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Badlands NP to Hot Springs drive questions, advice please.

Geraldine, Alabama
7 posts
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Badlands NP to Hot Springs drive questions, advice please.

Planning a trip thru next year on the way to GTNP and YNP. Traveling from east to west. I hope to stay at cedar pass go to visitor center then drive along the loop road and around via sage brush creek road. I see that you can go south thru the park and then west on BIA road 2 to Buffalo Gap, SD and then on to Hot springs. Is this possible? If so how long would it take without stopping very much? I appreciate any help.

Pitman, New Jersey
Destination Expert
for Rapid City, South Dakota
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5,882 posts
61 reviews
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1. Re: Badlands NP to Hot Springs drive questions, advice please.

I have never driven this route and have not been to the south unit of the Badlands. Just keep in mind that much of the south unit is not really developed and has some dirt roads. I'm not sure the quality of this road, but based on the map I'm looking at, I'm not certain if Rt 2 is even paved. When you do Mapquest, I see that they never send drivers over this route.

Although it's certainly your call, you might want to consider an alternate route, particularly if you are driving a rental car. Driving a little less direct route to Hot Springs will take a little over 2 hours.

Everett, Washington
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2,458 posts
55 reviews
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2. Re: Badlands NP to Hot Springs drive questions, advice please.

RT 2 is gravel based on viewing with GoogleEarth. Better to take freeway to Rapid City and SD-79 south through Hermosa to US-18 into Hot Springs. Much of 79 is divided highway so pretty fast. RT 2 would be very scenic (in a wide open spaces sort of way) but slow and in bad weather difficult.

3. Re: Badlands NP to Hot Springs drive questions, advice please.

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