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Black Hills and Badlands Itinerary Highlight

What do you have planned between May and September? Or let’s rephrase that a bit – do you need a little inspiration for travel plans this year? If so, you’ve found the right team here at Tumbleweed Travel Co. We’ve got 10+ already curated road trips, hitting over 50 destinations, or we can turn your dream RV road trip into a reality by custom building one out for you. We’re practically swimming in RV travel inspiration! And we are so excited to share a glimpse of it with you.

While we’d argue that all of our road trips are our favorite, we’d like to highlight one in particular this time around. If you like a mix of terrain – small city, plains, mountains and meadows – national parks + monuments, history, one of a kind sights and activities, then keep reading as we touch on our Black Hills and Badlands RV Road TripĀ 

Trip Information

This is a 6-day round trip starting and ending in Rapid City, South Dakota. Your days are filled with different stops like Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, Hot Springs, and the Badlands National Park. The stops alone make for an amazing, jam-packed trip – but we haven’t even gotten started on all the sights you’ll see in between!

Rapid City

This area is rich in Native American culture and history. Rapid City is also known as the “gateway to the Black Hills.” A name given by the Lakota Sioux tribe for the hills’ dark appearance from a distance due to the small mountain range being covered in primarily ponderosa pine trees. But let’s zoom in a little more on the city itself. Here, you will find the perfect hub of a small town hosting museums, art, small local shops, surrounded by beautiful landscape. You can take a walk with all the presidents, as they have 44 statues placed throughout the city. Or, you can visit the largest reptile zoo in the world. Maybe skyline trail will set you on a series of future scenic paths. Whatever speaks to you, we’re sure you’ll find a piece of it here.

Badlands National Park

You’ll feel like you were transported to another world when you see the dramatic rock formations, wild flowers, a vastness of this 244,000 acre natural park. This park offers plenty of outdoor friendly experiences. A few worth mentioning include the infamous Wall overlook, stargazing, hiking the Notch or Castle trails, and exploring paleontology and archeology attractions. Another great way to stay engaged in the sights and learning more about the history of the park is to keep busy with a junior ranger program. Remember when we mentioned the series of scenic paths? The Badlands has a scenic byway for you to take your home on wheels through too.

Hot Springs

Whether you are visiting solo, with your partner, or with kids, this place can be just the change in pace you need. Mineral-rich hot springs from the Fall River Canyon are waiting for you to soak in. Waterfalls. Caves. Natural wonders. Yoga outdoors. Ahhh. Can you feel it yet?

Custer State Park

This state park brings you up close and personal to the wildlife and land it boasts. Take a drive down yet another scenic drive – the wildlife loop and see sheep, elk, buffalo, coyote, and so much more. It was named the World’s Top 10 Wildlife Destinations for good reason! You can even take it a step further and hop on a Safari Jeep Tour. Around here you’ll find another face sculpted into the mountainside – Crazy Horse. A hero in Native American culture, the Lakota Chief Standing Bear requested a sculpture be made of their fearless defender of Native American culture, territory and life to educate the masses on doing the same. Custer also holds the lesser-known Wind Cave National Park which is a major geological phenomenon. And if all this hasn’t already sold you, there’s also more scenic drives around here, one leading to a secluded lake; perfect for a hammock and picnic set up away from the crowds.

Mount Rushmore

Want to see Mount Rushmore from above? Down below? Right at eye level? Perfectly framed in a tunnel on a scenic drive? We know all the spots! We recommend grabbing Thomas Jefferson’s original ice cream recipe and taking a selfie with our favorite presidents too. Mount Rushmore is a staple right in the middle of the Black Hills. Wherever it’s at on your list, it is sure to be surrounded by a handful of other sights as well.


We could honestly brag about this trip all day. Discuss all the food stops, hidden gems, and photo ops, but you know what’s even more fun than that? Experiencing it all for yourself! Planning the perfect trip just needs a little inspiration and spark from Tumbleweed Travel Co. We love sharing the excitement of being on the road and exploring the beautiful country with you all. And can’t wait to swap stories over your Black Hills and Badlands trip once you head out on your own adventure.