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

    Badlands

    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.

Paleontology Lab

Saber tooth cat skull
In May 2010, a seven year girl named Kylie found a fossil near the visitor center at Badlands National Park. She did the right thing. She reported her find to rangers. It turned out to be an exceptionally rare and well-preserved saber tooth cat fossil. A survey of the area led to the discovery of additional fossil material. The area is now known as the Saber Site.  Fossils from this and other sites around the park are prepared in the Paleontology Lab in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center.
 

Paleontology Lab Opens May 27, 2014

The Fossil Preparation Lab will be open from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. daily from May 27 - September 20, 2014. Located in the Ben Reifel Visitor Center, this working paleontological laboratory gives visitors the chance to watch paleontologists at work and learn more about the scientific discoveries being made.

 

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.