8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota route planner

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Route & dates

8 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly:  3​h 30​min
1
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h
2
Badlands National Park
— 2 nights
Drive:  4​h 45​min
3
De Smet
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  4​h
End: Minneapolis

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.
Get some historical perspective at Mount Moriah Cemetery and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Step out of the city life by going to Needles Eye Tunnel and Wildlife Loop Road. Explore Rapid City's surroundings by going to Custer (Sylvan Lake, Black Hills National Forest, & more), Delta-09 Missile Silo (in Wall) and Mount Rushmore National Memorial (in Keystone). There's lots more to do: learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens, wander the streets of Downtown Rapid City, pause for some photo ops at Bicycle Sculpture, and take in the dramatic scenery at Spearfish Falls.

To see more things to do, maps, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Rapid City tour itinerary tool .

Minneapolis to Rapid City is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Minneapolis to Rapid City. In August, plan for daily highs up to 83°F, and evening lows to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 20th (Tue) early enough to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, Delta-09 Missile Silo, Mount Moriah Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Custer State Park ©
Custer State Park
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.
Start off your visit on the 21st (Wed): explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, take in the dramatic natural features at White River Valley Overlook, get great views at Yellow Mounds Overlook, then explore and take pictures at Loop Road, and finally explore the striking landscape at Badlands Wall. Here are some ideas for day two: explore the striking landscape of Badlands National Park.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read Badlands National Park trip itinerary builder app .

You can drive from Rapid City to Badlands National Park in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August in Badlands National Park, expect temperatures between 87°F during the day and 58°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Thu) early enough to travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Nature Parks Outdoors

Side Trip

Badlands National Park
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall

1
night
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. On the 23rd (Fri), make a trip to Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial, then get engrossed in the history at De Smet Depot Museum, then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie, and finally explore the different monuments and memorials at De Smet Cemetery.

To find traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read De Smet trip planner .

You can drive from Badlands National Park to De Smet in 4.5 hours. Another option is to fly. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Badlands National Park to De Smet due to the time zone difference. When traveling from Badlands National Park in August, plan for a bit cooler days in De Smet, with highs around 82°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 59°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites Museums
Highlights from your plan
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

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