• Badlands formations against the blue sky; photo by Rikk Flohr

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

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  • Visitor Center Open / Road Construction

    Park roads and parking lots are under construction. Expect occasional 10 - 15 minute road construction delays along Hwy 240 Loop Road. There is limited parking at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. Please follow the signs to park in designate areas.

Be A Junior Ranger

Front page of the Junior Ranger Activity Book

Explore. Learn. Protect.

Print your Junior Ranger Activity Book (4.3 MB PDF, 16 color pages)

Year Round

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!

 
Ranger sharing the wonders of the prairie with a child

Park ranger shares the wonders of the prairie with a child.

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.

 
Group of children take the Junior Ranger pledge

A group of children take the Junior Ranger pledge.

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?

Sandstone caprock balanced atop eroding sediments, an example of a toadstool or hoodoo

The badlands are some of the fastest eroding landscapes on earth with erosion rates averaging 1” per year in their fragile layers. However, in areas where sandstone is found, the erosion rate may be 1” in 500 years. Often, toadstools form when surrounding sediments erode beneath a sandstone caprock.