Mt. Rushmore and the Black Hills Experience
There are several educational programs offered by the rangers of Badlands National Park. An outreach program is available for classes K-12, free of charge to schools within a 100-mi radius of the park. This program gives schools a unique opportunity to expand their curriculum by offering kids a hands-on learning activity in their own backyard. There are many other programs available for visitors of all ages to the park that will give a unique perspective on the Badlands area, how it was formed, and the natural makeup of the park.
All park programs and activities are free.
Focus Weeks. Focus on fire, ferrets, flora, or fauna: each week in summer an important park resource is featured in special ranger-led walks and talks. Meeting points vary; check schedules at the visitor centers. July 4–mid-Aug., daily.
Fossil Talk. What were the Badlands like many years ago? This tour of protected fossil exhibits will inspire and answer all of your questions. Fossil Exhibit Trail, 5 mi west of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Wind Cave National Park, SD. Mid-June–mid-Aug., daily 10:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm.
Geology Walk. Learn the geologic story of the White River Badlands in a 45-minute walk. The terrain can be rough in places, so be sure to wear hiking boots or sneakers. A hat is a good idea, too. Door/Window trail parking, 2 mi east of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Wind Cave National Park, SD. Mid-June–mid-Aug., daily 8:30 am.
Junior Ranger Program. Children ages 7–12 may participate in this 45-minute adventure, typically a short hike, game, or other hands-on activity focused on Badlands wildlife, geology, or fossils. Parents are welcome. Cedar Pass Campground amphitheater, Wind Cave National Park, SD. 605/433–5361. June–Aug., daily 10:30 am.
Prairie Walk. This easy, ½-mi hike into the grasslands starts at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Rangers lecture on the intricacies of the prairie ecosystem and the value of its flora. Ben Reifel Visitor Center, Wind Cave National Park, SD. June–Aug., daily 6 pm.
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