All about Badlands National Park

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Badlands National Park is a vast area of eroded buttes and pinnacles mixed in with a grass prairie. The park is one of the last remaining undisturbed mixed-grass prairie in the United States. The park is home to a range of wildlife from the newly reintroduced bison to prairie dogs. Here is our guide to Badlands National Park.

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Badlands National Park Profile

RegionMidwest Region
Park Size242,756 acres (379.31 sq miles) (982.4 sq km)
About the size of São Tomé and Príncipe
ElevationHighest point: 3,340 feet (1,020 m) at Red Shirt Table
Lowest point: 2,365 feet (721 m) at a runoff channel near Ben Reifel Visitor Center
LocationPennington County, South Dakota
Jackson County, South Daktoa
Oglala Lakota Nation (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation) , South Dakota
Nearby CitiesRapid City, South Dakota
Founding DateBadlands National Monument – January 29, 1939
Badlands National Park – November 10, 1978
Visitors 1,008,942 (in 2018)
Busy SeasonJune through September
Visitor CentersBen Reifel Visitor Center – Open Year-Round
Park HoursOpen 365 days (24 hours a day)
Entrance Fees7 Day Private Vehicle Pass – $25
7 Day Motor Cycle Pass – $15
7 Day Individual Pass – $12
Annual Pass American the Beautiful Pass – $80
Pets Yes but best left at home. If bringing, please review the Badlands Pet Policy.

Badlands National Park Climate 


Jan FebMarAprMayJun
Average high in °F:344048627283
Average low in °F:111624364656
Av. precipitation in inch:0.290.480.901.832.753.12
Av. Snowfall in inch:3.64.85.63.800

JulAugSepOctNovDec
Average high in °F:929181685039
Average low in °F:626151392617
Av. precipitation in inch:1.941.451.230.900.410.30
Av. Snowfall in inch:0000.63.24.2

Badlands National National Park Guide

Check out nearby National Park Service Sites (less than a 4-hour drive):

  • Agate Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Devils Tower National Monument
  • Fort Laramie National Historic Site
  • Jewel Cave National Monument
  • Minuteman Missile National Historic Site
  • Missouri National Recreational River
  • Mount Rushmore National Memorial
  • Niobrara National Scenic River
  • Scotts Bluff National Monument
  • Wind Cave National Park

Check out nearby National Park Service Sites (less than an 8 hour drive):

  • Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
  • Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument
  • Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  • Grand Teton National Park
  • Homestead National Monument of America
  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
  • Nicodemus National Historic Site
  • Pipestone National Monument
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway
  • Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site
  • Theodore Roosevelt National Park
  • Yellowstone National Park

Badlands Gear

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Planning to visit Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA? Don\'t know where to start. Let National Park Obsessed help you plan your trip to #Badlands with guides, itineraries, things to know and much much more. #Nationalparkobsessed #nationalpark #findyourpark #southdakota #badlands #badlandsnationalpark #badlandsnps

Jennifer Melroy

    Jennifer has been obsessed with national parks as a child.  This Tennessee native spent her childhood exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and traveling with her parents to National Parks and around the Caribbean.  She is always planning her next adventure and is ready to see the world while trying to visit all 59 National Park (*She is ignoring the hunk of concrete that just became a national park).

    Jennifer Melroy has 104 posts and counting. See all posts by Jennifer Melroy

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