7 days in South Dakota Itinerary

7 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota visit planner

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Route & dates

7 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Norton
Drive:  7​h
1
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h
2
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  6​h 30​min
End: Norton

4
nights
Rapid City

Rapid City ©
South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Your inner history buff will appreciate Mount Moriah Cemetery and Chapel in the Hills. Escape the urban bustle at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs and Needles Eye Tunnel. Get out of town with these interesting Rapid City side-trips: Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone) and Custer (Sylvan Lake, Wildlife Loop Road, & more). Next up on the itinerary: identify plant and animal life at Bear Country USA, get engrossed in the history at Pawnseum, take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City, and admire nature's wide array of creatures at Reptile Gardens.

To see more things to do, where to stay, reviews, and other tourist information, you can read our Rapid City visit planner.

Norton to Rapid City is an approximately 7.5-hour car ride. You can also fly. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time to Mountain Standard Time, which is usually a -1 hour difference. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Norton in June; daily highs in Rapid City reach 78°F and lows reach 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 3rd (Wed) early enough to go by car to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

Custer, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Mount Moriah Cemetery, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Bear Country USA ©
Bear Country USA
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

2
nights
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.
On the 3rd (Wed), get great views at Pinnacles Overlook. On your second day here, explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, explore and take pictures at Loop Road, then explore the striking landscape at Yellow Mounds Overlook, and finally look for gifts at Wall Drug.

For reviews, more things to do, maps, and other tourist information, read our Badlands National Park road trip planning app .

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Badlands National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Traveling from Rapid City in July, expect nights in Badlands National Park to be about the same, around 60°F, while days are somewhat warmer, around 91°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Fri) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Outdoors Nature

Side Trips

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Wall Drug
Highlights from your plan
Wall Drug ©
Wall Drug
Yellow Mounds Overlook ©
Yellow Mounds Overlook

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