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10 Must-Have Vacation Stops Between the Black Hills and Yellowstone

When you’re looking for a summer vacation that offers adventure in 10 different ways, your starting point should be in South Dakota.

Ten adventures, two states, and you have all summer to visit some of the most spectacular places in the country on this 564-mile journey.

If you’re making this a family trip, don’t worry. Kids will love it and these destinations are kid-friendly.

READ MORE: YOUR SOUTH DAKOTA VACATION TRAVEL BINGO CARD

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As posted on Outsideonlin.com, half of this trip will be spent in South Dakota, starting with Badlands National Park. Hiking or driving will feel like you’re on a virtual vacation. The landscape is like no other.

Travel to South Dakota

Travel to South Dakota

Heading west through Rapid City to Custer State Park, make sure your camera has a fresh battery for dozens of different wildlife opportunities.

You are very close to Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Watching the Big Faces is best at the end of the day as you take in the lighting ceremony as the presidents come to life. Don’t forget to order an ice cream cone.

Travel to South Dakota

Travel to South Dakota

Further up the road and through the Black Hills National Forest, there are a few stops to enjoy before reaching Historic Deadwood. Adults and children alike, there is plenty of history in this old mining town. A trip to Mount Roosevelt Tower is highly recommended, where on a clear day you can see four states.

GFP from South Dakota

GFP from South Dakota

Beauty is the biggest part of this vacation, and when you leave Deadwood, don’t head north out of town. Point the car in the opposite direction from the entrance to Spearfish Canyon. High mountain waterfalls, wildlife, trout fishing and a stop for lunch are all on this leg of the trip.

Visit Spearfish

Visit Spearfish

Coming out of the canyon you are welcomed into the town of Spearfish. A great high street with nice restaurants, bars and shopping. Additionally, the DC Booth Historic National Fish Hatchery.

Just under an hour’s drive west in Wyoming is Devils Tower National Monument. How high is it? If you plan to climb, you should know that it is 867 feet.

When I think of fishing in the west, I never think of Keyhole State Park. For anglers who like bass, walleye and pike, Keyhole Reservoir should be the next fishing hole.

DON’T: South Dakota reminds tourists not to pet our buffalo

Journey to Wyoming

Journey to Wyoming

Gas up and feed your face because we’re headed to Cody, Wyoming and then Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Cody is a cool town, again with that Old West flavor. And, the view from just under 14,000 is one for a Christmas card.

READ MORE: YOUR SOUTH DAKOTA VACATION TRAVEL BINGO CARD

Those Bighorns have more to offer than a picture gallery and hikes. You have over 120,000 acres to camp.

And here we have it. The last stop on our adventure, Yellowstone National Park. Wild wildlife, geysers, rugged mountains. Oh, I could spend a whole summer here.

SEE: The most common birds in South Dakota

Stacker compiled a list of the most common birds seen in South Dakota from Project FeederWatch.

Gallery credit: Stacker

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