountain Road, pause for some photo ops at Bicycle Sculpture, and take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel.

For reviews, more things to do, ratings, and other tourist information, read Custer trip maker tool .

Saint Cloud to Custer is an approximately 6-hour combination of car and flight. You can also drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Traveling from Saint Cloud in August, plan for slightly colder nights in Custer, with lows around 51°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Wed) so you can go by car to Keystone.

Things to do in Custer

Nature Parks Scenic Drive

Side Trips

Crazy Horse Memorial, Bicycle Sculpture, Needles Highway, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Wind Cave National Park
Highlights from your plan
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road
Iron Mountain Road ©
Iron Mountain Road
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

3
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.
Keystone is known for nature, theme parks, trails, museums, and shopping. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: admire all the interesting features of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, find something for the whole family at Rushmore Tramway Adventures, hike along Presidential Trail, and get great views at Breezy Point Picnic Area.

To find out how to plan a trip to Keystone, use our trip itinerary maker.

Drive from Custer to Keystone in an hour. In August in Keystone, expect temperatures between 77°F during the day and 51°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 10th (Sat) so you can drive to Rapid City.

Things to do in Keystone

Theme Parks Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Rushmore Tramway Adventures ©
Rushmore Tramway Adventures
Big Thunder Gold Mine ©
Big Thunder Gold Mine

2
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Your list of things to see and do now includes First Gold Hotel and Gaming, Hill City Visitor Information Center, Cadillac Jack's Gaming Resort, and other attractions. Start off your visit on the 11th (Sun): Head underground at Sitting Bull Crystal Caverns, try your luck at First Gold Hotel and Gaming, get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, pause for some serene contemplation at Chapel in the Hills, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park, and finally try your luck at Cadillac Jack's Gaming Resort. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: go deep underground at Broken Boot Gold Mine, stroll the grounds of Mount Moriah Cemetery, then get answers to all your questions at Hill City Visitor Information Center, then make a trip to Dinosaur Park, and finally take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Rapid City trip itinerary planner .

Rapid City is very close to Keystone. Traveling from Keystone in August, expect Rapid City to be somewhat warmer, temps between 83°F and 60°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Casinos Fun & Games Parks

Side Trips

Deadwood, Hill City Visitor Information Center
Highlights from your plan
Downtown Rapid City ©
Downtown Rapid City
Reptile Gardens ©
Reptile Gardens
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery

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.
Kick off your visit on the 13th (Tue): explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park and then take a memorable drive along Loop Road. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Wed): hike along Notch Trail, explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, then take in the dramatic natural features at Yellow Mounds Overlook, and finally explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall.

To see traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, read our Badlands National Park travel route planner .

Getting from Rapid City to Badlands National Park by car takes about an hour. Other options: take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Badlands National Park can reach 87°F, while at night they dip to 58°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Wed) so you can go by car to Mitchell.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park

3
nights
Mitchell

Mitchell ©
Mitchell is the county seat of Davison County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 15th (Thu): admire the striking features of Corn Palace, then steep yourself in history at Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and then explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery. On the 16th (Fri), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: contemplate the long history of Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, don't miss a visit to Valtiroty Shiloh's Tabernacle, and then steep yourself in history at Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village.

To find traveler tips, ratings, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Mitchell trip itinerary maker website .

You can drive from Badlands National Park to Mitchell in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of taxi, flight, and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Badlands National Park to Mitchell is 1 hour. While traveling from Badlands National Park, expect slightly colder days and about the same nights in Mitchell, ranging from highs of 82°F to lows of 60°F. On the 17th (Sat), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Mitchell

Historic Sites Museums Shopping

Side Trip

De Smet
Highlights from your plan
Corn Palace ©
Corn Palace
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial

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