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473 votes

Badlands National Park

25216 Ben Reifel Road, Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Interior, South Dakota 57750 USA

Open Now
Thu 9a-4p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • Public
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Natural Wonder

Our Take

It’s hard to describe the landscape at Badlands, other than to say that it feels like you’re on another planet entirely. The vast expanse of rocky parkland feels less crowded and more peaceful, so you can really relax and enjoy the scenery. There is some interesting wildlife to be seen here too; While the bison are harder to find, there are lots of prairie dogs around… just remember to give them space and not feed them.

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“Otherworldly landscapes and fossils”

Enter a world of wonder and mystery at Badlands National Park. Hike through otherworldly landscapes of jagged peaks, towering rock formations, and rolling prairies teeming with wildlife. Explore ancient fossils that reveal a rich geological history. Marvel at the breathtaking sunsets and stargaze under some of the darkest skies in the world.

Badlands National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We recommend stopping at a visitor center on your way in, so be sure to check those operating hours!

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Reviewed by

  • 6 Reviews
  • 90 Helpful
May 23, 2014
Rated 5.0

Absolutely astonishing. Take the scenic loop (HWY SD 240). You won't regret it.

28 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Kori and Brian Truono

  • Road Warrior
  • 78 Reviews
  • 181 Helpful
November 22, 2014
Rated 5.0

LOVE THIS PLACE. Endless hiking, phenomenal landscape, and some of the best camping we have ever experienced. We camped two nights: the first at Sage Creek Campground. This was hands down the coolest camp ground. Bison were wandering RIGHT up to the tents, you could hear them grunting all night. The stars were AMAZING and coyotes were howling as you fell asleep. It was beyond magical. The second night was up at Cedar Pass right next to the visitors center. It was not so good, super busy, and very noisy. The showers were DISGUSTING. Save yourself the heart ache and head out to the primitive campgrounds!

17 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Adam Shickley

  • 67 Reviews
  • 75 Helpful
July 14, 2014
Rated 5.0

If you have kids, it is a fun place. It is one of the few National Parks that just let you go wild and hike/climb where you want when you want how you want. Due to the 1 inch per year erosion you can climb all the formations looking for fossils.

11 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • Road Warrior
  • 27 Reviews
  • 20 Helpful
August 04, 2014
Rated 4.0

Beautiful place. Lots of trails and stuff even a small hot springs to soak in. We stayed at the motel in the park I didn't like to motel no cell phone service at all. Just a plain jane room that's over priced.

8 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 3 Reviews
  • 15 Helpful
June 07, 2014

A do not miss on your trip. The badlands can be see from the comfort of your car or you can take the time to stop at various viewing points. Took us an extra hour on the way to Mount Rushmore that was well worth it. Absolutely breathtaking.

9 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Joanna LeMasters

  • 37 Reviews
  • 34 Helpful
July 30, 2016
Rated 5.0

I absolutely loved the Badlands. In comparison to Yellowstone, which I visited during this same trip, you have CONSTANTLY amazing views out the window in the Badlands, where has Yellowstone is awesome also but you drive more to get to the views.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to drive around the park at dusk, before going back the next morning. I quickly found out that wildlife is most visible and active in the mornings and at dusk. Watch out for snakes and be very careful in some places the overlooks are a bit crumbly and your life is worth more than a selfie.

7 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 14 Reviews
  • 13 Helpful
August 18, 2015
Rated 5.0

An awesome park. With the colored rock formations, it looks like Mars! Definitely worth driving through at the very least. We stayed at the Sage Creek campground on the west end of the park, which is free, and is made of of a large clearing where you can pitch your tent anywhere (there's a bathroom, but no water, so pack that in). The campground is spacious enough for all, and has some shaded picnic tables that get claimed pretty quickly. The park is truly fantastic, and we saw tons of wildlife: buffalo, prairie dogs, bighorn sheep, and massive spiders!

7 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 4 Reviews
  • 9 Helpful
July 09, 2016
Rated 5.0

I've been to the Badlands several times, the best viewing is at sunrise and sunset the colors are amazing! And the temperatures during the summer are more forgiving early and late in the day. Summer months can get very hot midday. We were lucky we visited during overcast and rainy day this last trip it was perfect. We did a driving tour this time, but there are several hikes you can take if you have more time. We enjoyed a picnic in the park there are two different locations you can picnic they are shaded but on a hot day you probably wouldn't find much relief under them. Since there aren't too many trees around. Badlands is a must see stop on anyone's itinerary visiting the Black Hills.

6 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 22 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
August 02, 2015
Rated 5.0

Amazing. Totally worth the detour and the $15. Tons of overlooks and definitely go the dirt path to Walls. We saw pronghorn and buffalo!

4 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by

  • 11 Reviews
  • 33 Helpful
July 19, 2015
Rated 5.0

This was about the coolest place I have ever been and I am quite well traveled. The formations were like none I have ever seen before. I was speechless. You can take in the Badlands just by driving through and viewing or you can get out and sit and stare, or climb to your hearts content. This is a place for young and old! They reminded me of the sand sculptures we used to make as kids by dripping wet sand from a squeeze bottle. Will definitely return someday!

4 people found this review helpful

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Badlands National Park

25216 Ben Reifel Road
Ben Reifel Visitor Center
Interior, South Dakota
57750 USA
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Open now until 4:00 pm
  • Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

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Good for hiking, stargazing, and 4 more activities.

  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
National park
  • Outdoor Seating
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Campground, Parking, Dining

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