9 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

9 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States journey builder

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Denver
— 1 night
Drive
3
Estes Park
— 1 night
Drive
4
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Drive

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Rapid City

— 2 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.
Kick off your visit on the 30th (Sun): get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, then look for all kinds of wild species at Bear Country USA, and then explore and take pictures at Iron Mountain Road. Keep things going the next day: admire the majestic nature at Custer State Park, contemplate the waterfront views at Sylvan Lake, then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and finally hike along Presidential Trail.

For traveler tips, reviews, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Rapid City road trip planner.

Minneapolis to Rapid City is an approximately 3.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. The time zone difference when traveling from Minneapolis to Rapid City is minus 1 hour. Traveling from Minneapolis in May, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be slightly colder in Rapid City, with lows of 45°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 31st (Mon) so you can travel to Denver.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Wildlife

Side Trips

Denver

— 1 night

Mile-High City

Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
On the 1st (Tue), learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Denver Zoo, get curious at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, then shop like a local with Denver Botanic Gardens, and finally stop by Penzeys Spices. Keep things going the next day: admire the masterpieces at Denver Art Museum, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Trinity United Methodist Church, and then steep yourself in history at Denver Union Station.

To find where to stay, more things to do, ratings, and tourist information, refer to the Denver trip itinerary builder website.

Getting from Rapid City to Denver by flight takes about 4 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. June in Denver sees daily highs of 83°F and lows of 55°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) to allow time to drive to Estes Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Shopping

Side Trip

Estes Park

— 1 night
More than just a convenient resting place for travelers on their way to the national park encompassing the Front Range of the Rockies, Estes Park is a popular place to visit in its own right.
On the 3rd (Thu), take some stellar pictures from Forest Canyon Overlook, contemplate the waterfront views at Bear Lake, then contemplate the waterfront views at Sprague Lake, and finally relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas.

To find maps, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read Estes Park online holiday planner.

Drive from Denver to Estes Park in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In June, daytime highs in Estes Park are 87°F, while nighttime lows are 54°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 3rd (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Nature · Parks · Spas

Side Trip

Colorado Springs

— 2 nights
Stunning Garden of the Gods Park scenery, blue skies and the glory of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain have attracted visitors to Colorado Springs for more than a century.
Kick off your visit on the 4th (Fri): get to know the fascinating history of Old Colorado City and then walk around Garden of the Gods. Keep things going the next day: get in on the family fun at Cave of the Winds Mountain Park.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, read Colorado Springs day trip app.

Traveling by car from Estes Park to Colorado Springs takes 3 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus; or fly. In June, daily temperatures in Colorado Springs can reach 84°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 5th (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Theme Parks · Parks · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites

Side Trip

South Dakota travel guide

4.2
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.

Colorado travel guide

4.4
River Rafting & Tubing · Parks · Scenic Drive
The Centennial State
Home to diverse natural ecosystems, Colorado boasts numerous ski resorts, vineyards, canyons, fossil-rich national parks, rugged natural trails, and picturesque scenic drives. Arguably the greatest of Colorado's many natural wonders is Mt. Elbert, the highest peak in the North American Rockies. The state's natural beauty inspired the opening lyrics of the song "America the Beautiful." Aside from its abundant unspoiled wilderness, Colorado also offers many urban attractions, including award-winning restaurants and nationally praised microbreweries. With an extensive system of highways and railroads, the state provides visitors on vacation with a chance to explore this largely untamed part of the country by car or train.