Badlands National Park

Practicalities
Gorp.com

GETTING THERE

Location
Badlands National Park is located in southwestern South Dakota.

Address
Badlands National Park
P.O. Box 6
Interior, SD 57750

Telephone
(605) 433-5361

Fax
(605) 433-5248

Web site: www.nps.gov/badl/index.htm

E-mail: badl_information@nps.gov

Directions

To reach the park from eastbound Interstate 90:
Take Exit 109 near the community of Wall. Follow signs directing vehicles south approximately seven miles to the Pinnacles Entrance of the park.

To reach the park from westbound Interstate 90:
Take Exit 131 and follow signs directing vehicles south approximately eleven miles to the Northeast Entrance to the park.

To reach the park from Highway 44:
Highway 44 intersects with Highway 377 in the town of Interior. Follow 377 two miles to the Interior Entrance to the park.

VISITOR CENTERS

Ben Reifel Visitor Center
Located at park headquarters at Cedar Pass. Staffed information desk, park orientation movie, exhibits, park offices, restrooms, water, and public telephone. Badlands Natural History Association operates its largest outlet here, carrying postcards, books, videos, posters, and other educational materials on the park and its resources. Open year-round.

White River Visitor Center
Located on the Pine Ridge Reservation on Highway 27. Staffed information desk, park orientation movie, exhibits, restrooms, and water. Badlands Natural History Association operates a small outlet that includes postcards, videos, and books. Open June to August.

AMPHITHEATER
The amphitheater in the Cedar Pass Campground is accessible by developed path from the parking area or campground. Evening programs are given nightly in summer. A park ranger will give a 40-minute slide presentation on some aspect of Badlands National Park. The slides will be preceded by a 10-minute mini-talk.

PICNIC AREAS
Picnic tables are located around the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, as well as near the Cedar Pass Campground. Picnic areas are also established at the Journey Overlook and on the Conata Road; however, there is no water available. Remember that open campfires are not permitted anywhere in the park, including picnic areas.

OVERLOOKS
Scenic overlooks and wayside exhibits provide off-road parking. Restroom facilities and water are not available.

CAMPING 

Cedar Pass Campground
"First Come, First Served" only
Campground hosts on site Memorial Day through Labor Day
No campfires allowed

Sage Creek Campground
Fee: Free
"First Come, First Served" only
No water
Pit toilets
Campground is used by horseback riders frequently
Accessible from the unpaved Sage Creek Rim Road
Vehicles must have high clearance to travel the Sage Creek Rim Road
No campfires allowed

LODGING

Cedar Pass Lodge
Full-menu dining, air-conditioned cabins. Gift shop, restrooms, and public telephone. Bagged ice and recycling available. Open mid-April through mid-October. For reservations, call (605) 433-5460.
Reservations can also be requested, along with rates, by writing Cedar Pass Lodge; P.O. Box 5; Interior, South Dakota 57750.

WEATHER
The Badlands climate is variable and unpredictable with temperatures ranging from 116 F to -40 F. Most of the scant 15 inches of annual precipitation fall just before and during the warmer months, often in the form of torrential thunderstorms. June is the wettest month while December and January are the driest.

The weather in the park can be severe and can go from one extreme to another in a short period of time. Dress appropriately, drive with extra caution during stormy or icy conditions, and seek shelter from the thundershowers, hailstorms, and occasional tornadoes that sometimes descend on the Badlands with sudden fury.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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