• 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.

For Kids

Ranger signs a child's Junior Ranger certificate

A child gets his certificate signed by a friendly park ranger.

Sara Feldt - NPS Photo

Become a Junior Ranger

What is a Junior Ranger? Good question! Junior Rangers are special kids of all ages just like you - adventurers, explorers, and nature and history lovers. They have made a special promise to help take care of national parks and all the plants and animals that live there. Junior Rangers teach others by sharing all they learn with their friends and family. You too can set a shining example and inspire others to take care of Badlands' natural and cultural wonders by becoming a Badlands Junior Ranger.

 
Cliff Shelf Nature Trail boardwalk

Enjoy a hike down the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail.

Sara Feldt - NPS Photo

Take a Hike

No trip to the Badlands is complete without a hiking adventure. Kids agree that the Fossil Exhibit Trail and the Cliff Shelf Nature Trail are two of their favorites.

 
Rachelles Fossil Talk

Children listen attentively to a ranger's fossil program.

Sara Feldt - NPS Photo

Enjoy Park Fun

The Badlands' environment changes constantly. Erosion carves the rocks into bizarre formations that look like landscapes from another planet. A heavy rain can uncover fossils that have been hidden for millions of years. Visit 'Park Fun' to learn more about this incredible world of rocks and fossils.

Did You Know?

Painting of a mosasaur

During the Age of Dinosaurs, a warm, shallow sea covered the Great Plains, including what is now Badlands. Since dinosaurs were land creatures, no fossils of these animals have been found in the park. Giant marine lizards called mosasaurs swam in the ancient sea, along with sea turtles and fish.