Badlands National Park is an essential stop to add to your list of road trip ideas. This breathtaking park is a must-see for people traveling to Wall Drug or the Black Hills in South Dakota. Visitors to the Badlands can enjoy the scenic loop in their own vehicle, or plan a camping or hiking trip that will take a day or longer.
Known around the world for its extensive, natural collection of mammal fossils, Badlands National Park spans 244,000 acres across the plains of South Dakota and welcomes more than a million travelers every year.
When visiting the Badlands National Park, plan on stopping at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. The center is open daily and year-round, with the expectation of major holidays. At the center visitors can find information about the Badlands, as well as information about the lodging, dining, camping and hiking opportunities that are available in the park.
When visiting the South Dakota Badlands, be sure to plan ahead for a safe and enjoyable trip. The Badlands, despite millions of visitors and modern park services, are still a rugged, remote country home to wild animal and are subject to drastically changing weather, including temperatures that exceed 100°F.
Be prepared for, but don’t miss, the Badlands – a true emblem of South Dakota beauty. The ridges of the Badlands are breathtaking in a sense most of us don’t experience on a regular basis. Cliffs and ravines formed over thousands of years are paired with a dramatic spectrum of contrast, from the deep-blue sky against dusty, sun-baked peaks and cool shadows, to layers of history in red and amber fossil-rich soils.