Badlands National Park

For the average visitor, a casual drive is the essential means by which to see Badlands National Park. To do the scenery justice, drive slowly, and don't hesitate to get out and explore on foot when the occasion calls for it.

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  • 1. Badlands Loop Road

    Scenic Drive

    The simplest drive is on two-lane Badlands Loop Road. The drive circles from exit 110 off Interstate 90 through the park and back to the interstate...Read More

  • 2. Badlands Wilderness Area

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Covering about a quarter of the park, this 100-square-mile area is part of the country's largest prairie wilderness. About two-thirds of the...Read More

  • 3. Wall Drug Store


    This South Dakota original got its start in 1931 by offering free ice water to road-weary travelers. Today its four dining rooms seat 520 visitors...Read More

  • 4. Affordable Adventures Badlands Tour


    Take a seven-hour narrated tour through the park and surrounding badlands. Tours can easily be customized and are available year-round. ...Read More

  • 5. Ancient Hunters Overlook


    Perched above a dense fossil bed, this overhang, adjacent to the Pinnacles overlook, is where prehistoric bison hunters drove herds of buffalo...Read More

  • 6. Badlands Natural History Association Bookstore


    The Badlands Natural History Association Bookstore sells a full line of printed materials related to the region, from books on geology and...Read More

  • 7. Ben Reifel Visitor Center

    Visitor Center

    Open year-round, this is the park's main information hub. Stop here to pick up brochures and maps. A 22-minute video about geology and wildlife...Read More

  • 8. Big Badlands Overlook


    From this spot just south of the park's northeast entrance, the vast majority of the park's 1 million annual visitors get their first views...Read More

  • 9. Big Foot Pass Overlook


    See where Sioux chief Big Foot and his band traveled through the badlands on their way to the battle at Wounded Knee, December 29, 1890. ...Read More

  • 10. Big Pig Dig


    Until 2008, paleontologists dug for fossils at this site named for a large fossil originally thought to be of a prehistoric pig (it actually...Read More

  • 11. Bigfoot Pass Overlook


    There is only a handful of tables here and no water, but the incredible view makes it a lovely spot to have lunch. Restrooms are available. ...Read More

  • 12. Conata Picnic Area


    A half-dozen or so covered picnic tables are scattered over this area, which rests against a badlands wall ½ mile south of Badlands Loop Road...Read More

  • 13. Evening Program


    Watch a 40-minute outdoor audiovisual presentation on the wildlife, natural history, paleontology, or another aspect of the badlands. The shows...Read More

  • 14. Fossil Talk


    What were the badlands like many years ago? This talk about protected fossil exhibits will inspire and answer all your questions. Check at the...Read More

  • 15. 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...Read More

  • 16. Golden Circle Tours


    This company gives a seven- to nine-hour narrated van tour out of Custer to several venues, including Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial,...Read More

  • 17. Gray Line of the Black Hills


    This outfit offers bus tours from Rapid City to Mount Rushmore, Black Hills National Forest, Custer State Park, and the Crazy Horse Memorial...Read More

  • 18. Junior Ranger Program


    Children ages 5–12 can join in this 45-minute adventure, typically a short hike, game, or other hands-on activity focused on badlands wildlife...Read More

  • 19. Mount Rushmore Tours


    Beginning at Fort Hayes on the Dances with Wolves film set and then moving to Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Crazy Horse Memorial...Read More

  • 20. Red Cloud Indian School Heritage Art Museum


    Changing exhibits highlight works by artists representing 30 tribes. ...Read More

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