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

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

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  • 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.

Operating Hours & Seasons

Visitors viewing exhibits in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center
Exhibit hall in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.
 

Badlands National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Entrance fees are collected year round. The park is in the Mountain Time Zone.

 

Ben Reifel Visitor Center
Hours of Operation - Mountain Time Zone
8 a.m. - 4 p.m. (Winter Hours)
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (mid-April to mid-May)
8 a.m. - 7 p.m. (Summer Hours)
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (early September to late October)

CLOSED on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day

Phone
(605) 433-5361

Location
Cedar Pass "Badlands Loop Road" Hwy 240.

Located at park headquarters, the Ben Reifel Visitor Center reopened in 2006 with new exhibits, a 95-seat, air conditioned theater, a new film, Land of Stone and Light, and improved classroom and restroom facilities.

Bookstore
The Badlands Natural History Association operates a bookstore in the visitor center. Postcards, books, videos, posters, and other educational materials about the park and its resources are available for purchase.

Special Programs
Ranger programs, such as guided hikes, talks, activities, and evening programs, are offered during the summer season.

Exhibits
Exhibits, many interactive, focus on the cultural history, prairie ecology, and paleontology of the White River Badlands. Children can enjoy assembling a virtual skeleton on a touch screen computer and touching fossilized animal casts.

Nearby Facilities
Cedar Pass Lodge, Badlands Inn and Campground, operated by Forever Resorts, an authorized concessioner of the National Park Service, is only open during the summer season. The Lodge offers rental cabins, a gift shop, and full-service restaurant.
Call (877) 386-4383 for reservations.

 
Teepee in front of White River Visitor Center
 

White River Visitor Center

Hours of Operation
Open seasonally, summer only

Phone
(605) 455-2878

Location
SD HWY 27 roughly 20 miles south of Scenic, South Dakota.

Available Facilities
Located on the Pine Ridge Reservation, the visitor center is operated by the Oglala Sioux Parks and Recreation Authority (OSPRA) and offers a staffed information desk, exhibits, restrooms, picnic tables, and water. Impromptu talks are offered daily throughout the summer season.

Did You Know?

The white water of Sage Creek

Available water in the badlands is always loaded with sediment. Cloudy and milky white in appearance, the water contains particles that carry a slight charge of electricity. The particles repel each other, instead of settling to the bottom. Early visitors found the water unsuitable for drinking.