December 17 Road Closure Near Visitor Center
December 17: Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) will be temporarily closed at Cedar Pass for emergency repair work. The closure is expected to be in place for two to three weeks, weather dependent. An alternate route to access Interstate 90 will be posted. More »
Be A Junior Ranger
Explore. Learn. Protect.
Here are two ways to become a Badlands Junior Ranger:
We have Junior Ranger activity books waiting for you at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center throughout the entire year. Open one and begin your thrilling adventure through the Badlands. Complete all the fun-filled activities in the book and watch the exciting park movie, Land of Stone and Light, or attend a daily ranger-guided program (summer only) to earn your official Badlands National Park Junior Ranger badge and a signed certificate.
Return your completed book to a ranger at the visitor center desk and take the Junior Ranger pledge.
Congratulations! You are now an official Badlands Junior Ranger!
June - August
Badlands National Park buzzes with activity during the summer. It's a perfect time to earn your Junior Ranger badge by attending an official Junior Ranger Program. It's always a surprise! You might explore bizarre rock formations on a nature hike or play exciting games that help you understand more about Badlands' plants and animals. Maybe you'll examine fossils to discover how paleontologists use them as clues to solve mysteries of what ancient life was like in the Badlands.
You'll be awarded an official Badlands National Park Junior Ranger badge at the end of the program. Stop by the Ben Reifel Visitor Center or check the Schedule of Events for program times and locations.
Short on Time?
What if you don't have enough time to finish the book while you are in the park? No problem! Send your book back to the park when you complete it. A ranger will check your work and mail the book back to you with a badge and signed certificate.
But wait! There is one last step. Raise your right hand and take the official Junior Ranger Pledge:
As a junior ranger, I promise to explore, learn about, and protect special places like Badlands National Park.
Congratulations! You are now an official Badlands Junior Ranger.
Did You Know?
To the Lakota, this harsh and desolate landscape was known as "mako sica," meaning “land bad." Early French trappers similarly described the area as “bad lands to travel across." Today, geologists consider all the places in the world with similar topography and formation badlands.