Nature & Science

a rainbow disappears behind the single winding spire of a large butte.
The Badlands hosts a variety of topics related to nature and science.

NPS Photo


Located in southwestern South Dakota, Badlands National Park consists of 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires surrounded by a mixed-grass prairie ecosystem. The mixed grass prairie is a transitional zone between the tall-grass prairie to the east and the short-grass prairie to the west.

The buttes and spires of the park were formed through the geologic processes of deposition and erosion. The rocks of Badlands National Park were deposited as early as 75 million years ago and began eroding just 500,000 years ago. As erosion continues today, fossils buried in the rock slowly reveal themselves and park paleontologists study them to learn about ancient life in the area.

Amid the prairies and buttes, numerous animals call the park home. There are many forms of wildlife in the Badlands, ranging from bison to butterflies and everything in betweeen.

Read more about nature in Badlands National Park by using the portal below.


Last updated: July 31, 2020

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Mailing Address:

25216 Ben Reifel Road
Interior , SD 57750


605 433-5361

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