16 days in Yellowstone Country, Rocky Mountain National Park & Black Hills & Badlands Itinerary

16 days in Yellowstone Country, Rocky Mountain National Park & Black Hills & Badlands Itinerary

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Route & dates

16 days in Yellowstone Country, Rocky Mountain National Park & Black Hills & Badlands Itinerary

Start: Springfield
Drive:  23​h 45​min
1
Big Sky
— 2 nights
Drive:  12​h
2
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
3
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive:  45​min
4
Keystone
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
5
Sturgis
— 1 night
Drive:  30​min
6
Deadwood
— 2 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
7
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
taxi + Fly:  8​h 45​min
End: Springfield

2
nights
Big Sky

Big Sky
Big Sky is a census-designated place (CDP) in Gallatin and Madison counties in southwestern Montana. To find other places to visit, maps, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Big Sky holiday planner .

Springfield to Big Sky is an approximately 11.5-hour combination of flight and car. You can also do a combination of flight and shuttle; or drive. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. When traveling from Springfield in May, plan for slightly colder days in Big Sky, with highs around 57°F, while nights are colder with lows around 31°F. You'll set off for Rocky Mountain National Park on the 30th (Thu).

Things to do in Big Sky

Outdoors Tours Wildlife

2
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.
On the 31st (Fri), trek along Emerald Lake Trail, hike along Tundra Communities Trail, then explore the striking landscape of Sheep Lakes, and finally admire the verdant scenery at Many Parks Curve Overlook. Keep things going the next day: admire the sheer force of Calypso Cascades and then admire the sheer force of Ouzel Falls.

To see more things to do, other places to visit, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Rocky Mountain National Park trip site .

Traveling by car from Big Sky to Rocky Mountain National Park takes 12 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, flight, and bus; or do a combination of car, bus, and train. Traveling from Big Sky in May, things will get a bit warmer in Rocky Mountain National Park: highs are around 70°F and lows about 43°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 1st (Sat) to allow time to drive to Custer.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Emerald Lake Trail ©
Emerald Lake Trail
Many Parks Curve Overlook ©
Many Parks Curve Overlook
Sheep Lakes ©
Sheep Lakes

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.
On the 2nd (Sun), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Wind Cave National Park and then take your sightseeing to a higher altitude at Harney Peak. On the 3rd (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel and then take a peaceful walk through Black Hills National Forest.

To see maps, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read Custer tour itinerary planner .

Traveling by car from Rocky Mountain National Park to Custer takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car, bus, flight, and taxi; or do a combination of car, bus, and flight. Traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in June, expect Custer to be slightly colder, temps between 73°F and 48°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Mon) early enough to go by car to Keystone.

Things to do in Custer

Nature Parks Wildlife

Side Trips

Wind Cave National Park, Harney Peak
Highlights from your plan
Wind Cave National Park ©
Wind Cave National Park
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest
Harney Peak ©
Harney Peak

1
night
Keystone

Keystone ©
Fewer than 400 people call Keystone home year-round, but the population explodes in summer when crowds flock to nearby Mount Rushmore.
On the 4th (Tue), appreciate the history behind Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then sample the tasty concoctions at Miner Brewing Company, and then do a tasting at Prairie Berry Winery.

To find ratings, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Keystone sightseeing app .

You can drive from Custer to Keystone in an hour. In June, daily temperatures in Keystone can reach 73°F, while at night they dip to 48°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to Sturgis.

Things to do in Keystone

Breweries & Distilleries Nightlife Nature

Side Trip

Hill City
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Prairie Berry Winery ©
Prairie Berry Winery
Miner Brewing Company ©
Miner Brewing Company

1
night
Sturgis

Sturgis ©
Sturgis is a city in Meade County, South Dakota, United States. On the 5th (Wed), immerse yourself in nature at Bear Butte State Park.

To find traveler tips, photos, ratings, and other tourist information, you can read our Sturgis travel itinerary planner .

You can drive from Keystone to Sturgis in an hour. The time zone difference moving from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time is 1 hour. In June, plan for daily highs up to 75°F, and evening lows to 52°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 5th (Wed) early enough to drive to Deadwood.

Things to do in Sturgis

Nature Parks

Side Trip

Bear Butte State Park
Highlights from your plan
Bear Butte State Park ©
Bear Butte State Park

2
nights
Deadwood

Deadwood ©
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. Start off your visit on the 6th (Thu): head outdoors with Devil Bathtub South Dakota and then cruise along Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. Keep things going the next day: steep yourself in history at Adams House, immerse yourself in nature at Roughlock Falls Nature Area, and then appreciate the views at Roughlock Falls State Nature Area.

To see ratings, other places to visit, more things to do, and other tourist information, refer to the Deadwood travel planner .

Deadwood is just a stone's throw from Sturgis. In June, daytime highs in Deadwood are 75°F, while nighttime lows are 52°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Fri) so you can go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Deadwood

Outdoors Nature Parks

Side Trips

Spearfish, Roughlock Falls Nature Area, Roughlock Falls State Nature Area
Highlights from your plan
Roughlock Falls State Nature Area ©
Adams House ©
Adams House

3
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.
Step off the beaten path and head to Roberts Prairie Dog Town and Castle Trail. Step out of the city life by going to Saddle Pass Trail and Burns Basin Overlook. Spend the 10th (Mon) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at White River Valley Overlook, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Panorama Point Overlook, and get great views at Pinnacles Overlook.

To see traveler tips, more things to do, maps, and more tourist information, use the Badlands National Park travel route planner.

Drive from Deadwood to Badlands National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or take a bus. Traveling from Deadwood to Badlands National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Deadwood in June: highs in Badlands National Park hover around 83°F, while lows dip to 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Roberts Prairie Dog Town ©
Roberts Prairie Dog Town
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
White River Valley Overlook ©
White River Valley Overlook

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