All facilities and exhibits at both visitors centers are wheelchair accessible. Of special note, in Ben Reifel Visitor Center, a "Touch Room" is located where fossils, rocks, bones and plants may be handled. Other wheelchair accessible facilities include the Fossil Exhibit Trail, Window Trail, restrooms and three designated handicapped campsites in the Agate Loop of Cedar Pass Campground, and one designated group campsite. The Cedar Pass Lodge dining room and gift shop are also wheelchair accessible. The park orientation film at both visitor centers is captioned for the hearing impaired.
Basic Visit Recommendations
Stay for a minimum of six hours to tour Badlands National Park. It would require at least two days to visit to all sites and areas in the park.
Biking is allowed only on established roads. Bikes are NOT allowed on trails, boardwalks or crosscountry. Recommended safety gear include:
High Visibility Clothing
Inquire at the visitor center for suggested bicycling opportunities using existing roads.
Because of danger of wildfires, open campfires are NOT allowed in the park. Charcoal can be used in an appropriate container in campgrounds and picnic areas.
There are two campgrounds in Badlands National Park, Cedar Pass and Sage Creek Primitive Campgrounds. Both these campgrounds are open year round. Cedar Pass is first come first serve, but will take reservations for group camping. Saga Creek is a primitive camping area and is first come first serve. Call or write for backcountry camping information.
See the Camping Page for more information.
Climbing is permitted in Badlands National Park. Climbing buttes and rock formations is allowed but can be dangerous due to loose, crumbly rock. Be careful!
|Individual Entry (Bike, Foot)||$ 5.00 (7 Day Pass)|
|Private Non-commercial Vehicle||$ 10.00 (7 Day Pass)|
|Annual Pass (Good 1 year from date of purchase)||$ 20.00|
|Gold Access Passport (Blind or permanently disabled)||Free (Lifetime - good in all natl parks)|
|Golden Age Passport (1 time fee - for those 62+ years young)||$ 10.00 (Lifetime - good in all natl parks)|
|National Park Pass (Good for 1 year from date of purchase)||$ 50.00 (Good in all natl parks)|
|Golden Eagle Pass (Good for 1 year from date of purchase)||$ 15.00 (Good in all natl parks & forests)|
National Park Pass Information
National Parks Pass
The National Parks Pass is an annual pass that provides admission to any national park charging an entrance fee. The Pass costs $ 50.00 and is valid for 12 months (ending the last day of the purchase month, one year later). More than 80% of the proceeds from the sales of National Park Passes go directly into supporting priority projects in national parks.
Where a "Per Vehicle" entrance fee is charged, the Pass admits the Pass signee and accompanying passengers in a single, private*, non-commercial vehicle. Where a "Per Person" entrance fee is charged, the Pass admits the Pass signee, spouse, children and parents. The Pass is nontransferable and does not cover or reduce use fees such as charges for camping, parking, tours and concessions.
Golden Eagle Pass
For an additional $ 15.00, a Golden Eagle hologram may be purchased and affixed to a National Parks Pass to cover entrance fees at not only national parks, but also at sites managed by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U. S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. The Golden Eagle holograms are available at National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Land Management fee stations. The Golden Eagle admits the pass signee and any accompanying passengers in a private* vehicle if a park has a per vehicle entrance fee. Where a per person entrance fee is charged, the Golden Eagle admits the pass signee, spouse, children and parents. The Golden Eagle is nontransferable and does NOT cover or reduce use fees such as charges for camping, parking, tours, and concessions. It is valid for entrance fees only. The Golden Eagle hologram is valid until the expiration of the National Parks Pass to which it is affixed.
Golden Age Pass
If you are age 62 or older, you qualify for a Golden Age Passport. The Golden Age Pass is available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents who are age 62 or older. The Golden Age Pass is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee. The Golden Age Pass admits the pass signee and any accompanying passengers in a private* vehicle if a park has a per vehicle entrance fee. Where a per person entrance fee is charged, the Golden Age Pass admits the pass signee, spouse, and children.
The Golden Age Pass also provides a 50% discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. In some cases where use fees are charged, only the pass signee will be given the 50% price reduction. The Pass is nontransferable and does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners. A Golden Age Pass must be obtained in person at a federal area where an entrance fee is charged. There is a one-time $ 10.00 processing charge to obtain the Golden Age Pass. It is available only to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are 62 years of age or older. You must show proof of age, such as a state driver's license, birth certificate, or similar document.
Golden Access Pass
If you have a permanent disability, you may qualify for a Golden Access Passport. The Golden Access Pass is a lifetime entrance pass to national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges that charge an entrance fee. The Golden Access Pass admits the pass signee and any accompanying passengers in a private* vehicle if a park has a per vehicle entrance fee. Where a per person entrance fee is charged, the Golden Access Pass admits the pass signee, spouse, and children.
The Golden Access Pass also provides a 50% discount on federal use fees charged for facilities and services such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. In some cases where use fees are charged, only the pass signee will be given the 50% price reduction. The Pass is nontransferable and does NOT cover or reduce special recreation permit fees or fees charged by concessioners. A Golden Access Pass must be obtained in person at a federal area where an entrance fee is charged. It is available only to citizens or permanent residents of the United States who are medically determined to be blind or permanently disabled. You may obtain a Golden Access Pass by showing proof of medically determined permanent disability, or eligibility for receiving benefits under federal law.
* A private vehicle is defined as any noncommercial vehicle that is being used for private recreational purposes.
The National Parks Pass may be purchased at any National Park office or entry station.
To purchase a pass Online, click on this Link, or to purchase via phone, call: 1-888-467-2757.
Food and Supplies
In the park, Cedar Pass Lodge also has a restaurant that is open mid-Apr to mid-Oct. In the Badlands Visitor Center, you may buy film, maps, as well as other informational materials. You can always bring your own food or there are restaurants in the local communities listed above.
Horseback riding is allowed anywhere in the park except on marked trails, roads or in developed areas. An area in Sage Creek Campground has been designated for horses. Inquire at the visitor center for more information on horse use at Badlands.
In Badlands National Park, there are two Campgrounds, the only other lodging in the park is Cedar Pass Lodge. The Lodge offers 23 rustic cabins for rent during their normal spring to fall season of mid-Apr to mid-Oct. Cedar Pass Lodge also has a restaurant that is open during the same time frame.
See the Lodging Page for more information.
Permits and Fees
The only other park fee is for camping. See the Camping Page for details.
Dogs and other pets are allowed only in developed areas such as campgrounds, parking areas and along roads and must be kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet in length at all times. They are not allowed in public buildings, or on any hiking trails. This policy has been instituted to provide a greater degree of protection to park resources.
Bigfoot and Conata Picnic Areas have tables, trash cans and pit toilets. No camping, campfires or water.
Programs and Activities
Ranger / Naturalist programs include scheduled talks, walks and evening campfire programs by rangers. These programs are scheduled mid-June through Labor Day. Check the bulletin boards and the park newspaper for schedule.
As in other National Parks, Badlands has a Junior Ranger Program for youth ages six through eleven. The Junior Ranger Program really helps the youth get the most out of their visit to a National Park and to become involved as an official Junior Ranger and earn their patch.
See the Calendar Page for more information.
Roads and Trails
The 30 mile round trip paved road in the park travels through spectacular scenery and leads to major park features. The 30 mile Loop Drive is accessed from Interstate 90, and it is a two lane, paved surface. The 30 mile Sage Creek Road is gravel. The basic road tour with stops at overlooks requires several hours to a half day. Allow more time if you plan to hike or otherwise experience the park.
No Off-Road Travel is permitted. Cars, motorcycles and all other wheeled vehicles must be operated ONLY on established park roadways.
For a detailed list of Badlands hiking possibilities, with locations and trails, see the Hiking Page. Hiking trails of varying length and difficulty lead to and through different areas of Badlands National Park. Five trails, varying from one-fourth mile to eight miles in length, explore park features.
Open: All Year
Located: Cedar Pass, just inside the park entrance.
8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily - Mid Apr thru Beginning Jun and Beginning Sep thru Mid Oct
7:00 am to 8:00 pm daily - Beginning Jun thru Beginning Aug
8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily - Beginning Aug thru Beginning Sep
8:00 am to 4:30 pm daily - Mid Oct until further notice
The visitor center houses a museum and exhibits and park headquarters. A short orientation program is shown in the auditorium. Information is available and books, maps, restrooms, water, phones, etc.
White River Visitor Center
Open: Mid May to Beginning Sep
Located: Southwest area of the park on state road 27
8:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
Only open during spring and summer. Information, Lakota exhibits, video program, restrooms, water.
See the Calendar Page for more information.
Should you drink the water? Water in Badlands is too full of silt for humans to drink, and will quickly clog a water filter. When hiking, always carry water with you. Drinking water is available only at the Cedar Pass area, the White River Visitor Center and the Pinnacles Ranger Station.
Badlands weather is unpredictable. Heavy rain, hail and high, often damaging winds are possible. Lighting strikes are common. During a severe electric storm, stay away from ridges, exposed places or isolated trees. Summer temperatures often exceed 100� F. Sunscreen, a hat and water are essential to avoid severe sunburn, dehydration and heat stroke. Winter travelers should be alert for approaching storms that can bring sleet, ice, heavy snow and blizzard conditions.
|High - �F||34.0||40.0||48.0||62.0||72.0||83.0||92.0||91.0||81.0||68.0||50.0||39.0||63.0|
|Low - �F||11.0||16.0||24.0||36.0||46.0||56.0||62.0||61.0||51.0||39.0||26.0||17.0||37.0|
|Avg Precip (in)||0.29||0.48||0.90||1.83||2.75||3.12||1.94||1.45||1.23||0.90||0.41||0.30||15.60|
See the Weather Page for current conditions, forecasts and other weather data.
Activity & Calendar Page
Address, Email & Phone Guide
Brochures, Maps, Written Info
Group Camping Guide
Jobs, SCA, Volunteer Positions
Junior Ranger Programs
Size & Visitation Info