9 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

9 days in South Dakota & Colorado Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States visit planner

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Rapid City
— 2 nights
Drive
2
Denver
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Estes Park
— 3 nights
Drive
4
Colorado Springs
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.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Sylvan Lake. On your second day here, get to know the resident critters at Reptile Gardens, then take a memorable drive along Iron Mountain Road, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

To see where to stay, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Rapid City visit planner.

Minneapolis to Rapid City is an approximately 9-hour car ride. You can also fly; or drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Minneapolis to Rapid City. While traveling from Minneapolis, expect a bit warmer days and about the same nights in Rapid City, ranging from highs of 50°F to lows of 27°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Denver.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Denver

— 2 nights

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.
Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 30th (Tue): admire the natural beauty at Denver Botanic Gardens, then see the sky in a new way at Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Trinity United Methodist Church.

For where to stay, reviews, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read our Denver vacation builder app.

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Denver takes 6.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or drive; or do a combination of bus and train. In March in Denver, expect temperatures between 55°F during the day and 29°F at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 31st (Wed) so you can go by car to Estes Park.

Things to do in Denver

Museums · Historic Sites · Childrens Museums · Parks

Estes Park

— 3 nights
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.
You've added Bear Lake, Sprague Lake, Forest Canyon Overlook, and other attractions to your itinerary. Keep things going the next day: cruise along Peak to Peak Scenic Byway, take a stroll through Downtown Estes Park, then take in the dramatic scenery at Chasm Falls, and finally get great views at Forest Canyon Overlook.

For traveler tips, photos, where to stay, and other tourist information, go to the Estes Park online holiday planner.

Getting from Denver to Estes Park by car takes about 1.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect somewhat warmer weather when traveling from Denver in March: highs in Estes Park hover around 61°F, while lows dip to 29°F. On the 3rd (Sat), you'll have the morning to explore before heading off to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Estes Park

Nature · Parks · Neighborhoods · Scenic Drive

Side Trip

Colorado Springs

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.
You've now added Old Colorado City to your itinerary. Start off your visit on the 3rd (Sat): get to know the fascinating history of Old Colorado City and then walk around Garden of the Gods.

To plan Colorado Springs vacation without wasting time, ask Inspirock to design an itinerary.

You can drive from Estes Park to Colorado Springs in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and bus; or fly. Expect a daytime high around 60°F in April, and nighttime lows around 33°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Sat) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Parks · Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

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.