5 days in South Dakota Itinerary

5 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota trip itinerary builder
Make it your trip
Rapid City
— 3 nights
Badlands National Park
— 1 night


Rapid City — 3 nights

South Dakota's second-largest city, Rapid City has for many years served as a gateway to the West.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Reptile Gardens and Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Venture out of the city with trips to Custer (Iron Mountain Road, Wildlife Loop Road, &more). Next up on the itinerary: stop by Downtown Rapid City, get in on the family fun at Storybook Island, and look for gifts at Alex Johnson Mercantile.

For reviews, other places to visit, ratings, and more tourist information, read Rapid City trip planner.

Chicago to Rapid City is an approximately 4-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a bus. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Chicago to Rapid City due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Chicago in June, Rapid City is slightly colder at night with lows of 57°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 16th (Thu) to allow enough time to drive to Badlands National Park.
Parks · Outdoors · Scenic Drive · Nature
Side Trips
Find places to stay Jun 13 — 16:

Badlands National Park — 1 night

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.
Kick off your visit on the 17th (Fri): take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, take a memorable drive along Loop Road, and then hike along Castle Trail.

For traveler tips, other places to visit, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Badlands National Park trip itinerary builder tool.

Traveling by car from Rapid City to Badlands National Park takes an hour. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and taxi. In June, daily temperatures in Badlands National Park can reach 83°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 17th (Fri) early enough to fly back home.
Outdoors · Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive
Find places to stay Jun 16 — 17:

South Dakota travel guide

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.