December 17 Road Closure Near Visitor Center
December 17: Badlands Loop Road (Highway 240) will be temporarily closed at Cedar Pass for emergency repair work. The closure is expected to be in place for two to three weeks, weather dependent. An alternate route to access Interstate 90 will be posted. More »
The Badlands weather is variable and unpredictable with temperature extremes ranging from 116° F to -40° F. Summers are hot and dry with occasional violent thunderstorms. Hailstorms and occasional tornadoes can descend on the Badlands with sudden fury. Winters are typically cold with 12 to 24 inches of total snowfall.
Of the sixteen inches of annual precipitation, most falls during the warmer months. June is the wettest month, while December and January are the driest.
Sudden and dramatic weather changes are common. Visitors are urged to dress in layers and be prepared with hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and adequate water for hiking.
Badlands Weather Averages
Did You Know?
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.