Its been about an Year and 3 months since we (Me and my Husband) moved to US before we could make this trip. I always had plans to do road trips even when I was in India. But I couldn't for whatever reasons. We definitely traveled few places by flights , but this was Our first Holiday plan by Road.It was a sudden plan and things fell in place and we started packing things on Thursday for our Friday kick start.

What to Pack ?

           I packed lots of winter clothing for both of us as we were expecting fluctuating weather conditions at Badlands.It was March end (30th) though it was the start of Spring season we were expecting it to get really cold at our destination. If u are travelling in summer be prepared for extreme hot conditions. This place is BAD-lands ;)

           We packed lots of snacks and home made dishes for our Friday journey just to avoid spending lot of time for dining or ordering food.You need sturdy boots if u plan to trek. First aid kit just in case.Gadgets,power banks and other travel needs. This place has lots of camping areas so pack ur tents if u love camping under the stars and the sky. He picked up the rental car ,double checked everything was okay with it and we Went to bed as early as we could.

DAY 1 (Friday) ~850 miles(Chicago-sioux falls-Wall)

           We started off around 5.30 am in the morning from Chicago.We took couple of 10-15 m breaks to stretch .Didn't loose much time as we packed enough for the day.We reached Sioux falls around 1 pm in the afternoon. The falls didn't seem as great as it was in the pictures ,fall water looked little dirty (You can spend 1-2 hrs at this place or night stay if you are not used to travel for long hours)We took enough time to take some good pictures,buy souvenir's. We took sioux sculpture walk 45mins .Then we searched for some Indian hotels had dinner (1 Hour) and started off for Badlands around 6 pm.We also took AL's Oasis Exit 260 for their famous Lemon cheese pie. Cedar Pass was our option as i wanted to capture the sunrise from Badlands but it was closed (Opens April 15th) so,  we had to halt at hotels in Wall .You can save your money here for worthy stuff if you opt for a cheap hotel which provides same amenities as the best ones.We reached around 10 pm filled our fuel tank to avoid early morning queues and had a sound sleep.(Also shop here for snacks and water for ur next day)

DAY 2 (Saturday) (Wall-Badlands-Mt.Rushmore-Devils Tower)

            We woke up at 6 am as it was extremely cold couldn't start early for sunrise had breakfast and entered Badlands National Park at 8 am.We stopped only at points we marked (I would highly recommend you to create a list of overlook points where you would like to stop) We took only Door and Window trail as it was very cold. I later felt i should have tried the Fossil trail. So,Plan what trails you want to take a day ahead. Don't miss the sage creek rim road ,We spotted some deers and other wildlife here.We left badlands around 12 pm.We took famous Wall drug exit 109 had lunch here .Good place to shop as well. Then started off for Mt. Rushmore. We had a snow storm when we were about to reach Black Hills so had slow down our pace but we managed to reach . spent about 30mins here and started off to Devils Tower wyoming (170 miles from Badlands) Had pizza for dinner on the way and took a hotel near by and slept by 11.30pm.(Remember u switch between central and mountain Timezones when u travel around southdakota).



DAY 3 (Sunday) (~400+ miles Devils tower-jewel cave-crazy horse-sylvan lake-custer park-Mitchell)

            Woke up at 6 am started around 8 am and reached Devils tower by 9am as the nearest hotel we found on way was ~70 miles away.We spent 30 mins here we didn't take the trail here and headed back to Black hills.Reached jewel cave national monument around 11am took their 1.30 hr guided cave tour to explore the cave.Was worth visiting.(call and Check their tour timings and for available tickets or u might waste time waiting there for the next hour scheduled tour).We headed to Crazy Horse memorial spent 30 mins here. This was again not worth as it was still not completely sculptured yet .you can skip this if u don't have time.Made our way to sylvan lake it was frozen not much to do with left this place in 10 m and headed to custer park wildlife loop road (45mins)We spotted lot of wildlife here like buffalo's, Bison's , Elks , hundreds of deers ,prairie dogs etc. and left to Mitchell.Had our dinner on way and took a night stay at hotels near corn palace.

Devils Tower

 Jewel cave

 Sylvan lake
 Elk ??

DAY 4 (Monday) ~640 miles (Mitchell to chicago)

            Wokeup leisurely reached corn palace by 9am . There was not much happening as this was off-season.Usually busy during seasons of corn harvesting.we spent around 1 hr here for icecream and stuff and kick started to chicago. Reached home by 8pm.This would be a great place to nightstay just to reach ur home early the last day when u are so exhausted.

              Would be of great help if u find someone to switch driving ur vehicle inbetween. But my husband managed this all alone  :) Its doable .

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