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.
Interagency Response to Rattlesnake Bite
Contact: Julie Johndreau, 605-433-5242
Park rangers received a 911 call at approximately 6:35 pm on Friday, June 14, reporting that a fourteen year old girl had suffered a rattlesnake bite at the junction of Saddle Pass and Castle Trails.
Park rangers, Interior Volunteer Fire Department, and Rapid City Fire Department responded to the call. When rangers arrived on scene, they found that another park visitor, who was a qualified emergency medical technician (EMT) and first responder, had carried the girl down the Saddle Pass Trail toward the parking lot. The closest anti-venom treatment was available at Philip Hospital, so the patient was transported there by Kadoka Ambulance Service. Life flight was on stand-by, but not needed.
Visitors are reminded to be cautious of the venomous prairie rattlesnake when exploring Badlands National Park. Always wear sturdy boots and long pants. The best treatment for snake bites is to seek immediate medical attention.
The patient received anti-venom treatment at the hospital and is expected to be released soon.
Did You Know?
Badlands National Park maintains an open backcountry policy for exploration of its rugged landscape. While the park has no formal backcountry permit or reservation system, hikers are advised to stop at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center for planning assistance, safety tips, directions, and regulations.