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

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

Created using Inspirock South Dakota sightseeing planner

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Route & dates

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

Start: Chicago
Fly + Taxi:  5​h 15​min
1
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
2
Rapid City
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
3
Custer
— 3 nights
Taxi + Fly:  5​h 15​min
End: Chicago

1
night
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.
Kick off your visit on the 11th (Sun): don't miss a visit to Pinnacles Overlook and then explore and take pictures at Loop Road. On the 12th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: explore the striking landscape at Yellow Mounds Overlook, then explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, and then explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park.

To find photos, traveler tips, ratings, and more tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park trip itinerary builder app .

Chicago to Badlands National Park is an approximately 5.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or take a bus. Traveling from Chicago to Badlands National Park, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Chicago in August, Badlands National Park is a bit cooler at night with lows of 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Mon) so you can drive to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

1
night
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Tue): get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens and then learn about winemaking at Firehouse Wine Cellars.

To see ratings, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Rapid City trip builder website .

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Rapid City takes an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 13th (Tue) to allow time for the car ride to Custer.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Zoos & Aquariums Wineries
Highlights from your plan
Reptile Gardens ©
Reptile Gardens
Firehouse Wine Cellars ©
Firehouse Wine Cellars

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.
Family-friendly places like Mammoth Site of Hot Springs and Jewel Cave National Monument will thrill your kids. There's much more to do: explore the activities along Sylvan Lake, get great views at Breezy Point Picnic Area, cruise along Iron Mountain Road, and explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

You can plan Custer trip in no time by asking Inspirock to help create your itinerary.

You can drive from Rapid City to Custer in an hour. Traveling from Rapid City in August, expect Custer to be slightly colder, temps between 77°F and 51°F. You will leave for home on the 16th (Fri).

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs ©
Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Jewel Cave National Monument ©
Jewel Cave National Monument

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