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


    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.

Injured Hiker Rescued at Badlands

Black Hills Life Flight helicopter evacuating injured hiker to Rapid City Regional Medical Center.
Black Hills Life Flight helicopter evacuating injured hiker to Rapid City Regional Medical Center.
NPS Photo

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News Release Date: June 7, 2012
Contact: Steve Thede, 605-433-5281

BADLANDS NATIONAL PARK, Interior, S.D. - Park Rangers received a 911 call from two European visitors at approximately 10:30 AM today reporting an injured hiker on the Notch Trail.Park Rangers and the Interior Volunteer Fire Department were first on scene after hiking in about ¾ mile to find Dave Johnson a 57 year old man from Audubon, Pennsylvania who had fallen, sliding into a crack and was experiencing severe leg and back pain along with numerous cuts and scrapes.He stated that he had started hiking at 7:30 this morning and had been trapped and unable to get help until he was discovered.

Multiple agencies responded to the incident including Kadoka and Philip Ambulance companies, Jackson County Sheriff's officers and the South Dakota Highway Patrol.After assessing both his injuries and the situation, it was determined that the safest and most appropriate method of rescue would be by helicopter, especially considering the difficulty of bringing a litter down the wood/cable ladder that connects the upper and lower parts of the Notch Trail.Black Hills Life Flight was already on scene with both a flight nurse and paramedic having hiked in to provide advanced medical care.After the South Dakota Air National Guard arrived on scene, they were able to use a cable hoist to bring the victim to the Life Flight Helicopter for evacuation to Rapid City Regional Medical Center.


Did You Know?

Ben Reifel speaking at the Cedar Pass Campground Amphitheater - 1971

The Ben Reifel Visitor Center was named after Ben Reifel, the first congressman from the Sioux Nation, who served 5 terms. Afterwards, he served as consultant and Special Assistant for Indian Programs to the Director of the National Park Service. Badlands was his favorite national park.