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

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

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  • Visitor Center Open

    Construction crews are replacing the parking lot in front of the visitor center. Please follow the signs, park in the side lot, and use the side doors. The Ben Reifel Visitor Center remains open every day from 8 am to 4 pm.

Be A Junior Ranger

Front page of the Junior Ranger Activity Book

Explore. Learn. Protect.

Here are two ways to become a Badlands Junior Ranger:

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?

Historic photo of the Cedar Pass cabins

The Cedar Pass Lodge dates back to 1928 when Ben Millard and his sister Clara opened the Cedar Pass Camp to provide services to tourists braving the area's dusty, undeveloped roads. The Camp once consisted of a grocery store, gas station, dance hall, and cabins. It remains an oasis for travelers.