13 days in South Dakota Itinerary

13 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip planner

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Route & dates

13 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Charlotte
Fly + taxi:  6​h 15​min
1
Hot Springs
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
2
Hill City
— Few hours
Drive:  1​h 15​min
3
Deadwood
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
4
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h
5
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
6
De Smet
— 2 nights
Drive + Fly:  12​h 15​min
End: Charlotte

2
nights
Hot Springs

Hot Springs ©
Hot Springs is a city in Fall River County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 13th (Sun): admire the majestic nature at Chadron State Park and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Rankin Ridge Nature Trail. On your second day here, identify plant and animal life at Angostura Recreation Area, then take in the dramatic scenery at Cascade Falls and Swimming Hole, and then examine the collection at Pioneer Museum.

To find reviews, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Hot Springs attractions planning site .

Charlotte to Hot Springs is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Charlotte in October, expect Hot Springs to be slightly colder, temps between 57°F and 34°F. On the 15th (Tue), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Hill City.

Things to do in Hot Springs

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Wind Cave National Park, Bicycle Sculpture, Chadron State Park, Windcross Conservancy
Highlights from your plan
Chadron State Park ©
Chadron State Park
Windcross Conservancy ©
Windcross Conservancy
Pioneer Museum ©
Pioneer Museum

few
hours
Hill City

Hill City ©
Hill City is the oldest existing city in Pennington County, South Dakota, United States. You've now added Black Hills to your itinerary.

To find maps, more things to do, ratings, and more tourist information, refer to the Hill City trip itinerary maker website .

Charlotte to Hill City is an approximately 8-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Charlotte to Hill City. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Charlotte in October, with highs in Hill City at 57°F and lows at 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Sun) to allow time to drive to Deadwood.

Things to do in Hill City

Parks Nature Museums

Side Trip

Black Hills
Highlights from your plan
Black Hills ©
Black Hills
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute ©

2
nights
Deadwood

Deadwood ©
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. On the 16th (Wed), view the masterpieces at Termesphere Gallery (Call for Appointment), then delve into the lush surroundings at Roughlock Falls State Nature Area, then admire the majestic nature at Roughlock Falls Nature Area, and finally take in the dramatic scenery at Spearfish Falls. On the next day, get engrossed in the history at Old Fort Meade Museum, then explore the different monuments and memorials at Black Hill National Cemetery, then get outside with Devil Bathtub South Dakota, and finally take in the exciting artwork at Scott Jacobs Studio.

Before you visit Deadwood, use our trip planner to discover what you can do and see there.

Traveling by car from Hill City to Deadwood takes an hour. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Hill City to Deadwood due to the time zone difference. In October in Deadwood, expect temperatures between 59°F during the day and 38°F at night. Cap off your sightseeing on the 17th (Thu) early enough to go by car to Rapid City.

Things to do in Deadwood

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Sturgis, Savoy, Spearfish, Roughlock Falls State Nature Area
Highlights from your plan
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area ©
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area
Old Fort Meade Museum ©
Old Fort Meade Museum
Black Hill National Cemetery ©
Black Hill National Cemetery

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 day-by-day itinerary now includes Chapel in the Hills. Start off your visit on the 18th (Fri): steep yourself in history at Peter Norbeck Visitors Center, then take in breathtaking views at Canyon Lake Park, then admire the landmark architecture of Chapel in the Hills, and finally do a tasting at Firehouse Wine Cellars. Keep things going the next day: take in the exciting artwork at Suzie Cappa Art Center, get engrossed in the history at Pawnseum, then head outdoors with Main Street Square, and finally examine the collection at Ellsworth Air Force Base.

To see where to stay, reviews, photos, and other tourist information, you can read our Rapid City road trip planning website .

Drive from Deadwood to Rapid City in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Deadwood to Rapid City is minus 1 hour. In October, daytime highs in Rapid City are 62°F, while nighttime lows are 40°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Museums Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Peter Norbeck Outdoor Education Center, Ellsworth Air Force Base
Highlights from your plan
Chapel in the Hills ©
Chapel in the Hills
Main Street Square ©
Main Street Square
Firehouse Wine Cellars ©
Firehouse Wine Cellars

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.
On the 20th (Sun), trek along Castle Trail, then get to know the fascinating history of Sage Creek Wilderness Area, and then identify plant and animal life at Roberts Prairie Dog Town. On your second day here, explore the striking landscape at Panorama Point Overlook, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead, then trek along Saddle Pass Trail, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at White River Valley Overlook.

To find reviews, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Badlands National Park day trip app .

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Badlands National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. October in Badlands National Park sees daily highs of 65°F and lows of 36°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Mon) so you can travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Trails Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Roberts Prairie Dog Town ©
Roberts Prairie Dog Town
Sage Creek Wilderness Area ©
Sage Creek Wilderness Area
Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead ©
Cliff Shelf Nature Trailhead

2
nights
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie. Kick off your visit on the 20th (Sun): explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery, then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and then admire the majestic nature at Oakwood Lakes State Park. Keep things going the next day: take an in-depth tour of De Smet Depot Museum and then contemplate the long history of Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial.

To find where to stay, photos, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the De Smet trip planner .

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to De Smet takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. The time zone difference when traveling from Badlands National Park to De Smet is 1 hour. In October in De Smet, expect temperatures between 62°F during the day and 38°F at night. On the 22nd (Tue), you'll travel back home.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites Parks Nature

Side Trip

Oakwood Lakes State Park
Highlights from your plan
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

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