8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota itinerary maker
Make it your trip
Fly to Rapid City Regional Airport, Drive to Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Rapid City
— 4 nights


Badlands National Park — 2 nights

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.
Spend the 21st (Sat) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's still lots to do: cruise along Loop Road, explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, and take some stellar pictures from Yellow Mounds Overlook.

To find maps, other places to visit, ratings, and other tourist information, read our Badlands National Park day trip website.

Beijing, China to Badlands National Park is an approximately 21.5-hour combination of flight and car. The time zone changes from China Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -15 hour difference. Traveling from Beijing in May, things will get slightly colder in Badlands National Park: highs are around 24°C and lows about 6°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Sun) so you can go by car to Rapid City.
Nature · Parks · Scenic Drive · Outdoors
Side Trip

Rapid City — 4 nights

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Venture out of the city with trips to Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone), Crazy Horse Memorial (in Crazy Horse) and Custer (Custer State Park & Wildlife Loop Road). There's much more to do: stroll through Bear Country USA, buy something for everyone on your list at Wall Drug, learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens, and take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City.

For where to stay, maps, reviews, and more tourist information, refer to the Rapid City holiday maker tool.

Traveling by car from Badlands National Park to Rapid City takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Badlands National Park in May, expect nights in Rapid City to be about the same, around 8°C, while days are a bit cooler, around 21°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 26th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly back home.
Parks · Nature · Wildlife · Scenic Drive
Side Trips

South Dakota travel guide

National Parks · Scenic Drive · Monuments
The State of Great Faces and Great Places
Famous for the cliffside monuments of Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse memorial, South Dakota is a land of Old West history, American Indian culture, and impressive natural wonders. Get to know the state's diverse and breathtaking landscape with a trip through Custer National Park, with a herd of 1,300 free-roaming bison, or by traversing the dramatic peaks of Badlands National Park near the Black Hills. Allow time in your itinerary to visit the state's largest city, Sioux Falls, for shopping, dining, and entertainment options, as well as a number of museums and historical attractions.