Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • 1horselover
    176 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Raw beauty.
    I have visited the Badlands National Park in South Dakota many times but it never ceases to amaze and humble me in its stark beauty. The weather was perfect when we visited ... I highly encourage everyone to take the time to visit, even if you only have time to drive the loop, it's worth it.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 25 July 2023
  • Carie M
    Dallas, Texas86 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    National Treasure
    June is the perfect time to visit this amazing, beautiful but stark national treasure. It's busy but not crowded, wildflowers are blooming and the weather is just right for morning hiking. Drive the park first, check out the buffalo and prairie dogs and then choose a hike or 2 that meet your fitness level. The staff at the visitors' center is very helpful with recommendations. Don't miss the sunsets!
    Visited June 2023
    Written 27 July 2023
  • SueBusse
    90 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Do not miss this experience!
    This little excursion off the interstate is so very well worth the time. It's a 39 mile, slow speed drive through some of the most thrilling scenery I have ever seen. There are various pull offs, so stop and take it all in. Flowers were blooming, prairie dogs were out. Just a fun, beautiful drive. Maybe because we're from Michigan, but these sights are just amazing to us! $30 admission but it's included in my National Park lifetime pass.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 6 August 2023
  • sunny day
    37 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We love the Badlands!
    We love the Badlands! It is such an easy National Park to visit. The Badlands Loop is right on I 90 and you can access from the east or the west. There is no excuse not to visit! In fact, our first visit back in 1986 happened just that way! We were on the way home on a cross country trip just having visited Mount Rushmore and found the park on the way home! (prior internet) We have visited many, many times as a stop on the way home or a destination. The past few visits to the area have included 2 to 4 days. We love the sites, history, quietness, as well as the dig site information that is included at the visitor center. We have listened to quite a few Ranger talks. This past trip no night talk. Due to the extra rain this summer-mosquitoes! But to offset that, much greener than any of the past visits. We love the area and the quietness of this less visited parks.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 September 2023
  • Robert P N
    Los Angeles, California2,248 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absoultely Stunning to imagine living in this area.
    Badlands national park is like a canyon, with the moon reflecting its geography onto the ground. Just amazing books and crannies. We hiked Door trail and Window trail Go early It’s cooler Less crowded and easier to park and hike Have fun
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 10 September 2023
  • HawaiiKaiGail
    Las Vegas, Nevada945 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Enjoyable Day at the Park
    We enjoyed this Park for 2 nights staying at the Cedar Pass Cabins in the Park. Large visitor center with friendly rangers and large gift shop. In our opinion, the nicest part of the Park is when you enter near the visitor center area. The Views are SUPERB! Plenty of pull offs to read the park plaques and do a hike, whether you choose easy or strenuous. Carry water as it’s hot and sunny, with no shade.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 20 September 2023
  • Jim B
    Grapeview, Washington1,829 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Barren, yet Beautiful Landscape
    I would normally describe this area as barren, yet it is also beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed spending two days taking in all of the park. One day we hiked several of the short trails near the NE park entrance to some spectacular viewpoints. The second day we drove the main park road round trip, stopping at every viewpoint and taking time to really look at the view. It took us four hours to drive the 44 miles round trip. If you have the time, it is well worth it. As an added bonus, there are several places to pull off and watch the Prarie Dogs. We also saw a few bison and big horn sheep.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 September 2023
  • travelerhugh
    Belleville, Illinois99 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fascinating Scenery in Badlands National Park
    Stunning geological formations along a loop road. Wildlife (prairie dogs, coyotes, bighorn sheep, antelope, bison, elk) all sighted during our visit. Excellent roadway and turnouts with good markers. The scenery changes from before sunrise through the daylight hours with varying colors and formations. Enjoy a half day or longer in this National Park. Signs warning of rattlesnakes are necessary but unnerving! Park rangers were friendly and knowledgeable.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 5 October 2023
  • MAP12
    New Orleans, Louisiana632 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very interesting National Park topographically
    Driving in from Mitchell we took Hwy 240 south at the Interior exit - to do the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway. We followed this road through part of the Badlands and ended in Wall, SD. Very nice drive with several stopping areas including a short hike (walk) to the "door".
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 11 October 2023
  • kirbykirby
    Junction City, Kansas75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    beautiful place
    Make sure you have a full tank in the morning before setting off. Grab the ice cooler and make sure you have food and water in it. After you get in the park, make sure you head to the bathroom. It is going to take at least three to four hours to truly appreciate this place. Make sure the phones are charged up and you have brought charging cables. I know it sounds stupid but . . . If/when you get out to walk around, watch out for rattlesnakes. They do not have to coil or rattle to strike. Beautiful place. Give the bison plenty of room. They are wild and will mess up your vehicle.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 16 October 2023
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5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,079 reviews
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Dr_Xaos
Palatine, IL1,261 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Would recommend taking the time to travel through the Badlands National Park if you enjoy natural scenery and/or native wildlife. The main path through the Badlands takes you from one gate to another on the other side. A fair distance to drive, but nothing to long or difficult to manage. However, there are multiple stopping points along the road, where you can get out and more deeply explore and appreciate the area. Plenty of variation in the different areas as well that makes it enjoyable to stop at each of the spots to see something new and interesting. Many of these stopping points also have trails that you can hike or just some open area where you can roam around a bit.

Only criticism that I have is that the entrance fee was around $35. The admission tag is good for a week, so it's more cost effective and worth the price if you're able to spend more than just a couple hours passing through.
Written 17 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Krishna K
West Des Moines, IA549 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
We were travelling from Sioux fall to Rapid city when we decided to take little diversion and visit Badlands National park. You have an entrance fees but now all national parks are providing vouchers to 5th Graders. With this voucher, 5th graders and their families have free access to federal lands managed by the
National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and U.S. Forest Service from October 28, 2020 through August 31, 2021.My route was through Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Panorama Point,Bigfoot Pass Overlook,Burns Basin Overlook and Pinnacles Overlook which helped to cover most of badlands key spots. The views are amazing and authorities have provided stops with enough parking spaces so that you can stop and walk around . Amazing place and amazing views . New to the base you have all the facilities to refresh , toilets and buy souvenirs. We visitied this place during morning and evening and both views are different as the color changes due to sunlight for the badlands.Do respect the small animals that crosses the road and drive with in speed limit
Written 21 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MNice
Bloomington, MN5,082 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
We added the Badlands National Park onto our trip at the last minute heading west from Minneapolis to the Black Hills. So, we actually passed exit 131 and entered the park 7 miles south of Wall, SD. At this time of year, the sunset was at 6:24 p.m. MST and we headed in at about 5:00 as the locals told us it takes about 45 minutes to do the State Scenic Byway Loop. It was a chilly, windy, October day and we were foiled from an excellent sunset photography session due to clouds.

So, you can look at a million pictures and take a million pictures and everybody will be bored with the pictures shown around the world. The ultimate experience of this venue is to take in this unique geological formations and the big horn sheep with your family and snap a few shots of your loved ones. You will tons of people running around with expensive cameras trying to get that perfect sunset shot; it’s already been gotten by the millions of people who visited before you.

Currently, the Southern Unit is closed because the Native Americans have closed that portion of the park due to COVID health concerns. The Scenic Loop is in the North Unit and the visitors center is at the east end of the loop (exit 131 off I-90). The Visitor Center is open limited hours. It closed at 4:00 pm the Thursday we were there.

The road is narrow and everybody wants to stop and take it all in. In addition, they are working on the narrow parts of the road. In the summer, this would be a mess with the crowds. Another negative; it’s $30 per car to get in which is good for a week.

We loved it; we’d do it again.
Written 17 October 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chris S
Des Moines, IA103 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020
Phenomenal.
So easy to access. If not for Covid we would have seen the wildlife movie at the Visitor Center. But that notwithstanding, this was a phenomenal trip for us: we walked along the Badlands trails and stopped at almost every viewpoint. The Fossil Trail was very informative. This place sets your imagination off as you wonder at the many ages the earth and this continent have been through. Our teenage son was impressed, and that is no easy feat!
Pack your lunch and eat at one of the viewpoints with your portable chairs. Plan ahead and camp out at the campgrounds near the visitor center. And don't forget you are only an hour from Custer State Park and Mount Rushmore.
You can easily spend two or three days here.
PS, right down the street from MinuteMan RV park just before the the East (?) entrance to the park is a nice little Ranch toruist store that has a small Prairie Dog city you can interact in with the dogs.
Written 4 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Julie H
Columbus, OH27 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Family
We visited Badlands NP for one day and felt that was enough time to get a feel for the park. We did two hikes, the Notch trail (the ladder makes it interesting) and the Door trail, which is really a stroll until you get past the boardwalk. Both were beautiful and neither was hard. I loved the yellow mountain area. We also drove around the park at dusk and saw longhorn sheep, which was awesome. The prairie dogs were also very cute. The Visitor’s Center was open and they were following safety guidelines - only allowing a certain number of people in at a time, which I appreciated.
Written 18 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SD RadioGuy
66 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
Lived in South Dakota since 1975. This was the first time through the Badlands. It is a truly unique natural setting. For being located in a state that is thought of as mainly "prairie", this national park is a hidden gem. Not filled with "tourist traps", just natural beauty. Be sure to talk with the Park Rangers when you stop at overlooks. They will give you a ton of valuable and interesting information and facts that add to the overall experience.
Tip: When entering, if you are a "senior" (over 62 i believe), ask for an annual national park pass. The Park Ranger suggested this. For $20 it allows the holder of the "Senior" card the ability to get into any national park without extra charges for one year from date of issue. The best part.....everyone in the vehicle with the "senior" gets in as well for no charge.
Written 2 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Nyormirror
Bay City, MI2,004 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
We spent 6 hours here on our trip to the plain states. We drove the 39 mile loop road and did some short hikes. Every time we drive further and didn't think we would find another great view around another corner another one popped up.

Sunset/sunrise are the best times for viewing because the way the sunlight hits off the badlands. It is hot and windy so make sure you bring a sunhat with a chin strap, sunscreen and plenty of water and snacks. There is a gas station and gift shop near 240 NE entrance. I would definitely recommend and would return.
Written 22 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tiffany A
Minneapolis, MN12 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2021 • Family
Unbelievable. It is $30 to get in because they won’t accept scanning the pass (4th and 5th grade) on the phone. We don’t have a printer in our van or camper. The pass is on the phone. And it’s clear we have a 4th and 5th grader in the van. I bet it’s gorgeous in there though!
Written 21 August 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Richard K
Yakima, WA322 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021
How long you spend in this park depends on how many times you stop and/or hike a trail. This is worth the visit, even if you only drive through. If you drive through, it could take 1 to 2 hours depending on traffic. This place is unreal and is hauntingly beautiful. You will really be missing out if you do not stop and do some of the boardwalks and overlooks. There are very few services in the park. If you are smart, stop in Wall, SD and buy lunch to have in the park. Also, if you see a restroom, use it. Take lost of pictures and be on the lookout for wildlife. We only saw a few buffalo, but did see a lot of big horn sheep and antelope. I recommend, if you only stop at one of the walks, go to the first one you encounter when you enter the east end of the park. It is well worth the walk and even better if you are in shape enough to continue the hike on into the hills for a ways. Except for the bathroom there, the lodge in the park is so so, you won't need to stop there for long or at all.
Written 11 June 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jerri L
Johnston, IA3,379 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2021 • Couples
There are plenty of great views and photo opportunities in this park. Plenty of overlooks and trails to hike. There are camping facilities and also a visitor station. We visited the end of May and it was cool and windy but not crowded and we had easy access to the great views! Entrance fee is $30/vehicle for a week of access. The annual passes are a great buy if you plan to visit a few national parks ($80). We saw coyote, prairie dogs and their babies, Buffalo, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and a pronghorn... and got great photos! Enjoy the beauty of this area!
Written 29 May 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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