17 days in Rapid City & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

17 days in Rapid City & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

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Route & dates

17 days in Rapid City & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

Start: Chicago
Fly:  4​h 30​min
1
Rapid City
— 7 nights
Fly + Drive:  6​h
2
Yellowstone National Park
— 9 nights
Drive + Fly:  6​h 45​min
End: Chicago

7
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Get out of town with these interesting Rapid City side-trips: Keystone (Breezy Point Picnic Area & Mount Rushmore National Memorial), Crazy Horse Memorial (in Crazy Horse) and Custer (Needles Eye Tunnel, Wildlife Loop Road, & more). The adventure continues: get impressive views of Devils Tower National Monument, get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park, and explore the striking landscape at Yellow Mounds Overlook.

For traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, go to the Rapid City trip maker .

Chicago to Rapid City is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Chicago to Rapid City. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Chicago in September since evenings lows in Rapid City dip to 53°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Yellowstone National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Badlands National Park, Devils Tower, Keystone, Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Devils Tower National Monument ©
Devils Tower National Monument
Crazy Horse Memorial ©
Crazy Horse Memorial

9
nights
Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park ©
An exceptionally diverse landscape and varied wildlife have made Yellowstone National Park one of America's most popular parks.
Go for a jaunt from Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park to see Grand Teton about 1h 30 min away. Spend the 27th (Fri) exploring nature at Yellowstone National Park. There's lots more to do: take in breathtaking views at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, take in the natural beauty of Grand Prismatic Spring, trek along Artist Point, and identify plant and animal life at Lamar Valley.

To see ratings, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, read Yellowstone National Park travel planning website .

Traveling by combination of flight and car from Rapid City to Yellowstone National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus, shuttle, and car. While traveling from Rapid City, expect little chillier days and cooler nights in Yellowstone National Park, ranging from highs of 60°F to lows of 33°F. On the 27th (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel back home.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trip

Grand Teton
Highlights from your plan
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone ©
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Old Faithful ©
Old Faithful
Grand Teton ©
Grand Teton

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