There are lots of great reasons to visit Yellowstone National Park. You will want to see the geysers erupt, view the springs, and check out the thermal hotbeds. This Wyoming and Idaho national park is a great place to view wildlife, including bears and bison. Yellowstone Canyon is a great place to go hiking. Before you get there on your Peoria to Yellowstone National Park road trip, there are fantastic places to explore along the way.
Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park covers more than 244,000 acres near Interior, South Dakota. This park is divided into two units. The North Unit is much more developed than the South Unit. If you want to see gorgeous Badlands scenery without having to hike, then take the drive to the South Unit. All of the roads in this park have scenic overlooks with informational kiosks to learn more about the unique geology. One unusual activity that you can do at this park is a GPS scavenger adventure. Start this adventure in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, and follow the GPS clues as they lead you to various places around the park. While exploring this park, be sure to watch for wild animals like bison, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. This park can also be a fantastic place to go bird-watching.
Wind Cave National Park
Start your visit to Wind Cave National Park near Hot Springs, South Dakota, by going on a cave tour. While the main cave tours require walking up and down at least 150 steps, there is an elevator for those with special needs to access the main room by advanced reservation. The regular tours have between 150 and 450 steps that participants need to climb. Regardless of how you get into the cave, pay special attention to the unique boxwood formations as this is one of the few places in the world where you can see these resistant fins of calcite crisscrossing at unique angles.
Wildcat Den State Park
On your road trip, be sure to visit Wildcat Den State Park near Muscatine, Iowa, where you will love seeing the 19th-century Pine Creek Grist Mill. Then, hike along this park’s diverse paths to see the sandstone bluffs. You will also want to explore the one-room schoolhouse. There are great picnic shelters at this park, and the shade trees here can be a great place to relax during your Peoria to Yellowstone National Park road trip.
Good Earth State Park
Stop at Good Earth State Park near Sioux Falls, South Dakota. During the summer, live music events happen most Saturday nights. Throughout the week, rangers lead outdoor education classes on various topics, including how to make a hiking stick. They also lead guided bird-watching hikes. This park is a terrific place to go hiking across the prairie and through the woodland. Your children will love following the special TRACK hikes that allow them to learn more about one natural subject, like birds or animals, as they hike a trail. There is also a fantastic playground and picnic shelters.
Custer State Park
If you visit Mt. Rushmore on your Peoria to Yellowstone National Park road trip, take the curvy Iron Mountain Road from Mt. Rushmore to Custer State Park to enjoy the fantastic scenery. You will also want to drive through the pine and spruce forests on the Needles Highway to see the Needles Eye rock formation. If you love wild animals, then driving along the Wildlife Loop is an unforgettable experience where you may have to stop and let bison, pronghorn, whitetail and mule deer, elk, coyotes, burros, or prairie dogs cross the road. There are many other things to do in this park, including wading in Sylvan Lake, hiking the Black Elk Trail, and climbing the Harney Peak Fire Trail.
Curt Gowdy State Park
Go rainbow trout and kokanee salmon fishing in the Granite, Crystal, and North Crow reservoirs at Curt Gowdy State Park. At Crystal Reservoir, you can also fish from the shore for brown trout. Check out the schedule to see what events are occurring at the Hynds Lodge Amphitheater. There are many miles of hiking trails that you will want to explore.
Henry’s Lake State Park
Surrounded on three sides by the Continental Divide, Henry’s Lake State Park is located near Island Park, Idaho. You can catch cutthroat, brook, and cut-bow hybrid trout in this high mountain lake. The 8,000-acre lake is also a great place to go on a paddling adventure, and you can swim here. There are many miles of hiking trails where you can see various birds ranging from mountain bluebirds to bald eagles. This park is a fantastic place to see trumpeter swans. There are also beautiful places to go mountain biking.
Mini-Americana Barn Museum
Stop at the Mini-Americana Barn Museum in South Amana, Iowa, to see the 1/12 scale miniature replicas representing life in rural America. Henry Moore carved the first of his 200 wooden models in the early 1920s and finished shortly before his death in 1983. This exhibit includes over 3,000 items that Moore recycled to use in his displays.
National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library
Learn about Czech and Slovakian customs by visiting the National Czech and Slovak Museum & Library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. View exhibits allowing you to follow the path of immigrants from the Bohemian region who settled in this area. The exhibits at this museum frequently change, so you will always see something new. This child-friendly museum often hosts special events for young visitors.
Grant Wood Studio
See the home that Grant Wood lived in and the studio where he created his masterpieces by touring the Grant Wood Studio in Cedar Rapids. The first floor of this facility contains the Armstrong Visitor Center, a terrific place to learn more about things to do in this region.
Located on the shores of Lake Herman about two miles west of Madison, South Dakota, Prairie Village is a terrific place to learn about South Dakota’s earliest pioneers. Take a ride on a steam carousel and take a steam train ride. There are many historical buildings to tour. Special events happen throughout the year at this facility, which also has a campground, so you will want to see what is going on during your Peoria to Yellowstone National Park RV road trip.
Mt. Rushmore National Monument
Mt. Rushmore National Monument took over 13 years to create. The design created by artist Gutzon Borglum showcases the faces of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. This monument near Keystone, South Dakota, has a viewing platform, or you can follow the President’s Trail to get a closer look. A museum near the monument tells more about the people who lived at the memorial while it was being constructed.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
There are terrific Cedar Rapids campgrounds, like Morgan Creek Park, where you will love hiking along the stream, and Wanatee Park, where you will love the bike trails. There are also outstanding Cedar Rapids RV dump stations at Amana Colonies RV Park, Hannen Park, and Morgan Creek Campground.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
There are many campgrounds in Sioux Falls. Consider camping under the tall shade trees at Tower Campground, which is located minutes from the interstate. Another fantastic place to camp is Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park of Sioux Falls, where you will love the spacious pool and organized activities. Use Sioux Falls RV dump stations at Flying J Travel Center, Love’s Travel Stop, or Tower Campground.
Rapid City, South Dakota
You can find terrific campgrounds in Rapid City, including Rapid City RV Park & Campground, where you can relax in the heated swimming pool and shop in the convenience store. Another great option is Rapid City South RV Park, with its two dog walks. Rapid City RV dump stations are available to use before continuing your Peoria to Yellowstone National Park RV road trip at the Windmill Truck Stop, Big D Sinclair, and Flying J Travel Plaza.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Peoria to Yellowstone National Park, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Peoria or Yellowstone National Park.