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

    Badlands

    National Park South Dakota

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

Permits

Special Park Uses

Badlands National Park's rugged beauty and spectacular scenery lead many to consider its use as a backdrop for filming, organized activities, or wedding ceremonies. A special park use is a short-term activity, like those mentioned, that occurs in a National Park Service area and:

  • Provides a benefit to an individual, group, or organization, rather than the public at large
  • Requires written authorization and some degree of management control from the National Park Service in order to protect park resources and the public interest
  • Is not prohibited by law or regulation
  • Is neither initiated, sponsored, nor conducted by the National Park Service

Special park uses, if approved, require the issuance of Special Use Permits and payment of permit fees before the activity can be held in the park. Special Use Permits must be acquired for commercial and independent filming, weddings, and commercial photography.

Application for Special Use Permit (online pay.gov form)
Application for Special Use Permit (pdf form to print & mail)

Commercial Use

  • The short form (pdf form to print and mail) is used for still photography and some smaller video/film projects. Payment can be made online at pay.gov.
  • The long form (pdf) is used for more complicated video/film projects where more information is required to evaluate the application.

The completed application must be submitted with $100.00. The $100.00 is a non-refundable application and administrative charge. This fee should be in the form of cash (though not by mail), certified check, or credit card information. Other administrative fees may also apply.

Commercial Filming/Videos

Still Photography

1 - 2 people (camera & tripod only)

$0/day

1 - 10 people

$50/day

1 - 10 people

$150/day

11 - 30 people

$150/day

11 - 30 people

$250/day

Over 30 people

$250/day

31 - 49 people

$500/day

Over 50 people

$750/day


To apply for a Special Use Permit, print and complete the appropriate form above, attach any required fees, and mail it to the address specified on the form. For further information about obtaining a Special Use Permit or determining if your activity needs a permit, please contact the Chief Ranger.

Did You Know?

The rugged badlands topography

To the Lakota, this harsh and desolate landscape was known as "mako sica," meaning “land bad." Early French trappers similarly described the area as “bad lands to travel across." Today, geologists consider all the places in the world with similar topography and formation badlands.