Going on a Provo to Rapid City road trip will take you through some lovely parts of the U.S. You’ll be able to explore some excellent national and state parks on your journey of nearly 10 and a half hours. The presence of charming cities, lovely landmarks, and fun tourist destinations along this route all combine for an awesome road trip from Provo to Rapid City.
Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is three and a half hours north of Evanston, Wyoming. Your extra driving will be rewarded by the gorgeous mountain vistas, clear alpine lakes, and more than 200 miles of excellent trails you’ll find at this park located in the Teton Range. Mountaineering and backcountry camping are popular here as are hiking and horseback riding. Another point in this park’s favor is its relative proximity to Yellowstone National Park; you can easily explore both parks one after another.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is five hours and 17 minutes from Evanston, but it’s less than three hours from Grand Teton. Yellowstone sits on top of a dormant supervolcano and is known for iconic features like Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring. It consists of nearly 3,500 miles of rugged country in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, so there’s no shortage of amazing areas to explore. Horseback riding, fishing, hiking, and photography are all popular activities at Yellowstone National Park.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Before you turn north in Rawlins on Highway 227, you can knock off another national park by heading three and a half hours southeast instead to Rocky Mountain National Park. Peaks, lakes, streams, and more are all present at this great national park. Whether you want to stroll leisurely along streams and lakeshores or hike to the summits of mountains, you can do it all at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Wind Cave National Park
Rapid City may be the technical end of your road trip, but it certainly doesn’t have to be the end of your exploration of outstanding national parks. Wind Cave National Park is a little less than an hour south of Rapid City, so exploring it is quite logical. Its main attraction is, of course, the wind cave that draws visitors because of its density, rare formations, and wind-channeling properties. On the surface, however, you'll find over 28,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie full of bison, elk, prairie dogs, mountain lions, and more.
Badlands National Park
All you have to do to reach Badlands National Park is to get on Interstate 90 in Rapid City, head west for about 50 minutes, and then turn south on State Route 140. Despite its name, the Badlands is a good place to find rugged terrain, hardy wildlife, and exploration opportunities. In fact, many visitors take off on foot and explore these more than 370 square miles any way they see fit. If you’re not up for such a strenuous adventure, you can always hike on one of the many easier paths that take you through some lovely parts of the park.
Wasatch Mountain State Park
Wasatch Mountain State Park is about 10 minutes west of Heber City, Utah, so it’s practically right off your route. Millions of visitors travel here annually, so you’ll be in good company. People love coming here to hike, picnic, and bird-watch; in the winter, visitors can go skiing. The Wasatch Mountain Golf Course is a great place to play a round or two, and history buffs will enjoy touring the multiple historic buildings in the park.
Antelope Island State Park
You can’t take a Provo to Rapid City RV road trip without stopping by the Great Salt Lake near Salt Lake City. If you get on Interstate 84 in Echo, Utah, and travel about an hour west, you’ll eventually come to Antelope Island State Park. There are multiple different environments here since you’ll find shoreline, mountains, plains, and, of course, the Great Salt Lake itself.
Glendo State Park
If you want to add a great state park for boating, fishing, and swimming to your road trip itinerary from Provo to Rapid City, then Glendo State Park is the park for you. It’s a little over an hour from Casper, Wyoming, so it’s not hard to reach. Glendo is also a great place to go in the winter since you can enjoy ice fishing, skiing, snowshoeing, and more.
Guernsey State Park
Guernsey State Park is about an hour and 45 minutes from Casper, but you can easily travel there from Glendo State Park in only 40 minutes. The two parks are connected by the North Platte River, which runs through both the Glendo Reservoir and the Guernsey Reservoir. Unsurprisingly, Guernsey State Park is a great place for swimming, fishing, and water sports. Visitors also like touring the historical buildings that are responsible for the park earning its National Historic Landmark status.
Bear Butte State Park
Bear Butte State Park is home to Bear Butte, which is an igneous rock formation that’s long been held sacred by multiple cultures. The park itself is only 15 minutes from Sturgis, South Dakota, so you should definitely stop by before your road trip from Provo to Rapid City comes to a close. You can go fishing and boating on Bear Butte Lake, hiking on several lovely trails, and strolling through the Bear Butte Education Center.
About 25 minutes west of Park City, Utah, you’ll find Hogle Zoo. There are plenty of fun things to do in Salt Lake City, but visiting this zoo is often near the tops of travelers’ lists. More than 800 animals are waiting to greet you from their exhibits with names like African Savanna, Rocky Shores, and Elephant Encounter.
Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
If you leave Interstate 80 in James Town, Wyoming, and travel north on State Route 372, you’ll reach Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge in about 30 minutes. The Green River flows nearby, so there are plenty of opportunities for boating and fishing. Hunting, horseback riding, and hiking are also possible at this park of over 26,000 acres.
Wyoming Frontier Prison
Just outside downtown Rawlins, Wyoming, is the Wyoming Frontier Prison. This historic prison was built in 1901, and it presents a fascinating snapshot of what prison life was like near the beginning of the 20th century. You can take guided tours through the prison, walk through the prison’s museum, and even stop by the Old Pen Gift Shop for a souvenir.
Broken Boot Gold Mine
Leaving Interstate 90 for Highway 14 and traveling west of Sturgis, South Dakota, for about 20 minutes will take you to the Broken Boot Gold Mine. If you want to learn more about life in the Black Hills during the Gold Rush, then Broken Boot Gold Mine is the place to go. You’ll get to tour mine shafts, pan for gold, and more.
Roughly 20 minutes southwest of Sturgis is another great attraction to visit near the end of your road trip from Provo to Rapid City: Wonderland Cave. You’ll enjoy touring this awesome underground cave system that bills itself as “The Greatest Show Under the Earth” for good reason. You can also stop by the gift shop and then explore Vanocker Canyon.
Rawlins is a great stop on your Provo to Rapid City road trip because you’re leaving Interstate 80 and starting the northward part of your journey. Wyoming has plenty of great dump stations and campgrounds for you to discover. In Rawlins, be sure to check out the Wyoming Frontier Prison and the Carbon County Museum.
Casper is close to the middle of Wyoming, so there are plenty of dump stations and campgrounds within driving distance. Great local attractions include the National Historic Trails Interpretive Center and the Tate Geological Museum.
In Gillette, you’ll pick up Interstate 90 and head west. Before you do so, however, you should stop and explore the area – taking advantage of the dump stations and campgrounds nearby, of course. Drop by the Rockpile Museum and the Frontier Auto Museum before you go.
Spearfish, South Dakota
Spearfish is the first bigger town you’ll hit once you reach South Dakota. The state has plenty of dump stations and campgrounds in it, so you won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to visit Spearfish Canyon and Bridal Veil Falls.
Sturgis, South Dakota
Sturgis is known for its annual motorcycle rally, so you shouldn’t be surprised that it’s also the home of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame. While you’re exploring the area, you can check out the dump stations and campgrounds within driving distance.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Provo to Rapid City, 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 Provo or Rapid City.