8 days in Rapid City, Custer & Wind Cave National Park Itinerary

8 days in Rapid City, Custer & Wind Cave National Park Itinerary

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8 days in Rapid City, Custer & Wind Cave National Park Itinerary

Start: Rapid City
1
Rapid City
— 1 night
Drive:  1​h
2
Custer
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Wind Cave National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
End: Rapid City

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Chapel in the Hills. Start off your visit on the 14th (Tue): get a taste of the local shopping with Suzie Cappa Art Center, stroll the grounds of Mount Moriah Cemetery, explore the galleries of Adams House, then take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City, and finally pause for some serene contemplation at Chapel in the Hills. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 15th (Wed): admire nature's wide array of creatures at Reptile Gardens and then go deep underground at Big Thunder Gold Mine.

To find other places to visit, maps, photos, and tourist information, use the Rapid City road trip app .

Use the Route module to find suitable travel options from your home destination to Rapid City. In July, daily temperatures in Rapid City can reach 85°F, while at night they dip to 62°F. On the 15th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Custer.

Things to do in Rapid City

Historic Sites Zoos & Aquariums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Deadwood, Big Thunder Gold Mine
Highlights from your plan
Mount Moriah Cemetery ©
Mount Moriah Cemetery
Adams House ©
Adams House
Chapel in the Hills ©
Chapel in the Hills

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.
Your day-by-day itinerary now includes Sunday Gulch Trail, Wildlife Loop Road and Cathedral Spires Hiking Trail. Kick off your visit on the 16th (Thu): take a memorable drive along Wildlife Loop Road, stroll through Sunday Gulch Trail, learn about winemaking at Prairie Berry Winery, then explore the wealth of natural beauty at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, then take some stellar pictures from Breezy Point Picnic Area, and finally trek along Cathedral Spires Hiking Trail. Keep things going the next day: take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, engage your brain at Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, and then take a memorable drive along Iron Mountain Road.

For reviews, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, refer to the Custer trip planning site .

You can drive from Rapid City to Custer in an hour. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Rapid City in July, with highs in Custer at 80°F and lows at 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 18th (Sat) to allow enough time to drive to Wind Cave National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Outdoors Parks Trails

Side Trips

Hill City, Keystone, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel
Wildlife Loop Road ©
Wildlife Loop Road

3
nights
Wind Cave National Park

Wind Cave National Park ©
Wind Cave National Park presents one of the United States' few remaining intact prairies.
You've now added Wind Cave National Park to your itinerary. Escape the urban bustle at Windcross Conservancy and Rankin Ridge Nature Trail. Explore Wind Cave National Park's surroundings by going to Pine Ridge Reservation (in Manderson) and Oglala Lakota College Historical Center (in Kyle). Next up on the itinerary: trek along Elk Mountain Nature Trail.

To see traveler tips, reviews, more things to do, and tourist information, read our Wind Cave National Park trip planner .

Getting from Custer to Wind Cave National Park by car takes about an hour. In July in Wind Cave National Park, expect temperatures between 80°F during the day and 53°F at night. You'll set off for home on the 21st (Tue).

Things to do in Wind Cave National Park

Parks Wildlife Outdoors

Side Trips

Pine Ridge Reservation, Windcross Conservancy, Oglala Lakota College Historical Center
Highlights from your plan
Wind Cave National Park ©
Wind Cave National Park
Windcross Conservancy ©
Windcross Conservancy

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