9 days in South Dakota & Devils Tower Itinerary

9 days in South Dakota & Devils Tower Itinerary

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Route & dates

9 days in South Dakota & Devils Tower Itinerary

Start: Minneapolis
Fly + Drive:  4​h
1
De Smet
— Few hours
Drive:  4​h 30​min
2
Badlands National Park
— 3 nights
Drive:  1​h
3
Rapid City
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 45​min
4
Devils Tower
— 1 night
Drive + Fly:  5​h
End: Minneapolis

few
hours
De Smet

De Smet ©
De Smet is a city in and the county seat of Kingsbury County, South Dakota, United States. Kick off your visit on the 1st (Sat): contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie and then stroll the grounds of De Smet Cemetery.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for De Smet using our trip planner.

Minneapolis to De Smet is an approximately 4-hour combination of flight and car. You can also drive. Expect a bit cooler evenings in De Smet when traveling from Minneapolis in August, with lows around 59°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 1st (Sat) so you can travel to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites
Highlights from your plan
De Smet Cemetery ©
De Smet Cemetery

3
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.
Step out of the city life by going to Loop Road and Badlands Wall. Visit Minuteman Missile National Historic Site and South Dakota's Original 1880 Town for their historical value. There's still lots to do: browse the different shops at Wall Drug, explore the wealth of natural beauty at Badlands National Park, explore the striking landscape at Big Badlands Overlook, and trek along Notch Trail.

To find other places to visit, more things to do, traveler tips, and more tourist information, read our Badlands National Park trip planner .

You can drive from De Smet to Badlands National Park in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. The time zone changes from Central Standard Time (CST) to Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is usually a -1 hour difference. In August, daytime highs in Badlands National Park are 87°F, while nighttime lows are 58°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 4th (Tue) so you can go by car to Rapid City.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Wall Drug, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, Badlands National Park, South Dakota's Original 1880 Town
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands National Park ©
Badlands National Park
Wall Drug ©
Wall Drug

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.
Visiting Mount Rushmore National Memorial and Needles Eye Tunnel will get you outdoors. Shop till you drop at Suzie Cappa Art Center and Insideout. Venture out of the city with trips to Mount Moriah Cemetery (in Deadwood), Presidential Trail (in Keystone) and Custer (Iron Mountain Road, Wildlife Loop Road, & more). There's still lots to do: take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City, do a tasting at Prairie Berry Winery, and learn about wildlife with up-close encounters at Reptile Gardens.

To find ratings, maps, and tourist information, you can read our Rapid City route site .

Drive from Badlands National Park to Rapid City in an hour. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In August, daily temperatures in Rapid City can reach 83°F, while at night they dip to 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Sat) to allow time to drive to Devils Tower.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks Nature Outdoors

Side Trips

Custer, Keystone, Hill City, Mount Moriah Cemetery
Highlights from your plan
Mount Rushmore National Memorial ©
Black Hills National Forest ©
Black Hills National Forest
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

1
night
Devils Tower

Devils Tower ©
A trip to Devils Tower proves equally suitable for adrenaline addicts and nature enthusiasts on the lookout for unique geological formations.
Start off your visit on the 9th (Sun): go for a walk through Tower Trail, take in the dramatic natural features at Devils Tower National Monument, and then stop by Devils Tower Trading Post.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, refer to the Devils Tower visit site .

You can drive from Rapid City to Devils Tower in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a daytime high around 81°F in August, and nighttime lows around 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Devils Tower

Parks Nature Shopping
Highlights from your plan
Devils Tower National Monument ©
Devils Tower National Monument
Devils Tower Trading Post ©
Devils Tower Trading Post

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