9 days in South Dakota, Estes Park & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

9 days in South Dakota, Estes Park & Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip maker

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Rapid City
— 1 night
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2
Estes Park
— 2 nights
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3
Yellowstone National Park
— 5 nights
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Rapid City

— 1 night

Gateway to the Black Hills

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Start off your visit on the 1st (Tue): stroll through Bear Country USA, explore the striking landscape of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and then see the world from above with Black Hills Helicopters. On the next day, browse the different shops at Wall Drug, then indulge your thirst for a good beer at Lost Cabin Beer Co., and then take a stroll through Downtown Rapid City.

To find where to stay, maps, and other tourist information, read our Rapid City trip itinerary builder.

New York City to Rapid City is an approximately 6-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of train and bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 2 hours traveling from New York City to Rapid City. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from New York City in June since evenings lows in Rapid City dip to 57°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 2nd (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Estes Park.

Things to do in Rapid City

Parks · Wildlife · Neighborhoods · Shopping

Side Trips

Estes Park

— 2 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.
Start off your visit on the 3rd (Thu): indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, indulge your thirst for a good beer at Rock Cut Brewing Company, then admire all the interesting features of Trail Ridge Road, and finally delve into the lush surroundings at Many Parks Curve Overlook. Here are some ideas for day two: take a pleasant ride with a tour on horseback.

For ratings, more things to do, where to stay, and tourist information, use the Estes Park trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Rapid City to Estes Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. When traveling from Rapid City in June, plan for a bit warmer days in Estes Park, with highs around 87°F, while nights are about the same with lows around 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 4th (Fri) to allow enough time to fly to Yellowstone National Park.

Things to do in Estes Park

Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Spas · Tours

Side Trip

Yellowstone National Park

— 5 nights

World's Largest Collection of Geysers

An exceptionally diverse landscape and varied wildlife have made Yellowstone National Park one of America's most popular parks.
Take a break from the city and head to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Grand Prismatic Spring. There's lots more to do: take in the natural beauty of Midway Geyser Basin, explore the striking landscape at Aurum Geyser, tour the pleasant surroundings at Storm Point Trail, and hike along Natural Bridge Trail.

For ratings, traveler tips, more things to do, and other tourist information, use the Yellowstone National Park visit planner.

Traveling by flight from Estes Park to Yellowstone National Park takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of taxi and bus. Traveling from Estes Park in June, expect Yellowstone National Park to be much colder, temps between 66°F and 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 9th (Wed) to allow time for the flight back home.

Things to do in Yellowstone National Park

Parks · Nature · Outdoors · Trails

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.