21 days in Western US & South Dakota Itinerary

21 days in Western US & South Dakota Itinerary

Created using Inspirock United States trip itinerary builder

Make it your trip
Drive
1
Denver
— 3 nights
Drive
2
Colorado Springs
— 2 nights
Drive
3
Rye
Drive
4
Mesa Verde National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
5
Grand Canyon National Park
— 2 nights
Drive
6
Las Vegas
— 2 nights
Drive
7
Yosemite National Park
— 3 nights
Drive
8
Salt Lake City
— 1 night
Drive
9
Keystone
— 1 night
Drive
10
Badlands National Park
— 1 night
Drive

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Denver

— 3 nights

Mile-High City

Aptly nicknamed the "Mile-High City," Denver sits at an altitude of 1,600 m (5,280 ft) above sea level, located right where the Great Plains give way to the Rocky Mountains.
Attractions like Littleton Museum and Robert Clement Park make great kid-friendly stops. Explore hidden gems such as Eldorado Canyon State Park and Mount Sanitas Trail. The adventure continues: explore the landscape on two wheels at Mount Falcon Castle Trail, see the interesting displays at Denver Firefighters Museum, fly like a bird with a parasailing or paragliding tour, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Trinity United Methodist Church.

To find photos, reviews, and other tourist information, read Denver visit planner.

Cleveland to Denver is an approximately 4.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or take a train. The time zone difference when traveling from Cleveland to Denver is minus 2 hours. Traveling from Cleveland in May, Denver is slightly colder at night with lows of 43°F. On the 19th (Wed), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can drive to Colorado Springs.

Things to do in Denver

Parks · Museums · Outdoors · Trails

Side Trips

Colorado Springs

— 2 nights
Stunning Garden of the Gods Park scenery, blue skies and the glory of Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain have attracted visitors to Colorado Springs for more than a century.
Start off your visit on the 19th (Wed): explore the world behind art at Michael Garman Museum & Gallery, then surround yourself with nature on Colorado Wolf Adventures, and then take in the exciting artwork at Commonwheel Artists Co-op. Here are some ideas for day two: see the interesting displays at Penrose Heritage Museum, then stroll through Palmer Park, then get engrossed in the history at U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum, and finally add some entertainment to your itinerary with Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College.

To see other places to visit, more things to do, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Colorado Springs trip itinerary builder website.

Drive from Denver to Colorado Springs in 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus; or do a combination of train and flight. In May, daytime highs in Colorado Springs are 68°F, while nighttime lows are 42°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 21st (Fri) to allow enough time to drive to Rye.

Things to do in Colorado Springs

Museums · Outdoors · Wildlife · Trails

Side Trips

Rye

Rye is a Statutory Town in Pueblo County, Colorado, United States. On the 21st (Fri), explore the historical opulence of Bishop Castle.

To find traveler tips, maps, where to stay, and tourist information, go to the Rye route planner.

Traveling by car from Colorado Springs to Rye takes 1.5 hours. Plan for little chillier temperatures traveling from Colorado Springs in May, with highs in Rye at 58°F and lows at 33°F. On the 21st (Fri), wrap the sightseeing up by early afternoon so you can travel to Mesa Verde National Park.

Things to do in Rye

Historic Sites
Highlights from your trip

Mesa Verde National Park

— 2 nights
Whereas most national parks are primarily devoted to showcasing unique and special landscapes, Mesa Verde National Park focuses on ancient human habitation.
Start off your visit on the 22nd (Sat): don't miss a visit to Step House, then make a trip to Far View Sites, then explore the striking landscape at Square Tower House, and finally don't miss a visit to Park Point.

Quickly create a custom-made itinerary for Mesa Verde National Park using our trip planner.

Traveling by car from Rye to Mesa Verde National Park takes 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and flight. Traveling from Rye in May, you will find days in Mesa Verde National Park are somewhat warmer (72°F), and nights are about the same (38°F). Finish your sightseeing early on the 23rd (Sun) so you can drive to Grand Canyon National Park.

Things to do in Mesa Verde National Park

Parks · Historic Sites · Nature

Grand Canyon National Park

— 2 nights
The size, shape, and color of Grand Canyon National Park combine to leave an impression on visitors as deep as the canyon itself.
Hoover Dam has been added to your itinerary. Kick off your visit on the 23rd (Sun): see human ingenuity at work at Hoover Dam, then take in breathtaking views at Yavapai Point, and then get great views at Yaki Point. On the 24th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: take some stellar pictures from Pipe Creek Vista, admire all the interesting features of East Rim Drive, then stroll through Moran Point, and finally get great views at Shoshone Point.

For photos, other places to visit, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Grand Canyon National Park trip itinerary planner.

Getting from Mesa Verde National Park to Grand Canyon National Park by car takes about 5.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi, bus, and car. Expect a bit cooler evenings in Grand Canyon National Park when traveling from Mesa Verde National Park in May, with lows around 33°F. On the 25th (Tue), you're off to Las Vegas.

Things to do in Grand Canyon National Park

Parks · Nature · Scenic Drive · Outdoors

Side Trip

Las Vegas

— 2 nights

Sin City

Nicknamed the "Entertainment Capital of the World," Las Vegas sits in the middle of a desert in the southern section of Nevada.
Kick off your visit on the 25th (Tue): experience the excitement of REAL BODIES at Bally's. On the next day, pause for some photo ops at Winged Figures of the Republic Statues, then relax and float downstream with a rafting and tubing tour, then get outside with Green Valley Range, and finally look for all kinds of wild species at Clark County Wetlands Park.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, read our Las Vegas route builder app.

Drive from Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas in 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a shuttle; or do a combination of bus and flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Grand Canyon National Park to Las Vegas. Expect a bit warmer weather when traveling from Grand Canyon National Park in May: highs in Las Vegas hover around 87°F, while lows dip to 64°F. You will have some time to spend on the 27th (Thu) before leaving for Yosemite National Park.

Things to do in Las Vegas

Outdoors · Wildlife · Parks · Adventure

Side Trips

Yosemite National Park

— 3 nights
Massive granite mountains, towering waterfalls, groves of Giant Sequoia trees, and wilderness as far as the eye can see distinguish the landscape of Yosemite National Park.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Yosemite, Tunnel View and Yosemite Valley Loop Trail. The adventure continues: hike along May Lake Trailhead, look for all kinds of wild species at Nature Center at Happy Isles, get to know the fascinating history of Wawona Hotel, National Historic Landmark, and explore the striking landscape at Cloud's Rest.

For photos, maps, ratings, and more tourist information, read our Yosemite National Park vacation planner.

Getting from Las Vegas to Yosemite National Park by car takes about 6 hours. Other options: do a combination of flight and car. Prepare for colder weather when traveling from Las Vegas in May: high temperatures in Yosemite National Park hover around 65°F and lows are around 34°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Sun) early enough to travel to Salt Lake City.

Things to do in Yosemite National Park

Parks · Trails · Outdoors · Nature

Salt Lake City

— 1 night

Crossroads of the West

Utah's capital and most populous city, Salt Lake City boasts a small-town feel, big-city amenities, and plenty of nature on its doorstep.
Kick off your visit on the 31st (Mon): don't miss a visit to Kindig It Design Inc., then get curious at Wheeler Historic Farm, then stroll around Ensign Peak Park, and finally stroll around Memory Grove Park.

For where to stay, maps, more things to do, and more tourist information, you can read our Salt Lake City online road trip planner.

Getting from Yosemite National Park to Salt Lake City by combination of bus and flight takes about 6 hours. Other options: drive; or do a combination of bus and train. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Yosemite National Park to Salt Lake City due to the time zone difference. Prepare for a bit warmer weather when traveling from Yosemite National Park in May: high temperatures in Salt Lake City hover around 72°F and lows are around 51°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 1st (Tue) early enough to catch the flight to Keystone.

Things to do in Salt Lake City

Parks · Museums · Childrens Museums

Keystone

— 1 night

Home Of Mount Rushmore

Fewer than 400 people call Keystone home year-round, but the population explodes in summer when crowds flock to nearby Mount Rushmore.
To see maps, reviews, and tourist information, you can read our Keystone trip itinerary planning site.

You can fly from Salt Lake City to Keystone in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Expect a bit cooler temperatures when traveling from Salt Lake City in June; daily highs in Keystone reach 73°F and lows reach 48°F. On the 2nd (Wed), you'll travel to Badlands National Park.

Things to do in Keystone

Parks · Outdoors · Nature · Museums

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.
On the 2nd (Wed), take in the dramatic natural features at Conata Basin Overlook, explore the striking landscape at Homestead Overlook, explore the striking landscape of Burns Basin Overlook, then explore the striking landscape of Bigfoot Pass Overlook, then take in the dramatic natural features at White River Valley Overlook, and finally take in the dramatic natural features at Big Badlands Overlook. Keep things going the next day: hike along Castle Trail, explore the striking landscape at Panorama Point Overlook, then take in the dramatic natural features at Yellow Mounds Overlook, and finally make a trip to Pinnacles Overlook.

To see maps, more things to do, traveler tips, and tourist information, go to the Badlands National Park attractions planner.

Traveling by car from Keystone to Badlands National Park takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi and bus. In June, Badlands National Park is somewhat warmer than Keystone - with highs of 83°F and lows of 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 3rd (Thu) to allow time to fly back home.

Things to do in Badlands National Park

Parks · Nature · Trails · Outdoors

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.