8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota travel planner

Make it your trip
Fly to Rapid City Regional Airport, Drive to Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Rapid City
— 5 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.
Attractions like Loop Road and Yellow Mounds Overlook make great kid-friendly stops. Spend the 18th (Wed) exploring nature at Badlands National Park. There's lots more to do: explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall, hike along Door Trail, tour the pleasant surroundings at Notch Trail, and explore the striking landscape of Burns Basin Overlook.

For where to stay, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read Badlands National Park trip planner.

Midland to Badlands National Park is an approximately 8-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Midland to Badlands National Park is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Midland in August, expect nights in Badlands National Park to be about the same, around 58°F, while days are a bit warmer, around 87°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) early enough to drive to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trip

Rapid City

— 5 nights

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Bear Country USA and Downtown Rapid City. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Rapid City: Custer (Wildlife Loop Road, Custer State Park, &more) and Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone). Pack the 23rd (Mon) with family-friendly diversions at Rushmore Tramway Adventures. There's much more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens, go deep underground at Big Thunder Gold Mine, stop by Alex Johnson Mercantile, and view the masterpieces at Suzie Cappa Art Center.

To see reviews, traveler tips, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Rapid City trip planner.

Getting from Badlands National Park to Rapid City by car takes about an hour. Other options: do a combination of taxi and 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 24th (Tue) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Theme Parks · Nature · Wildlife

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.