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South Dakota Stops on the Way

Closest Airport to Mt. Rushmore is in the City of Presidents

Fly into the Rapid City Regional Airport for the most direct route to the Black Hills, Badlands National Park and Mt. Rushmore.

Patio scope on the green roof of the Rapid City Regional Airport
A boy looking out of one of the scopes on the airport’s green roofCourtesy Rapid City Regional Airport

Looking for the fastest way to get to five of South Dakota’s stunning national park sites? You’ll want to fly into Rapid City Regional Airport. From there, drive less than an hour to reach the towering presidential heads of Mount Rushmore National Memorial, the underground wonderlands of Jewel Cave National Monument and Wind Cave National Park, the awe-inspiring geology of Badlands National Park and the hidden nuclear history at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

With four major airlines serving the airport, there are many ways to get to Rapid City giving you plenty of time to explore the entire region. Year-round, nonstop flights are available from six major cities along with a number of other locations added for the summer. There are six on-site rental car agencies to choose from.

Grab some food and drink inside and sit outside on the patio at Rapid City Regional Airport
Grab some food inside then sit outside on the airport’s patioCourtesy Rapid City Regional Airport
Dinosaur park in Rapid City, S.D.
A child runs up the stairs to her favorite dinosaur at Rapid City’s free Dinosaur Park. Photo by Jacob Moon courtesy of Rapid City Regional Airport
A dinosaur exhibit at Rapid City's Journey Museum
A dinosaur exhibit at Rapid City’s Journey Museum. Photo: Courtesy Journey Museum and Learning Center/Rapid City Regional Airport
Main Street Square Fountains in Rapid City
Kids play at the Main Street Square fountains in Rapid City. Photo: Courtesy Rapid City Regional Airport

Make Rapid City your basecamp for exploring South Dakota’s Badlands and Black Hills region. Stop by the visitor information center near baggage claim to plan your time here.

While Mt. Rushmore, Badlands and Wind Cave National Park might already be on your agenda, there are some less-visited hidden gems that shouldn’t be missed. At Jewel Cave National Monument, discover “cave bacon” at the world’s third-longest cave. At Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, learn about Cold War-era nuclear history.

Parks and historic sites are far from the only thing to do in this region. If you’re interested in motorcycle riding, check out the town of Sturgis’ annual rally. Rapid City Regional Airport is the best place to fly into for this event.


For more information, visit www.rapairport.com