• 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.

Natural Features & Ecosystems

prairie and badlands

NPS photo by Larry McAfee

The landscape of Badlands National Park is roughly half badlands geologic formations and half mixed-grass prairie ecosystem. The striking scenery of the rugged spires and deep canyons may draw your attention, and the lens of your camera, first. But as you spend more time in this place, the prairie comes alive. Stay awhile and get to know the prairie plants and animals as well as the stark badlands and fossil resources.

Did You Know?

Early motorist meanders through the Upper Tunnel

Early motorists along the Badlands Loop Road traveled through tunnels carved into the formations. Since the road’s layout defied engineering logic by being based on scenery rather than stability, the road is constantly shifting. Though the tunnels are long gone, the sense of adventure remains.