US Park Info: Badlands National Park

Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires blended with the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the United States. The Badlands Wilderness Area covers 64,000 acres and is the site of the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret, the most endangered land mammal in North America. The Stronghold Unit is co-managed with the Oglala Sioux Tribe and includes sites of 1890s Ghost Dances. Established as Badlands National Monument in 1939, the area was redesignated "National Park" in 1978. Over 11,000 years of human history pale to the ages old paleontological resources. Badlands National Park contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 23 to 35 million years old. The evolution of mammal species such as the horse, sheep, rhinoceros
and pig can be studied in the Badlands formations.

 

 

 


Basic Information on Badlands National Park

How to Get to Badlands National Park


Nearest Airport to Badlands National Park
- Rapid City and Sioux Falls have air service from several major regional airlines. Larger service can be found in Omaha and Denver

Driving Directions to Badlands National Park - I-90 to Hwy 240 "Badlands Loop Road" or Hwy 44 from Rapid City. *If you drive here, or have any car at all, you gotta drive to Wall Drug, and enjoy all the different signs starting hundreds of miles before you get there.

Weather & Climate
The Badlands usually have hot, dry summers with occasional severe thunderstorms. Winters are very cold with 1 to 2 feet of snowfall. With it being the great plains, expect strong winds year round. Sudden and dramatic weather changes are common, so it's good to dress in layers. Hats and sunglasses are recommended.

Accessibility
Fossil Exhibit Trail and Door Trail are one-fourth mile in length and wheelchair accessible. An open-captioned version of the park video "Buried Fossils, Living Prairie" is available. Accessibility guide to park free upon request.


Camping at Badlands National Park
Cedar Pass Campground
Open All Year
Cedar Pass Campground is $10.00 per night in summer with a 14 night limit. During winter months,it is $8.00 per night. The campground is operated by the National Park Service on a first-come, first-served basis. There are four group campsites that can be reserved in advance by calling (605) 433-5235. Minimum fee for a group campsite is $25.

Sage Creek Campground
Open All Year
Sage Creek Campground is a free, primitive facility with vault toilets and no water. The campground is operated by the National Park Service on a first-come, first-served basis.


Activities at Badlands National Park
Explore Cliff Shelf Nature Trail (.5 mile) or Fossil Exhibit Trail (.25mile). From the Loop Road take a ten mile round trip drive on an unpaved road to Roberts Prairie Dog Town, the largest easily accessed prairie dog town in the park.



 

 

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