Hi there!

 

So you want to drive from Mount Rushmore National Memorial to Devils Tower National Monument! (And maybe onwards from Devils Tower to Yellowstone National Park!)

This means a drive from the Black Hills of South Dakota to Wyoming.

 

Driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Spearfish Canyon scenic byway in South Dakota. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.

 

The direct drive from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower is around 2.5 hours long.

So being a 2.5 hour drive, this means that you can drive from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower in one day no problem.

You can visit Mount Rushmore in South Dakota for 1-2 hours (or even just drive through Mount Rushmore National Memorial if you are fine with seeing the president faces from the road only), and then make your way to Devils Tower and have time to do some activities there too. (There are some quick things you can do at Devils Tower.)

Or, if you want to consider taking your time making your way to Devils Tower, you can do that too!

One of the best detours you can make when you’re driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower is to drive along one of South Dakota’s scenic drives!

You can take a northern route to get to Devils Tower, or you can take a southern route to get to Devils Tower.

Either way, there’s a scenic drive that you can do with a slight detour, and you can make it an all-day thing to get from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower!

 

Driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Spearfish Canyon scenic byway in South Dakota. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.

Driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.

Driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Spearfish Canyon scenic byway in South Dakota. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.

Driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Devils Tower National Monument in Wyoming. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.

 

 

 

MAP of option 1: Driving from Mount Rushmore to Spearfish Canyon to Devils Tower

Map of driving route from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Spearfish Canyon, Black Hills. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.
Explore the map.

 

If you make a slight detour by driving the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, driving from Mount Rushmore to Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway to Devils Tower, then the drive time will be around 3 hours.

There is no fee to drive the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

 

 

MAP of option 2: Driving from Mount Rushmore to Needles Highway in Custer State Park to Devils Tower

Map of driving route from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Needles Highway, Custer State Park, Black Hills. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.
Explore the map.

 

If you make a detour by driving the Needles Highway (Needles Eye Tunnel) in Custer State Park, driving from Mount Rushmore to Custer State Park to Devils Tower, then the drive time will also be around 3 hours.

And if you want to make time for it, you can also add in the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway from option 1, making the route driving from Mount Rushmore to Custer State Park to Spearfish Canyon to Devils Tower.

Although, if you do have time, you may consider spending more time in Custer State Park than just driving along Needles Highway.

This is one of the most popular scenic drives in Custer State Park, but there is more to Custer State Park than just Needles Highway!

It just depends on what you want to do in Custer State Park!

There are lots of things to do in Custer State Park that can give you a reason to stay for a full day or 2!

You can even make it an overnight stop in Custer State Park on your way to Devils Tower!

Along with regular campgrounds, there are South Dakota state park camping cabins that you can stay in while you’re there for an amazing way to stay in the Black Hills! (Book sooner rather than later! go outdoors south dakota is the official reservation website for Custer State Park campgrounds and camping cabins.)

Or if you don’t want to rough it as much, then there are also more so-called “luxury” cabins in Custer State Park, along with hotel-style rooms. Be sure to check out the Custer State Park lodges and cabins!

 

 

Also note that there is a Custer State Park entry fee of around $20. This is a required entry fee even if you are only going to be driving through Custer State Park on Needles Highway.

 

More for road trip ideas for Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, and beyond

 

Download offline maps before you go!

It’s quite possible that you will have minimal data as you are driving from South Dakota to Wyoming.

It will be best to download offline google maps for the Mount Rushmore area of South Dakota and the Devils Tower area of Wyoming, and everything in between before you go!

 

More below about making the drive from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower with stops along the way!

 

 

 

I have a lot of 30-90 second South Dakota outdoor travel videos. A few of them might be on this page. If you can't see the video directly above, it might be because you have an ad blocker. Save the South Dakota video playlist to watch on youtube later!

See the best of South Dakota outdoors: See South Dakota underground:

 

 

Here is what your day can look like when driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower along Spearfish Canyon

I did the drive from Mount Rushmore to Spearfish Canyon to Devils Tower in September 2021.

 

 

1. Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Mount Rushmore. south dakota to wyoming

 

You’ll be driving west out of Mount Rushmore to get to Devils Tower.

Be on the lookout for the George Washington face as you are driving!

 

If you are looking for a picnic spot, you will pass by the Breezy Point picnic area in Black Hills National Forest shortly after leaving Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

 

 

See more about planning your drive from Mount Rushmore: Things to do in Mount Rushmore National Memorial

 

 

2. Roughlock Falls Road

Driving directions: Mount Rushmore to Savoy SD

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Roughlock Falls to Devils Tower: roughlock falls road. south dakota to wyoming

 

For reference on a map, you can think of the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway as being from Spearfish SD to Savoy SD. Spearfish is to the north, Savoy is to the south.

So if you’re coming from Mount Rushmore, you can do the drive from south (Savoy) to north (Spearfish). From Mount Rushmore to Savoy SD, there is a portion of the driving route that’s on a gravel road.

 

driving route from Mount Rushmore to savoy to spearfish canyon to Devils Tower. south dakota to wyoming

 

And then around Savoy is where you can drive onto Roughlock Falls Road. This road is also a scenic drive that is on a gravel road.

 

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Roughlock Falls to Devils Tower: roughlock falls road. south dakota to wyoming

 

Once you get on Roughlock Falls Road, you’ll come across the first trailhead parking lot. You can park here to make it a hike on the nature trail to go and see Roughlock Falls.

 

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Roughlock Falls to Devils Tower: hiking the roughlock falls trail. south dakota to wyoming

 

Or you can keep driving to the other parking lot, where it’s a short path to walk around alongside the stream. The other parking lot also connects to the same nature trail.

Actually what I did was parked at that first trailhead near the intersection, and then I hiked the nature trail. On the way back, instead of hiking the same trail back, I walked the road back. This is the same road that the cars drive, so you do also breathe in a bit of the dust that comes up when cars drive by. Roughlock Falls Road is a scenic road whether you choose to walk it or drive it!

 

 

3. Spearfish Falls Trail

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Spearfish Falls to Devils Tower: hiking the spearfish falls trail. south dakota to wyoming

 

For parking, it may be easiest to park in that first Roughlock Falls trailhead parking lot you come across.

There is a very small parking area for a few cars at the Spearfish Falls trailhead.

The Spearfish Falls trailhead is right next to the Latchstring restaurant parking lot that is part of the Spearfish Canyon Lodge, but there are signs that it’s for customers only, so it’s not for people who will be hiking only.

So then the easiest parking becomes the Roughlock Falls parking lot and that will be a walk of a few minutes away.

 

 

 

4. Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway

Driving directions: Savoy SD to Spearfish SD

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Spearfish Canyon to Devils Tower: spearfish canyon scenic byway. south dakota to wyoming

 

After you’ve taken in the views along Roughlock Falls Road and hiked to Spearfish Falls, you can then start your drive on the main part of Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway.

The Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway is one of the famous scenic drives in the Black Hills.

This drive can be just about the drive, or there are small pullover areas as you are driving along for you to stop off at.

 

 

 

5. Devils Tower National Monument

Driving directions: Spearfish SD to Devils Tower National Monument

And you have made it to Devils Tower National Monument!

 

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: driving to devils tower. south dakota to wyoming

Stops to make when driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: driving to devils tower. south dakota to wyoming

 

See more about planning your drive to Devils Tower:

 

 

And that’s a bit about driving the northern scenic route to get to Devils Tower from Mount Rushmore!

If you want to drive the southern scenic route from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower by taking a detour on a part of the Needles Highway, here can be your route:

Another option that includes the Needles Highway:

It’s a bigger detour but you can also add in Iron Mountain Road and then drive Needles Highway. (map)

Depending on where you’re coming from, you may want to drive through the Iron Mountain Road tunnels on your way to Mount Rushmore.

The highlight of Iron Mountain Road is to see the Mount Rushmore president faces as you are driving through tunnels. You get a tunnel view of Mount Rushmore.

It’s a distant view though! For reference on a map, you can look for places like Doane Robinson Tunnel and Scovel Johnson Tunnel. (map)

The road curves so no matter which direction you’re driving you’ll at least drive through one tunnel facing Mount Rushmore.

If you’re looking to spend more time in South Dakota, also see the best places to visit in South Dakota!

If you’re looking to spend more time in Wyoming, also see the 7 day drive across Wyoming to get to the Wyoming national parks!

And then onwards driving from Wyoming to Craters of the Moon in Idaho! (See thing to do in Craters of the Moon National Monument: lava fields and caves!)

 

If you are interested in Mount Rushmore and Devils Tower, you might be interested in these road trip activities:

 

HAPPY DRIVING FROM SOUTH DAKOTA TO WYOMING!

 

Driving from Mount Rushmore to Devils Tower: Driving through Spearfish Canyon scenic byway in South Dakota. South Dakota to Wyoming road trip.

 

 

Watch the videos to see South Dakota in action!

Find more amazing things to do in South Dakota: Watch my South Dakota videos on youtube
If you see an activity you like, look in the description below the youtube video for the individual blog post about that specific activity!

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