13 days in Yellowstone National Park, South Dakota & Columbus Itinerary

13 days in Yellowstone National Park, South Dakota & Columbus Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary maker

Plan created by another user. Make it yours
Fly
1
Yellowstone National Park
— 5 nights
Fly
2
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive
4
Sioux Falls
— 1 night
Fly
5
Columbus
— 3 nights

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5
nights
Yellowstone National Park

World's Largest Collection of Geysers

An exceptionally diverse landscape and varied wildlife have made Yellowstone National Park one of America's most popular parks.
Attractions like Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs make great kid-friendly stops. And it doesn't end there: witness a stunning natural landmark at Old Faithful, explore the stunning scenery at S Rim Trail, explore the striking landscape at Sheepeater Cliffs, and identify plant and animal life at Grand Loop Road.

To see ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Yellowstone National Park holiday maker tool.

Columbus to Yellowstone National Park is an approximately 9-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from Columbus to Yellowstone National Park. Traveling from Columbus in May, things will get colder in Yellowstone National Park: highs are around 53°F and lows about 27°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sat) so you can travel to Rapid City.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Wildlife

2
nights
Rapid City

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Sun): learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens, then look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA, then explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and finally stop by Goodtyme Photo. On the 7th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: view the masterpieces at Suzie Cappa Art Center, then appreciate the history behind Crazy Horse Memorial, and then visit Downtown Rapid City.

Discover how to plan a Rapid City trip in just a few steps with Inspirock's itinerary builder.

Getting from Yellowstone National Park to Rapid City by flight takes about 7.5 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of car, shuttle, and bus. Traveling from Yellowstone National Park in June, you will find days in Rapid City are somewhat warmer (78°F), and nights are much warmer (57°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Wildlife · Zoos & Aquariums · Neighborhoods

Side Trips

1
night
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.
Start off your visit on the 8th (Tue): explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, explore the striking landscape at White River Valley Overlook, explore the striking landscape at Yellow Mounds Overlook, then cruise along Loop Road, and finally explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall.

To see photos, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, read our Badlands National Park travel planning app.

Drive from Rapid City to Badlands National Park in an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In June in Badlands National Park, expect temperatures between 83°F during the day and 54°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Tue) early enough to drive to Sioux Falls.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

1
night
Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is the largest city in the U.S. Start off your visit on the 9th (Wed): pause for some serene contemplation at St. Joseph Cathedral and then stroll around Falls Park.

To find reviews, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Sioux Falls trip itinerary planning site.

Drive from Badlands National Park to Sioux Falls in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or fly. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time is 1 hour. In June, daytime highs in Sioux Falls are 80°F, while nighttime lows are 58°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 9th (Wed) so you can travel to Columbus.

Things to do in Sioux Falls

Parks · Historic Sites

3
nights
Columbus

The Discovery City

More than just one of the nation's top business centers, Columbus is a mixture of many different parts of America, situated at the spot where the so-called "Bible Belt" meets the varied cultures of the Great Plains and Appalachia.
Attractions like Zipline and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium make great kid-friendly stops. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Columbus: Dayton (Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, National Museum of the US Air Force, &more), Jet Pack Water Adventure (in Lancaster) and Rockhouse (in Logan). And it doesn't end there: don't miss a visit to Easton Town Center, see the interesting displays at Wagner-Hagans Auto Museum, take in nature's colorful creations at Inniswood Metro Gardens, and pause for some photo ops at Grounds of Remembrance.

For reviews, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, refer to the Columbus online itinerary planner.

Traveling by flight from Sioux Falls to Columbus takes 7 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Sioux Falls to Columbus is 1 hour. In June, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 12th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Columbus

Parks · Outdoors · Museums · Adventure

Side Trips

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.