3 days in Rapid City, Custer & Badlands National Park Itinerary

3 days in Rapid City, Custer & Badlands National Park Itinerary

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Route & dates

3 days in Rapid City, Custer & Badlands National Park Itinerary

Start: Rapid City
1
Rapid City
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h
2
Custer
— 1 night
Drive:  2​h
3
Badlands National Park
— 1 day
Drive:  1​h
End: Rapid City

1
day
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
You've now added Crazy Horse Memorial to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 29th (Wed): pause for some photo ops at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then pause for some photo ops at Crazy Horse Memorial, then contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake, and finally explore the striking landscape at Needles Eye Tunnel.

To see reviews, where to stay, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Rapid City trip itinerary app .

The Route module can give you travel options from your home to Rapid City. Expect a daytime high around 65°F in May, and nighttime lows around 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Wed) so you can drive to Custer.

Things to do in Rapid City

Nature Parks

Side Trips

Custer, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Sylvan Lake ©
Sylvan Lake
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

1
night
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Iron Mountain Road, Wildlife Loop Road and Custer State Park. On the 30th (Thu), immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park, take a memorable drive along Wildlife Loop Road, and then admire all the interesting features of Iron Mountain Road.

To find ratings, reviews, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Custer trip planner .

Getting from Rapid City to Custer by car takes about an hour. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Rapid City in May, with highs in Custer at 59°F and lows at 37°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 31st (Fri) early enough to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Outdoors Scenic Drive Nature
Highlights from your plan
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road
Iron Mountain Road ©
Iron Mountain Road
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park

1
day
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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Badlands National Park as well as Loop Road. On the 31st (Fri), explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park and then cruise along Loop Road.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park road trip website .

Traveling by car from Custer to Badlands National Park takes 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Custer in May: highs in Badlands National Park hover around 70°F, while lows dip to 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Fri) so you can drive back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Outdoors Nature Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park

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