Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park, 244,000 acres, is located in southwestern South Dakota just south of "world famous" Wall Drug, and less than two hours drive from Rapid City, Black Hills National Forest, Deadwood and Mount Rushmore. Scientists, paleontologists and geologists have long shown great interest in the area, which contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, 37-28 million years old. The Badlands region is considered one of best in the world to discover dinosaur fossils. In more recent times Native Lakota, Arikara, and Sioux tribes hunted this land; to this day it remains spiritually and historically significant to the Lakota Sioux Nation.
Park landscapes vary and include a mixture of eerie spires, sharp buttes, pinnacles, and prairie grasses. Popular family adventures include hiking, bicycling, backpacking, and camping in or near the famous lunar landscapes found in the Park. The Park maintains five trails, from 1/4-mile to 8 miles in length. Seasoned hikers enjoy blazing their own trails using a compass and topographic map. Bald eagles, buffalo, antelope, coyotes, and bighorn sheep are often seen in the park. The endangered Black-footed Ferret, Swift Fox and prairie dogs roam the Park's protected mixed-grass prairie, one of the largest in the United States.
The Park is open year round and offers ranger-guided programs during summer months that include interpretive walks and lectures, childrens activities, and audiovisual programs. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center on Cedar Pass-Badlands Loop Road/Hwy 240 features exhibits, a 95-seat, air conditioned theater, classrooms, bookstore and restroom facilities. Limited seasonal lodging, dining, shopping, camping and supplies are available in the park. Advanced reservations are recommended for rooms and campsites.
Ben Reifel Visitor Center
Cedar Pass "Badlands Loop Road" Hwy 240
White River Visitor Center
SD HWY 27, South Dakota
Circle 10 Campground
Cedar Pass Campground
Cedar Pass Lodge