Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park
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Duration: More than 3 hours
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  • scald
    Pfafftown, North Carolina178 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Awesome but make sure you are fit for a hike
    Badlands is awesome. Make sure this is the park for you though. Be ready for extreme heat. We enjoyed the Window hike to all 10 markers. We saw most people were not ready for a hike and stayed on the boardwalk. We parked at the other end of the parking lot so we observed a lot of others. Many red faced miserable folk that didn't know what they were getting in for. Many older men were sitting in their idling SUVs with the A/C blasting. You can just drive through but if you do please pull off if you are moving slow to let the rest of us pass.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 17 July 2023
  • 1horselover
    177 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, Texas85 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
    31 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, California2,254 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
  • LasVegasMyTown
    Las Vegas, Nevada944 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, Washington1,834 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, Louisiana620 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
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

5.0
5.0 of 5 bubbles1,076 reviews
Excellent
933
Very good
129
Average
12
Poor
1
Terrible
1

JBRetired
Apple Valley, CA472 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
A short trail but go beyond the observation deck as the trail continues. Starting on the right you will see a series of yellow poles. Follow them out into the Badlands for a real feel. There are about 10 poles the trail out and back is flat and only about a mile.
Written 17 May 2024
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.

Passenger41522013108
3 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Amazing views of the Badlands. It's like a mini Grand Canyon. The bison and prairie dogs are plentiful. Great place to hike and enjoy scenery and nature.
Written 16 May 2024
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.

cenzt
Iowa17,940 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
Great trip. We arrived at approximately 10 am and made our way towards the entrance to the park. Admission tickets were pricey but well worth the cost. The national park was huge, and consisted of a long, windy road that looped around the entire park. There were multiple stops alongside the loop, that allowed us to pull over and enjoy the scenery or just hike the trails. There were informational plaques located at every stop, that detailed the history of the area and the various forms of wildlife found at the park. We were able to hike multiple trails, including the door trail, window trail, saddle pass trail, cliff shelf nature trail, fossil exhibit trail, pinnacles overlook and the big badlands overlook. The trails ranged in easy to difficult in nature. We were surrounded by sweeping views of buttes that just stretched for miles. I definitely recommend protecting yourself against the sun, because there is absolutely no shade or areas to hide from the sun.

Tip: I recommend spending the entire day here if you truly want to see everything.
Written 16 May 2024
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.

Jenn P
New Tripoli, PA379 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Friends
What an absolute sight to see! As most other landmarks, pictures do not do any justice. I’ll assume it gets crazy busy during peak months, but visiting in early May allowed us to drive slowly, stop when we wanted and take the short walks to beautiful views. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife too!
Written 8 May 2024
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.

Mike X
Chicago, IL3,596 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Business
Don't go during a snow storm but that's probably obvious to anyone except for me. Roads going in and coming out are not well plowed. That being said, if you're looking for solitude and to be alone with literally no other people around then this is a great time to go. The trails like door, window and notch are not shoveled so you'll need to bring boots.
Written 6 April 2024
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.

Mindy
Louisville, KY190 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Solo
Scenery was beautiful, but the hiking didn’t have the elevation I was hoping for and it was very crowded, I like more seclusion. There were people EVERYWHERE, which definitely isn’t my thing. Beautiful place to watch the sun rise and set tho!!
Written 7 December 2023
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.

kirbykirby
Junction City, KS75 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Friends
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.
Written 16 October 2023
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.

MAP12
New Orleans, LA620 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
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".
Written 11 October 2023
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.

travelerhugh
Belleville, IL99 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Family
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.
Written 5 October 2023
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.

Hitheroadwithlila
Lenexa, KS2,214 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Friends
“My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.”- Diane Arbus

The Badlands, by the Lakota Sioux, was termed, mako shika, “the bad lands.” Even the French-Canadian fur trappers years later tagged the area, les mauvaises terres`a traverser, “bad lands to travel across.”

The Badlands became a new discovery for me during the last leg of the road trip with the girls. This 244,000-acre park awakened my sense of the visual and my general being. As we entered the park, to the right in the mixed grass prairie, we saw a small herd of bison grazing.
Following the easy and well paved major roads in the park, we began our almost two-hour journey due the constant stops at the pull outs or parking spots that allowed us to walk out and take photos as we got up close and personal with nature. With so many buttes, canyons, pinnacles, and spires, you just cannot drive by and not take notice. The Badlands has its own beauty that made me feel as though the earth opened and pushed everything from inside itself, outward. Beside bison, the area is also home to bighorn sheep, prairie dogs and black footed ferrets.
There are two visitor centers with the least visited and fewer services at the south unit. We stopped at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center where paleontologists conduct fossil preparation of items found in the park. The rangers are on hand to answer questions, help you plan hiking trips or answer general questions. The suggested best times of the year to visit the Badlands are April, May, September, and October.
Written 1 October 2023
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 - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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