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


    National Park South Dakota

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • 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.

News Releases

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS

April 09, 2014
Park Visitor Injured on Castle Trail
Park rangers responded to a report of an injured hiker on Castle Trail.

March 11, 2014
Third Annual Badlands Youth Camp Fosters Cultural Exchange
During the week of March 17, students from three schools—Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, S.D., Crazy Horse School in Wanblee, SD, and The Calhoun School in New York City—will all participate in a youth camp at Badlands National Park. The students’ learning is supported by their teachers, park rangers, scientists, and visiting artists. The purpose is to create meaningful connections with diverse youth that could encourage them to pursue careers in related disciplines.

March 03, 2014
Take a Virtual Hike in Badlands National Park
Badlands National Park is pleased to announce the release of its virtual WebRangers iHike. The Badlands iHike challenges people of all ages to get outdoors, get active, and get moving. The project supports the global Healthy Parks, Healthy People initiative which aims to harness the power of public parks to support healthier lifestyles for all.

March 03, 2014
Tourism to Badlands and Black Hills National Park Sites Creates $229.7 Million in Economic Benefit
Report shows visitor spending supports 3,549 jobs in South Dakota

January 31, 2014
Lakota Youth Represent Badlands National Park in New York City Exchange
Seventeen year old Dwan Wilcox and fifteen year old Earl Henry Lamont, both students at Crazy Horse High School in Wanblee, SD, are representing their community and serving as Badlands National Park ambassadors in New York City this week. The visit is sponsored by Badlands educational partner, The Calhoun School of Manhattan, NY.

January 17, 2014
Free Entry to Badlands on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Badlands National Park will join national park units around the country in offering fee-free entry on Monday, January 20. You are invited to visit the park and enjoy the stunning winter scenery.

December 09, 2013
Badlands Loop Road to Close at Cedar Pass for Repair
The Badlands Loop Road(Highway 240) will be temporarily closed at Cedar Pass for emergency repair work. This steep and unstable slump is undergoing active erosion. Due to recent weather conditions, work has been delayed and is now scheduled to begin December 17, 2013 and is expected to last two to three weeks, depending on weather.

December 03, 2013
Badlands Loop Road to Temporarily Close at Cedar Pass for Repair
The Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) will be temporarily closed at Cedar Pass for emergency repair work. Work is scheduled to begin December 10, 2013 and is expected to last two to three weeks, depending on weather.

November 08, 2013
Aaron Kaye Wins Regional Freeman Tilden Award
Park ranger Aaron Kaye has been awarded the National Park Service Midwest Region’s Freeman Tilden Award for excellence in interpretation. The Freeman Tilden Award is one of the highest awards presented to an individual National Park Service (NPS) interpreter. The award is presented annually and recognizes outstanding contributions to the practice of interpretation and education by an NPS employee.

October 18, 2013
Traffic Reduced to One Lane at Cedar Pass
The Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) has been reduced to one lane traffic at Cedar Pass. This steep section of the road is just north east of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center. All downhill traffic that is traveling towards the visitor center must stop and yield to uphill traffic.

September 12, 2013
Marathon Runner Commits to Support Badlands Sustainability Project
On November 3, runner Geoff Johnson will participate in the New York City Marathon with a goal of raising $1,000 to support a water recycling project in Badlands National Park. Badlands Natural History Association (BNHA) and Badlands National Park join in expressing their gratitude towards Johnson and the donors who are sponsoring his run.

September 12, 2013
Back to School – in America’s National Parks
Teachers across South Dakota have a new tool to help them engage their students in classroom and place-based learning. Today the National Park Service (NPS) launched a new online service for teachers that brings America’s national parks into neighborhood classrooms. The new “Teachers” section of the National Park Service website at www.nps.gov/teachers provides a one-stop shop for curriculum-based lesson plans, traveling trunks, maps, activities, distance learning, and other resources.

September 02, 2013
Three Lost Hikers Safely Escorted Out of Badlands NP
Park rangers received a 911 call at approximately 6 p.m. on Sunday night, reporting three lost hikers in the Sage Creek Wilderness Area south of Pinnacles Overlook. Members of the park's Search and Rescue (SAR) Team deployed to the Pinnacles Overlook to assess the situation and respond.

August 21, 2013
Badlands National Park Celebrates 97th Birthday of the National Park Service
Badlands National Park will celebrate the 97th birthday of the National Park Service by offering free admission on Sunday, August 25, 2013.

July 30, 2013
Badlands Astronomy Festival to Be Held August 2 - 4
Badlands has partnered with the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium to host South Dakota Space Days 2013 during the Badlands Astronomy Festival, August 2 - 4. The festival brings together space science professionals, amateur astronomers, educators, and visitors for a three day celebration.

July 22, 2013
National Park Foundation and University of Phoenix Award Badlands Park Steward Grant to Engage Next Generation of National Park Stewards
The National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks, and University of Phoenix® announced that Badlands National Park is one of eighteen national parks to receive a 2013 Park Stewards program grant. Now in their second year of program sponsorship, the University provided $187,000 in program funding to the NPF to help high school teachers and their students across the country build a deeper connection and sense of stewardship for their national parks through curriculum and service learning projects.

July 16, 2013
Badlands White River Visitor Center to Host Heritage Celebration
The 5th Annual Badlands Heritage Celebration will be held at the White River Visitor Center in the South Unit of Badlands National Park on Saturday, July 20. The Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority (OSPRA) operate the visitor center and will be hosting the event. The celebration’s activities will focus on traditional Native American songs, dances, and crafts, and are included in the park admission fee. Visitors can also enjoy exhibits and films about Lakota history and culture at the White River Visitor Center.

July 05, 2013
Helicopter Tour Makes Emergency Landing in Badlands
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 4, park rangers received a report that a helicopter had made a precautionary landing southeast of the Big Badlands Overlook. The pilot landed the helicopter safely and no one was injured.

June 08, 2013
Interagency Response to Injured Hiker at Badlands
Park Rangers received a 911 call at approximately 7:15 p.m., reporting a 35-year old Pine Ridge, SD man had fallen down a steep ravine from the Cliff Shelf Trail in Badlands National Park.

May 28, 2013
Badlands National Park to Hold Two Public Scoping Meetings
Badlands National Park staff will be holding two public scoping meetings for its proposed Bison Management Plan. The first will be held at the Wall Community Center, Wall, S.D. on June 4, 2013, between 6:00-8:30 p.m. The second meeting will be at the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Outdoor Learning Campus, in Rapid City, S.D. on June 11, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in the Pittman-Robertson room. The public is invited to attend one or both of these meetings and provide input and comments.

May 14, 2013
Badlands Receives 2013 Ticket to Ride Grant from the National Park Foundation
Badlands National Park has been selected to receive a 2013 “Ticket to Ride” grant from the National Park Foundation (NPF), the official charity of America’s national parks. The Ticket to Ride program, supported by a $500,000 grant from the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, helps students explore the outdoors by providing transportation and program support to national parks around the country.

May 08, 2013
Lightning-Caused Fire in Badlands Bison Corrals
On May 7th, a lightning-caused fire was reported at 6:00 PM at the bison corrals in Badlands National Park. Wall, SD Fire Department provided initial response to the incident. Park fire personnel reported and provided oversight of the area through the night and into this morning.

May 02, 2013
Two Rapid City Residents Charged with Deer Poaching
On November 24th, South Dakota Game & Fish received a report from two concerned citizens regarding suspicious hunting activity within the Conata Basin, which is located in the northwest part of Badlands National Park. Park rangers conducted an investigation and discovered a blood trail measuring over 700 yards.

April 30, 2013
New Artwork at Badlands
Three new watercolor paintings by Artist in Residence Jessica L. Bryant are now on display at the Ben Reifel Visitor Center in Badlands National Park. Bryant’s donation of the paintings is just the most recent effort in an ongoing partnership between Badlands and the artist, who worked with tribal youth on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation during her residency.

April 25, 2013
Interior School Students Win National Kids to Parks Contest
Interior School’s combined sixth, seventh, and eighth grade class recently won a National Kids to Parks Day contest. The class was awarded $1,000 for an overnight camping trip to Badlands National Park. Although the school regularly participates in park education programs, this will be the first student campout of its kind.

April 19, 2013
Badlands and Minuteman Missile Celebrate National Park Week 2013
Badlands National Park and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site will celebrate National Park Week, from April 20-28, 2013. Fee free days will be offered at Badlands, a fee park, beginning on Earth Day, Monday, April 22 and extending through Friday, April 26.


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.