Badlands National Park


Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 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. Badlands National Park contains the world's richest Oligocene epoch fossil beds, dating 23 to 35 million years old.


Seasonality / Weather

Badlands National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Entrance fees are collected year round. The park is located within the Mountain Time Zone.
Ben Reifel Visitor Center Hours of Operation:
8 am - 5 pm (April 18 - May 29)
7 am - 7 pm (May 30 - September 11)
8 am - 5 pm (September 12 - October 30)
8 am - 4 pm (October 31 - Spring 2011)
CLOSED on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day



I-90 to exit 110 or 131 to access Hwy 240 "Badlands Loop Road". Hwy 44 west from Rapid City provides an alternate scenic route to the park.


Rapid City and Sioux Falls have airports with multiple daily flights.

Public Transport: 

Some bus tours are available through tour companies in Rapid City and the surrounding area. No other public transportation is available to the park.