6 days in South Dakota Itinerary

6 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock South Dakota itinerary planner

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Route & dates

6 days in South Dakota Itinerary

Start: Des Moines
Fly + Taxi:  6​h 15​min
1
Custer
— 2 nights
Drive:  2​h
2
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive:  4​h 30​min
3
Aberdeen
— 1 day
Drive:  2​h 15​min
4
De Smet
— 1 night
Drive:  6​h
End: Des Moines

2
nights
Custer

Custer ©
Generally considered to be the oldest town established by European Americans in the Black Hills, Custer began as a mining town.
On the 7th (Sun), cruise along Needles Highway. On the 8th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take in the dramatic natural features at Needles Eye Tunnel, delve into the lush surroundings at Black Hills National Forest, and then learn more about the world around you at The Museum @ Black Hills Institute.

To see traveler tips, maps, photos, and tourist information, read our Custer visit planner.

Des Moines to Custer is an approximately 6.5-hour combination of flight and taxi. You can also drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Des Moines to Custer due to the time zone difference. Expect slightly colder temperatures when traveling from Des Moines in July; daily highs in Custer reach 80°F and lows reach 53°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 9th (Tue) early enough to drive to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Custer

Parks Nature Wildlife

Side Trips

South Dakota, The Museum @ Black Hills Institute, Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Find places to stay Jul 7 — 9:
Highlights from your plan
Sylvan Lake ©
Sylvan Lake
The Museum @ Black Hills Institute ©
Needles Eye Tunnel ©
Needles Eye Tunnel

1
night
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.
On the 10th (Wed), take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook, take in the dramatic natural features at Badlands Wall, and then take a memorable drive along Loop Road.

To see traveler tips, reviews, and other tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park day trip planning app .

You can drive from Custer to Badlands National Park in 2 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. Plan for somewhat warmer temperatures traveling from Custer in July, with highs in Badlands National Park at 91°F and lows at 60°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 10th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Aberdeen.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks Nature Scenic Drive
Find places to stay Jul 9 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Loop Road ©
Loop Road
Badlands Wall ©
Badlands Wall
Big Badlands Overlook ©
Big Badlands Overlook

1
day
Aberdeen

Aberdeen ©
Aberdeen is a city in and the county seat of Brown County, South Dakota, United States, about northeast of Pierre. On the 11th (Thu), stroll through Wylie Park and then let little ones run wild at Storybook Land.

To see other places to visit, maps, and other tourist information, you can read our Aberdeen online trip maker .

Drive from Badlands National Park to Aberdeen in 5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly. The time zone changes from Mountain Standard Time (MST) to Central Standard Time (CST), which is usually a 1 hour difference. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Badlands National Park in July: highs in Aberdeen hover around 84°F, while lows dip to 58°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Thu) so you can travel to De Smet.

Things to do in Aberdeen

Parks Fun & Games
Find places to stay Jul 10 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Storybook Land and Land of Oz ©
Storybook Land and Land of Oz
Wylie Park ©
Wylie Park

1
night
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 12th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial and then contemplate the long history of Ingalls Homestead - Laura's Living Prairie.

To see reviews, more things to do, maps, and tourist information, refer to the De Smet trip itinerary maker website .

Traveling by car from Aberdeen to De Smet takes 2 hours. Expect a daytime high around 85°F in July, and nighttime lows around 61°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 12th (Fri) so you can travel back home.

Things to do in De Smet

Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jul 11 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial ©
Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial

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