6 days in South Dakota Itinerary

6 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip planner

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Route & dates

6 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: McCook
Drive:  6​h
1
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
2
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Aberdeen
— 1 night
Drive:  7​h 15​min
End: McCook

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.
Kids will enjoy Big Thunder Gold Mine and Sunday Gulch Trail. When in Custer, make a side trip to see Civilian Conservation Corps Museum of South Dakota in Hill City, approximately 30 minutes away. The adventure continues: contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, explore the striking landscape at Needles Eye Tunnel, and immerse yourself in nature at Custer State Park.

To see other places to visit, ratings, more things to do, and more tourist information, read Custer tour itinerary builder tool .

McCook to Custer is an approximately 6.5-hour car ride. You can also do a combination of flight and car. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from McCook to Custer due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit cooler weather when traveling from McCook in July: high temperatures in Custer hover around 80°F and lows are around 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Keystone, Hill City, Needles Highway
Highlights from your plan
Sylvan Lake ©
Sylvan Lake
Big Thunder Gold Mine ©
Big Thunder Gold Mine
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute ©
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute

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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Sun): explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, then admire all the interesting features of Loop Road, and finally explore the striking landscape at Yellow Mounds Overlook.

To see photos, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park trip builder app .

You can drive from Custer to Badlands National Park in 2 hours. Another option is to do a combination of taxi and bus. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Custer in July; daily highs in Badlands National Park reach 91°F and lows reach 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Sun) early enough to travel to Aberdeen.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

1
night
Aberdeen

Aberdeen ©
Aberdeen is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, South Dakota, United States, about northeast of Pierre. Start off your visit on the 22nd (Mon): stroll around Wylie Park and then enjoy some diversion at Storybook Land.

For photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Aberdeen day trip planning tool .

Getting from Badlands National Park to Aberdeen by car takes about 5 hours. Other options: do a combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time to Central Standard Time, which is usually a 1 hour difference. Traveling from Badlands National Park in July, you will find days in Aberdeen are slightly colder (84°F), and nights are about the same (58°F). Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Mon) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Aberdeen

Parks Fun & Games
Highlights from your plan
Wylie Park ©
Wylie Park

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