Devils Tower is an incredible day trip from Rapid City, located in Northeast Wyoming. It's only 2 hours away, so it's easy to get there after your flight lands and pick up your rental. Rapid City is a great base camp for exploring other South Dakota gems, such as Badlands, Mount Rushmore and Wind Cave. Start by heading directly to the Devils Tower National Monument.
Towards the end of Day 2, start your hike south to Hot Springs, South Dakota, home of Wind Cave National Park. This easy 2.5-hour drive will take you just past Jewel Cave National Monument. With more than 170 miles of trails and guided cave tours, which take place every hour, you can explore the area and take in the breathtaking views of Devils Tower from further afield. The most popular trail is the 1.3-mile paved Tower Trail, which leads you to the top of the ridge and allows you to see Devils Tower in the wooded landscape. The Joyner Trail is a little longer than 1.5 miles and also surrounds Devils Tower, allowing you to see it from a greater distance. If your Devils Tower itinerary includes a one-night stay, consider staying in the park to watch the night sky.
You can also compare the travel time if you fly or drive by calculating the distance between Rapid City and Devils Tower. The direct drive from Devils Tower to Rapid City is 109 miles (176 km) and you must have a driving time of 1 hour and 51 minutes in normal traffic. However, once you get to the start of the trail, it's a nice circular path around the base of Devils Tower. This Devils Tower itinerary is perfect if you want to take a day trip from Rapid City or if you want to make a stop on the way to Yellowstone. If you're planning a trip to Wyoming or South Dakota, a day trip to the Devils Tower National Monument is definitely worth taking.