18 days in Yellowstone National Park, Black Hills & Badlands & Colorado Itinerary

18 days in Yellowstone National Park, Black Hills & Badlands & Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States attractions planner

Make it your trip
Fly
1
Yellowstone National Park
— 4 nights
Fly
2
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Deadwood
— 2 nights
Drive
4
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive
5
Rocky Mountain National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Glenwood Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Steamboat Springs
— 2 nights
Fly

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Yellowstone National Park

— 4 nights

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.
Step out of the city life by going to Old Faithful and Grand Loop Road. You'll explore the less-touristy side of things at Midway Geyser Basin and Storm Point Trail. And it doesn't end there: take in the natural beauty of Lone Star Geyser, admire the sheer force of Kepler Cascades, get impressive views of Mud Volcano, and hike along Observation Point Trail.

For other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Yellowstone National Park online road trip planner.

Birmingham to Yellowstone National Park is an approximately 10-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST) is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Birmingham in June, expect Yellowstone National Park to be much colder, temps between 66°F and 34°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 24th (Wed) to allow enough time to travel to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Badlands National Park

— 2 nights
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 25th (Thu): identify plant and animal life at Roberts Prairie Dog Town, take a memorable drive along Loop Road, then explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Yellow Mounds Overlook. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 26th (Fri): make a trip to Pinnacles Overlook, trek along Door Trail, explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, then hike along Notch Trail, and finally explore the striking landscape of Bigfoot Pass Overlook.

To find where to stay, ratings, maps, and tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park tour itinerary planner.

You can fly from Yellowstone National Park to Badlands National Park in 8.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of car, shuttle, bus, and taxi. Traveling from Yellowstone National Park in June, things will get somewhat warmer in Badlands National Park: highs are around 83°F and lows about 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 26th (Fri) early enough to go by car to Deadwood.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Outdoors · Trails · Nature

Deadwood

— 2 nights
Deadwood is a city in South Dakota, United States, and the county seat of Lawrence County. On the 27th (Sat), browse the exhibits of Tatanka: Story of the Bison, cruise along Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, then take an in-depth tour of D.C. Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery, and finally admire the sheer force of Bridal Veil Falls. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 28th (Sun): take an in-depth tour of Days of '76 Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Adams Museum, then discover the riches below the earth's surface at Broken Boot Gold Mine, and finally explore the galleries of Adams House.

To find photos, traveler tips, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Deadwood trip itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Deadwood takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Badlands National Park in June, expect nights in Deadwood to be about the same, around 52°F, while days are slightly colder, around 75°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 28th (Sun) early enough to drive to Custer.

Things to do in Deadwood

Museums · Scenic Drive · Outdoors · Nature

Side Trip

Custer

— 3 nights
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Step out of the city life by going to Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Cathedral Spires Hiking Trail. Do some cultural sightseeing at The Museum @ Black Hills Institute and Native American Educational and Cultural Center. Change things up with a short trip to Wind Cave National Park in Wind Cave National Park (about 42 minutes away). There's still lots to do: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback, explore the activities along Legion Lake, pick up a one of a kind souvenir at The Farmer's Daughter, and take a peaceful walk through Black Hills National Forest.

To see photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Custer trip itinerary builder site.

Getting from Deadwood to Custer by car takes about 1.5 hours. The time zone difference moving from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time is minus 1 hour. In June, daytime highs in Custer are 73°F, while nighttime lows are 48°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Wed) so you can drive to Rocky Mountain National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Museums

Side Trips

Rocky Mountain National Park

— 2 nights
Rocky Mountain National Park presents an ideal setting for recreation in the mountain range for which the park is named.
Kick off your visit on the 2nd (Thu): explore and take pictures at Old Fall River Road, explore the striking landscape at Alluvial Fan, then appreciate the views at Many Parks Curve Overlook, and finally tour the pleasant surroundings at Emerald Lake Trail. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: contemplate the waterfront views at Sprague Lake, admire the sheer force of Alberta Falls, then contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Chapel on the Rock, and finally explore the activities along Lily Lake.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Rocky Mountain National Park tour itinerary planner.

Traveling by car from Custer to Rocky Mountain National Park takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight, bus, and car; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Plan for a bit warmer temperatures traveling from Custer in July, with highs in Rocky Mountain National Park at 91°F and lows at 59°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Fri) early enough to go by car to Glenwood Springs.

Things to do in Rocky Mountain National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Scenic Drive

Glenwood Springs

— 2 nights
Glenwood Springs occupies a scenic location at the junction of the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork River, halfway between Vail and Aspen along the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains.
Start off your visit on the 4th (Sat): kick your exploration up a notch at some of the top local zipline courses and adventure parks, then explore the activities along Hanging Lake, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Hanging Lake Trail. Here are some ideas for day two: take in the awesome beauty at Rocky Mountains, get interesting insight from Tours, and then explore the landscape on two wheels at Glenwood Canyon Bike Trail.

Find out how to plan Glenwood Springs trip without stress by asking Inspirock to help create an itinerary.

Drive from Rocky Mountain National Park to Glenwood Springs in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and train. When traveling from Rocky Mountain National Park in July, plan for much colder days and little chillier nights in Glenwood Springs: temperatures range from 68°F by day to 50°F at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 5th (Sun) so you can drive to Steamboat Springs.

Things to do in Glenwood Springs

Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Tours

Side Trip

Steamboat Springs

— 2 nights

Ski Town USA

An internationally known ski resort, Steamboat Springs sits in the shadow of Mount Werner in north central Colorado.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Mon): take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports, hit the slopes at Steamboat Gondola, and then push the limits with an extreme tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 7th (Tue): tour the pleasant surroundings at Yampa River Core Trail, then admire the natural beauty at Yampa River Botanic Park, and then get lost in a book at Tread of Pioneers Museum.

To see maps, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read Steamboat Springs road trip planning tool.

Getting from Glenwood Springs to Steamboat Springs by car takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Traveling from Glenwood Springs in July, expect nights in Steamboat Springs to be about the same, around 49°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 82°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 7th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Steamboat Springs

Outdoors · Parks · Tours · Winter Sports

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.