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Day Trip

Winchester, Kentucky
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62 posts
19 reviews
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Day Trip

My wife and I are planning a day trip from Keystone to the Badlands this summer. Is one day long enough to see most of the park. Is the best way to see some of it on the park loop road. We are not into hiking but would like to see as much as possible. Also is Wall nearby and what is there to do there. Was thinking about trying to fit both in on one day but could possibly stop at Wall on the way to Keystone. We will be traveling from east to west from Kentucky. I don't think I will have time to stop at The Badlands on the way to Keystone but thought about maybe stopping at Wall for awhile. Thanks.

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Keystone
Keystone
South Dakota
Kentucky
Kentucky
United States
Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
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6,127 posts
61 reviews
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1. Re: Day Trip

You could fit both easily in 1 day. Most combine Wall Drug and the Badlands. Wall Drug is a giant souvenir store that boasts free ice water and some other kitschy, roadside Americana attractions, like a mechanical T Rex that roars and moves around every hour. It's one of those places everyone has to see once. You also have the Minuteman Missile Site that some enjoy. I have only spent about an hour at Wall Drug, which is plenty of time for me.

As for the Badlands, most drive the scenic park loop, stopping at the many overlooks for pictures. There are some short trails that many explore Fossil, Door and Window Trails, which are all very easy.

You might be able to stop on the way, depending on what time you get to the area. Another option would be to stay in Wall or at Cedar Pass that night so you can catch a sunrise/sunset over the Badlands, which is quite spectacular.

Let us know if you have more questions.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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8,215 posts
45 reviews
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2. Re: Day Trip

While in that area, you may also want to consider adding the Minuteman Missile Nat'l Historic Site, especially if you end up overnighting one night near Badlands. My opinion, it is more interesting than Wall Drug, although I managed to fit all three (including Badlands) into my time while driving across the US this past summer.

Here's my travel journal that discusses all of these sites: igougo.com/journal-j77035-South_Dakota-More_… .

Apple Valley...
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798 posts
54 reviews
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3. Re: Day Trip

I am not into hiking either but really enjoyed getting off the boardwalk viewing area on the doors/windows scenic stop in the Badlands. As mentioned above, very easy and gives you a very cool experience (and photos). Definitely do-able as a day trip as we were staying in Rapid City so drove out there in the AM, did the scenic loop drive, stopping at almost all, then had lunch at Wall Drug and back to Rapid City by 3pm for a Black Hills Gold Jewelry Factory tour. It was definitely enough time but I would have followed all of the online advice and done it as part of the drive into the area or out of the area instead of backtracking. If I ever get back to the area, would be nice to see Badlands in different light of day as well instead of late morning/mid-day where the sun is bright and above. Plus Keystone is going to be a good 45 minutes further then where we were at along the interstate in Eastern Rapid City area.

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Rapid City
Rapid City
South Dakota
Apple Valley...
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798 posts
54 reviews
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4. Re: Day Trip

and I do regret not stopping at the Minuteman Missile Site but my friend was not into it and we had the other plans for later in the day all set.

Jackson, Wisconsin
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579 posts
178 reviews
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5. Re: Day Trip

If your accommodations are not locked in I agree with spending one night at the Badlands. We stayed at the Frontier cabins in Wall which are very nice and very reasonable. Going into the park in the evening hours allowed us to see a beautiful sunset and see a lot of wildlife- pronghorn,bighorn sheep and turkey were very plentiful along a couple of the western end overlooks right before sunset . Lots of great photo ops.

6. Re: Day Trip

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