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badlands National Park

 Badlands National Park, South Dakota, United States, The Facts

Operating Hours
Improved Campsites
Improved Shelters, Cabins
Related Web Sites

Fees & Permits
What To See
Children's Activities
Mountain Biking
 Rock Climbing
Backcountry Primitive Camping
Lodges or Motel Type Facilities
Major Airline Access
Food, Fuel & Shopping


Address:  top
Badlands National Park
Interior, South Dakota  57750-0006

Phone:  top

Operating Hours:  top
Ben Reifel Visitor Center - April 11 - June 12, 1999:  8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, June 13 - August 28, 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM, August 29 -September 11, 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, September 12 - October 23, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, October 24 through, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
White River Visitors Center - June 12 - August 25, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Park is open year round, 24 hours a day

Fees & Permits:  top
$10 vehicle access fee, $5 motorcycle, bicycle, pedestrian, annual Golden Eagle Pass, $50 and good at all National Park facilities for one year from date of issue.  Overnight camping permit is $10 at Cedar Pass Campground per night, $1 for dump station use, Sage Creek Campground is free with backcountry registration.  Commercial photography photos permit required.

Climate:  top
Spring:  Comfortable, and wet.  Temperatures ranging from the 30'ies to the 80'ies by June
Summer:  Warm with frequent afternoon showers and thunderstorms.  Temperatures in the 70'ies to 100.
Fall:  Cold and dry.  Temperature ranging from the 70'ies in September falling to the single digits in December
Winter:  Cold and dry with 12 to 24 inches of snow annually.  Temperatures can fall as low as -30 F. and the area can experience severe snowstorms and ground blizzards.  There is an almost constant 20 to 30 MPH northwest wind at this time of the year

What To See:  top
Ben Reifel Visitors Center, 20 minute movie, 19 mile Park Loop Scenic Drive, 1/4 mile Fossil Trail and exhibit, Roberts Prairie Dog Town, Wild Bison Herd

Activities:  top
A variety of ranger led activities are available during the summer months.  You should call ahead for more information and a current schedule of events.

Children's Activities:  top
Badlands National Park has a Junior Rangers Program for children ages 4 to 14.  Teaches children about the park, nature and the environment.  Enrollment is free and children completing this self study program earn a certificate and a patch.  Some parks charge a nominal fee for the patch to offset the costs.  You can contact the park directly for more information on this educational and fun program.

Hiking:  top

  • Fossil Exhibit Trail, 1/4 mile boardwalk, easy

  • Cliff Shelf Nature Trail, 1/2 miles, easy-moderate

  • Door Trail, 2/3 of a mile, easy-moderate

  • Window Trail, 100 yards, easy

  • Notch Ridge Trail, 1.2 miles, moderate-difficult, do not take if you have a fear of heights

  • Castle Trail, 5.0 miles, easy-moderate

  • Medicine Root Trail, 2.6 miles (maps are wrong), easy-moderate

  • Saddle Pass Trail, 3/10 mile, difficult

Mountain Biking:  top

  • Variety of dirt roads available in the park, check with the ranger station

Equestrian:  top

  • Prohibited

Paddling:  top

  • None

Rock Climbing:  top

  • The delicate buttes of Badlands National Park are not suitable for rock climbing or scrambling.

Improved Camp Sites:  top

  • Cedar Pass Campground, 96, 4 group campsites, first come first serve basis.  No hookups or showers.  Dump station is available for $1.  Bathrooms with handicapped access and potable water, no open fires

Backcountry Primitive Camping:  top

  • Sage Creek Campground, backcountry permit required, RV's are not recommended, no open fires, no water, free, pit toilets

Improved Shelters, Cabins:  top

  • Cedar Pass Lodge, air conditioned cabins from April to October
    PO BOX 5
    Interior, South Dakota  57750
    (605) 433-5460 for reservations

Lodges or Motel Type Facilities:  top

  • Cedar Pass Lodge, no motel facilities, restaurant from April to October

Transportation:  top
Private vehicle and commercial tours only -- no public transportation, dirt and gravel roads may be impassable after rain, Stronghold Unit and Palmer Unit require four-wheel drive for access, recreational vehicles should not take the Sage Creek Road

Major Airline Access:  top

  • Rapid City, South Dakota, 50 miles east

  • Sioux Falls, SD, 270 miles east

Accommodations:  top

  • Interior, South Dakota, 1 mile, Interstate 90

  • Wall, South Dakota, 5 miles, Interstate 90

  • Kadoka, South Dakota, 7 miles, Interstate 90

Food, Fuel, Shopping:  top

  • Interior, South Dakota, limited food, fuel and lodging 

  • Wall, South Dakota, many food, fuel, shopping and lodging options, home of Wall Drug

  • Kadoka, South Dakota, limited food, fuel and lodging

Related Websites:  top

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