Black to yellow road trip One week itinerary

It’s time for epic discovery.

It’s a week packed with adventure on the most monumental scale you can imagine. And it’s waiting when you follow our custom-designed itinerary. From South Dakota’s otherworldly Badlands National Park to Wyoming’s legendary Bighorn National Forest, you’ll find so many can’t-miss stops along the way. It’s just one breathtaking vista – and one unforgettable experience – after another.

Brought to you by Travel Wyoming and South Dakota Tourism.

Arrive in South Dakota

Land at Rapid City Regional Airport (RAP).

Head to Badlands National Park

This striking South Dakota landscape boasts a maze of buttes, canyons, pinnacles and spires. Skeletons of the sea-living Mosasaur remain from the days when the park was once a shallow sea. You can also see other fossilized species, including three-toed horses and saber-toothed cats. Wildlife abounds in the park’s 244,000 acres and can often be seen while hiking, camping and traveling the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway.

The Ben Reifel Visitor Center is now open. Please note the park’s roads, overlooks and trails will remain open as conditions permit.

Lodging

Frontier Cabins
Wall, SD, 57790

Activities

Sage Creek Road
Sage Creek Road, SD
Night Sky Viewings, Cedar Pass Amphitheater
SD 20681 South Dakota 240, Interior, SD, 57750
Badlands, SD
Badlands, SD
Badlands, SD
Badlands Loop Scenic Byway, SD

Drive to Wind Cave National Park and See Wildlife Up Close

The first cave to be designated a national park, Wind Cave National Park features the world’s largest concentration of rare boxwork formations along with 33,970 acres of forest and prairie on the surface that act as a natural sanctuary for wildlife.

The park visitor center and Elk Mountain campground are now open.

*Cave tours currently unavailable.

Wind Cave National Park
Custer, SD, US, 57730
Custer, SD
Custer, SD

Head to Custer State Park

Few truly wild places remain in this country. Custer State Park is one of them. Nearly 1,400 bison wander the park’s 71,000 acres, which they share with pronghorn antelope, elk, mountain goats and a band of burros. Trail rides, scenic drives, bike rides and safari tours are perfect ways to explore this impressive South Dakota attraction.

Lodging

State Game Lodge (Custer State Park Resort)
13389 US Hwy 16A, Custer, SD, US, 57730 CusterResorts.com

Activities

Cathedral Spires Trailhead
Custer, SD, 57730
Sylvan Lake Shore Trailhead
Custer, SD, 57730
Needles Highway Scenic Overlook
South Dakota 87, Custer, SD, 57730
Iron Mountain Road, SD
Iron Mountain Road, SD

Drive to Pactola Marina and Go Kayaking

At first glance, it may look like nothing more than a lake. Well, not just a lake — a beautiful lake located in the Black Hills, partially surrounded by trees and often occupied by various waterfowl looking for a relaxing spot to float and eat. In this 785-acre reservoir located about 18 miles west of Rapid City, the shimmering water attracts residents and visitors alike to come swim, relax on the beach, do some boating or stand-up paddleboarding, or cast into waters that anglers swear make for the best fishing in the state.

Pactola Lake, SD
Pactola Lake, SD

Head to Spearfish, SD

Spearfish Canyon State Nature Area includes the Roughlock Falls, Spearfish Falls and the Savoy Pond area south of Spearfish and west of Lead. A trail system connects all three areas, offering spectacular views of the waterfalls and legendary fall foliage. Bird-watching, wildlife viewing, fishing and picnicking can all be enjoyed in the nature area. Be on the lookout for the rare American Dipper, a stocky, gray bird often spotted catching its food underwater by swimming or walking on the stream bottom. Spearfish Canyon — which is along Highway 14A, also known as the Spearfish Canyon State Scenic Byway — is considered one of the most beautiful locations in the Black Hills.

Needles Highway, SD
Needles Highway, SD

Welcome to Wyoming

Visit Keyhole State Park

Keyhole State Park is between Sundance and Moorcroft on the edge of the Black Hills. It is within sight of Devils Tower. The reservoir offers excellent fishing for walleye, catfish, small mouth bass and northern pike.

Keyhole State Park takes its name from Keyhole Reservoir near Moorcroft. The reservoir offers a variety of fishing and water sports opportunities in addition to camping, picnicking, hiking and bird-watching. Keyhole also offers some of the best snowmobiling in the state during the winter. The mountains that surround Keyhole form the western boundary of the famed Black Hills.

Antelope, whitetail deer and wild turkeys are often seen in the area. The lake is one of the better places in the state to go after the elusive walleye and northern pike. For easy access, a road leads to Keyhole State Park eight miles from Interstate 90 between Sundance and Moorcroft.

@jacobstout92, Keyhole State Park, WY
@jacobstout92, Keyhole State Park, WY

Visit Devils Tower National Monument

Anchoring the northeast corner of Wyoming is the country’s first national monument—Devils Tower. A laccolithic butte that is made up of igneous rocks, Devils Tower is a jaw-dropping geological feature that rises 867 feet above Wyoming’s rolling prairies.

While Devils Tower National Monument garnered significant attention as the backdrop in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, the tower is sacred to many Northern Plains Indian tribes, as well as the Kiowa Tribe, who made their homes in the Black Hills region. With oral storytelling and a history that dates back thousands of years, today American Indian tribes continue to hold sacred ceremonies at the tower, including sweat lodges and sun dances. With a rich history that combines the country’s First Nations with cowboys, rock climbers and incredible night skies, Devils Tower is a must-visit destination in Wyoming.

Devils Tower
Map >

After exploring Devils Tower, drive 2.5 hours to Sheridan, WY.

Activities

Aladdin General Store
3983 WY-24, Aladdin, WY 82710
Sundance, WY
Sundance, WY
Frontier Auto Museum
205 S Ross Ave, Gillette, WY 82716
Mountain Meadow Wool
22 Plains Dr, Buffalo, WY 82834
Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway
Buffalo (via Highway 16)
The Historic Occidental Hotel Museum
10 N Main St, Buffalo, WY 82834 occidentalwyoming.com
Devils Tower National Monument, WY
Devils Tower National Monument, WY

Drive to Bighorn National Forest via Bighorn Scenic Byway

The Bighorn National Forest surrounds the Bighorn Mountains which are an isolated range rising from 5,500 feet to 13,175 feet at the summit of Cloud Peak. It consists of 1,107,671 million acres with 189,000 acres dedicated to the Cloud Peak Wilderness area. Wildlife is abundant in the diverse landscape which includes short grass prairies, evergreen forests, mountain meadows, rugged alpine peaks, dramatic canyons, arid desert lands and cascading waterfalls. There are 3 National Scenic Byways, 30 modern campgrounds, numerous picnic areas, a visitor center, 4 cross-country areas, 8 lodges, 3 historic fire lookouts and 1200 miles of roads and trails

Bighorn National Forest
WY, US, 82834
Hike Tongue River Canyon Trail
fs.usda.gov/recarea/bighorn/recreation/recarea

After exploring Bighorn National Forest, drive 3 hours to Cody, WY.

Lodging

Chamberlin Inn Cody
1032 12th St, Cody, WY, 82414

Activities

Shell Falls Interpretive Site
HWY 14, Shell, WY, 82414
Red Gulch Dinosaur Track
Greybull, WY 82426
Museum of Flight & aerial firefighting
2534 Hiller Lane Greybull, WY 82426
Ten Sleep Pioneer Museum
436 2nd St, Ten Sleep, WY 82442
Bighorn Scenic Byway, WY
Bighorn Scenic Byway, WY
Chamberlin Inn, Cody, WY
Chamberlin Inn, Cody, WY

Depart from Wyoming or experience the Yellowstone adventure.

This is the place you’ve always heard about. Yellowstone: the iconic American park that’s also our country’s very first national park. Home to rugged wilderness, majestic peaks, abundant wildlife, the world’s largest concentration of geysers — and two million acres of thrilling, year-round adventure. It’s hiking, horseback riding, fishing, wildlife tours, camping and more. It’s humbling. It’s enthralling. It’s Yellowstone.

Should your 6-day adventure need to end before experiencing Yellowstone National Park, you can depart from Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD).

Yellowstone National Park East Entrance
N Fork Hwy, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Hike Tongue River Canyon Trail
fs.usda.gov/recarea/bighorn/recreation/recarea

Dining

BREAKFAST
8th Street At the Ivy
1800 8th St, Cody, WY 82414

Depart for Yellowstone National Park east entrance

Visit Yellowstone >

Depart from Wyoming

Depart from Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD)

flyyra.com/airline-information/
Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park
Grand Prismatic, Yellowstone National Park
Black To Yellow