16 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

16 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

Start: New Berlin
Drive:  12​h 45​min
1
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  15​h
2
Mesa Verde National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Durango
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h
4
Aspen
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
5
Buena Vista
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h 15​min
6
Colorado Springs
— 3 nights
Drive:  3​h
7
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 3 nights
+2
Drive + Fly + Drive:  8​h
End: New Berlin


Learn more about your trip

3
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
On the 10th (Fri), appreciate the history behind Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park and then look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA.

Plan my Custer trip by asking Inpirock to come up with tips and suggestions.

New York City to Custer is an approximately 9-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. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from New York City in August: high temperatures in Custer hover around 78°F and lows are around 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Mon) early enough to travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Bear Country USA, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, 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
Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park ©
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Mon): contemplate the long history of Cliff Palace.

To find traveler tips, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, you can read our Mesa Verde National Park trip itinerary planning app .

Traveling by combination of taxi and flight from Custer to Mesa Verde National Park takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, flight, and car; or drive. Traveling from Custer in August, expect nights in Mesa Verde National Park to be about the same, around 54°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 87°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Tue) so you can drive to Durango.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Historic Sites Trails Parks
Highlights from your plan
Cliff Palace ©
Cliff Palace
Balcony House ©
Balcony House
Petroglyph Point Hike ©
Petroglyph Point Hike

2
nights
Durango

Durango ©
Originally a frontier mining town, Durango is known today for its scenic setting, outdoor activities, and the 1880s steam-powered railway that takes visitors through sections of the mountains where roads don't reach.
On the 15th (Wed), relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour and then examine the collection at Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum.

Plan my day in Durango using traveler tips and tourist information provided by Inspirock.

Drive from Mesa Verde National Park to Durango in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and shuttle. In August, daytime highs in Durango are 84°F, while nighttime lows are 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) so you can travel to Aspen.

Things to do in Durango

Tours Adventure Outdoors
Highlights from your plan

2
nights
Aspen

Aspen ©
Known as a ski resort town, Aspen's history goes back to its roots as a silver-mining village tucked away in an isolated valley of the Rocky Mountains.
On the 16th (Thu), admire all the interesting features of Independence Pass and then stop by Snowmass Sports. Keep things going the next day: stroll through The John Denver Sanctuary and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Maroon Bells.

To find photos and tourist information, you can read our Aspen online visit planner .

Traveling by flight from Durango to Aspen takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of shuttle, bus, and car. Expect little chillier temperatures when traveling from Durango in August; daily highs in Aspen reach 77°F and lows reach 47°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sat) so you can drive to Buena Vista.

Things to do in Aspen

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Hanging Lake Trail, Snowmass Sports
Highlights from your plan
Maroon Bells ©
Maroon Bells
Independence Pass ©
Independence Pass
Hanging Lake Trail ©
Hanging Lake Trail

1
night
Buena Vista

The Town of Buena Vista is a Statutory Town in Chaffee County, Colorado, United States. To find more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Buena Vista route planner.

Getting from Aspen to Buena Vista by car takes about 2 hours. Other options: take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 77°F, and evening lows to 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 19th (Sun) so you can drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Buena Vista

Adventure Tours Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
River Rafting & Tubing
Deerhammer Distillery ©
Deerhammer Distillery

3
nights
Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs ©
Stunning Garden of the Gods Park scenery, blue skies and the glory of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain have attracted visitors to Colorado Springs for more than a century.
Kick off your visit on the 20th (Mon): take in the dramatic natural features at Garden of the Gods, browse the exhibits of Manitou Cliff Dwellings, and then have some family-friendly fun at Battlefield Colorado. On the next day, take a stroll through Old Colorado City Historic District and then take a memorable tour with Tours.

Ask Inspirock to suggest an itinerary and make planning a trip to Colorado Springs fast, fun, and easy.

You can drive from Buena Vista to Colorado Springs in 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or take a bus. In August, Colorado Springs is a bit warmer than Buena Vista - with highs of 83°F and lows of 56°F. On the 22nd (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks Historic Sites Adventure

Side Trips

River Rafting & Tubing, Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Highlights from your plan
Garden of the Gods ©
Garden of the Gods
River Rafting & Tubing
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo ©
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

3
nights
Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park ©
Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: stroll through Emerald Lake Trail, then take some stellar pictures from Farview Curve Overlook, and then take in the dramatic natural features at Alluvial Fan.

For maps, reviews, where to stay, and other tourist information, use the Rocky Mountain National Park road trip site .

Getting from Colorado Springs to Rocky Mountain National Park by car takes about 3 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi; or do a combination of flight, bus, and taxi. On the 25th (Sat), you're off tohome.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Nature Trails
Highlights from your plan
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Bear Lake ©
Bear Lake
Alberta Falls ©
Alberta Falls

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