4.6
34 votes

Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway

South Dakota Highway 240, Wall, South Dakota USA

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“cruise the black hills”

Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway (SD 240) may only be little ol' state two-lane road but this 31-mile stretch happens to pass through some of the most amazing buttes, cliffs and multi-colored spires of Badlands National Park. This makes Badlands Loop one of the most recognized in the county and consistently places it on "Top Ten" lists by many media outlets.  Badlands National Park is like no place else (not even neighboring Badlands in the north, across the state border) on Earth and this road cuts directly through the middle of the north unit surrounding drivers, bikers and cyclists of SD 240 in a labryinth of wonderful landscape. Its roughly 38 miles contains numerous passes, 15 overlooks, eight trails to get and stretch on and a great visitor center. Don't miss the Big Badlands Overlook in the east or the Door, Window and Notch Trail turnoff just a few miles further south down the road; in the west, make sure to stop at the Pinnacles Overlook and the Yellow Mounds Overlook towards the western end of the loop road.  To get there, if traveling west on I-90, take Exit 131 (Interior) and follow the signs directing vehicles south roughly three miles to the Northeast entrance of Badlands National Park. For those traveling east on I-90, take Exit 110 at Wall, South Dakota. Follow signs directing vehicles south approximately seven miles to the Pinnacles Entrance. From Rapid City, SD Hwy 44 provides a scenic back road to the park and meets up with SD HWY 377 in the town of Interior. Follow 377 two miles north to the Park's Interior Entrance.

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Reviewed by
EmilyEColeman

  • 4 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
July 26, 2020
Rated 5.0

Amazing way to take in the Badlands if you are in a road trip. I’ve been a few times but this past trip had a timeline to stick to so could only swing through. Loved this loop and getting a chance to stretch our legs while practicing social distancing.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
MrNate

  • 4 Reviews
  • 6 Helpful
July 14, 2018
Rated 5.0

The Badlands is a scenic national park similar to Bryce Canyon or the Painted Desert. It's mostly drive-through but with a dozen spots to hike around. Make frequent stops to get the most out of it. It's definitely worth doing if you're in the area but not quite a reason to hop state lines unless you are going to "rush" to any "more" national parks nearby.

3 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
rpcompton41605

  • 6 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
July 27, 2020
Rated 5.0

The beauty of the Badlands is something my unprofessional eye/camera could never capture. I am in awe every time. I just love the quiet massiveness of it all. We make a point to drive this every time we are in the area, even just passing through. This route allows you to stop and climb around or go for a hike. There are quick hikes as well as longer ones, so there's something for everyone.
Take your time. Enjoy the beauty. Don't rush (and don't ride anyone else's bumper.!!)

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
rhonda.e.troutman

  • 9 Reviews
  • 5 Helpful
August 08, 2018
Rated 3.0

I was personally underwhelmed by the Badlands. It just doesn’t compare to other national parks in UT and surrounding states. Drive through if you are in the area but I wouldn’t make a special trip.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
sbrudvik

  • 2 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
August 04, 2017
Rated 5.0

Definitely worth the drive! Even if you are just passing by on I-90, take the extra time to drive through. It is beautiful!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
mkatzovitz

  • 6 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
July 22, 2017
Rated 4.0

Beautiful Drive with many places to explore on foot. The scenery was breathtaking. When we we through, it was close to 100 degrees, so we only took advantage of one stopping point. BRING A CAMERA!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
melissacooner

  • 11 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
June 28, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful place and breathtaking views! Multiple spots to stop and take on the sites, we started at exit 131 and ended at Hwy 44, we saw bison, big horn sheep, mountain goats,deer and prairie dogs. It was well worth the drive and would definitely recommend taking this drive!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
lindseyjoplin

  • 3 Reviews
  • 1 Helpful
April 11, 2017
Rated 5.0

What a beautiful place! There are multiple places to pull off and see the sights or hike around. I'm sooooo glad we went this way. It far exceeded my already high expectations.

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
GrammySheila

  • 11 Reviews
  • 2 Helpful
February 23, 2017
Rated 5.0

Beautiful in the evening as the sun begins its descent over the horizon!

1 person found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Glen Steven Kaminski

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
September 12, 2021
Rated 4.0

My trip to the Badlands was just an afterthought, but a fortunate one at that. The brutal beauty of the land is humbling. If you're a hiker you must try this... I'm a biker so I saw it all from the saddle. Keep your camera handy as there a opportunities arpuind nearly every turn...! You'll be glad you went here.

advice: keep hydrated

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Badlands Loop State Scenic Byway

South Dakota Highway 240
Wall, South Dakota
USA

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